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Topics - mattm58

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1
T2 Engraving / firmware for core-xy
« on: May 21, 2020, 03:19:59 PM »
Hey @zax, I've rebuilt one of my eleks a3 frames as a core-xy machine.  Do any of the firmware options built into T2 operate as a core-xy?  I tried the 1.1f CNC Z-XY firmware, but x directionals go diagonal and Y & diagonal seem to have the two steppers fighting against each other.  I've also tried the 0.9i as mentioned on one of the other posts and tried a bunch of the options in configuring the eleks mana, but no dice...

2
T2 Engraving / overscan/dynamic laser power/dark edges
« on: October 23, 2019, 09:56:34 PM »
Zax,

I'm getting dark edges on one of my machines, not the other.  It's running an endurance 10w.  Exact same settings as my other eleks 2.5w engraver (I can use the same gcode, same instance of T2 just switch com ports). 

I've got overscan enabled, dynamic laser power enabled, yet still get dark edges on that machine.  Is there some kind of delay or something or additional overscan, I'm thinking the endurance isn't turning on/off as quick as the eleks on the change of direction?  I know it can change laser power, I can burn at various power rates and get different light/dark results.

The endurance one with the problem is running on a eleks 5.2 3axis controller, the other on a regular eleksmaker 2axis controller, both running 1.1e.

Thanks!

3
General Discussion / Spindle on A3?
« on: January 31, 2019, 11:18:15 AM »
Don't know which forum this should go in, so admins feel free to move if needed.

I've accumulated a stash of parts, started with a standard A3 and put longer rails on it, then picked up several more A3's second hand.  With the extra frames & electronics, I got to wondering...  Have any of you built a CNC on one of the a3 frames?  I believe with the 3 axis mana board, a Z axis, and T2 to send the grbl, it *should* work theoretically.  Are the eleksmaker steppers strong enough?  Are the 2020/2040 rails strong enough to not flex?  What kind of spindle can you run on one of these?

If anybody has gone down this road I'd love to hear/see what you've done.

4
T2 Engraving / Question and enhancement requests
« on: November 06, 2018, 01:00:08 PM »
Zax,

First off, I thank you for a great piece of software.  I use it almost daily.

Next, the question.  Is it possible to swap axis/rotate the working area in software?  I extended my rails on the Y axis and put cable chains in, so my working area is about 40cm x 80cm.  I'm moving the laser to a different location and the "front" where I access it will be 90 degrees to where it is now.  Just wondering if there's a way to 'rotate' the area in software so the home location is still front left after rotating the hardware 90 degrees and the x axis becomes the longer direction.  Obviously I could redo the hardware to accomplish this, just wondering if there was an easier way.  For the time being I can live with it...

Now the enhancements I'd like to see:
1 - In the header of the GRBL file add the following:
raster/vector
horizontal/diagonal
Mode (B/W, Grayscale,Dithered)

2 - Add a configurable file naming default, for example, I want to be able to set the default filename to:
source_file_name.{feed_rate}mm.{laser_power}power.{raster/vector}.x-{x-max}.y-{y-max}.nc

and be able to specify a lot of the settings that are in the file header so I don't have to open the files to see the settings (because I was too lazy to name it right when I saved it).  By making it configurable users can pick and choose what's important to them. 

Thanks!





5
Engraving / Questions for those of you who do acrylic
« on: October 11, 2018, 01:42:13 PM »
I've searched and read everything I can here on acrylics.  From what I gather:

- Either burn the back side if it has transfer tape/brown paper backing (and reverse image)
or
- Place acrylic on black paper and focus on paper (no need to reverse)

- Burn full power
- Feed rate I've seen various posts, ranging from 30 - 150mm/s depending on the laser wattage.


My question to you guys, is that feed rate correct?  If so, a burn very big will take forever!  I loaded a simple image last night, about 6" square, raster, and at a speed of 30 it said 17 hours to burn!

What feed rate do you guys that have a 2.5w laser burn acrylic at?

Thanks!

6
General Discussion / vector vs raster
« on: September 14, 2018, 01:23:29 PM »
I do a lot of small wood engravings (<75mm square).  I'm using T2 to run the A3.  To date all the engraving has been done by using jpgs, and horizontal/diagonal engraving.  Times vary from 4-12 minutes typically.  My question, will converting these to vector reduce the time?  My assumption is yes, but I'm not familiar with creating vectors.  I've watched Nottingham's youtube video for converting in inkscape, but that appears to just outline.  How do I hatch the areas to fill?

I tried using T2's sketch hatch feature, but it appears it just outlines, then does the same type of top to bottom engraving that the raster does (similar to  a printer).  Since it did the outline first, it actually took longer than the raster.

Does anybody have links to how one would convert the jpg (with filled areas) to a vector to speed burn time?  I've got the raster burning working fine, just looking for potential ways to speed things up.

Attached is a sample of the type of image I'm using.


7
T2 Engraving / Need help with grayscale/dithered
« on: July 06, 2018, 12:23:25 AM »
Grayscale and dithered don't seem to work for me...

Setup: A3 with older (purchased May 2017) black 3 wire 2.5w eleksmaker laser (with low power button on top), mana se board.  Current version of T2 running grbl 1.1e.  I did a reset of all grbl params prior to these tests.

Are all 3 wire lasers TTL compatible?  This isn't acting like what I believe it should...

All tests on the same piece of MDF.  For what it's worth, black & white engraving seems to work fine.

Dithered, power 0-100, speed 3700
Dithered, power 50-145, speed 3700
Grayscale, power 0-100, speed 3700
Grayscale, power 50-145, speed 3700

As you can see from the images, it seems that the laser is on or off, no in between, though this doesn't explain why the dithering isn't working...

8
General Discussion / Need help with weak power to focus
« on: May 01, 2018, 10:55:38 PM »
Ok, I picked up a another A3 secondhand.  It's got a mana se board, and a 2 wire 2.5w laser.  I've got it working, but with one gotcha.  I can't figure out how to get it to low power for focusing the laser.  My other A3 has the low power button on the laser, and I've seen other boards that have a low power button on the controller, but this setup has neither.

I'm using T2 because Zax is the man...

9
T2 Engraving / Need help, odd burn on right side
« on: February 02, 2018, 07:32:15 PM »
I'm getting an odd burn pattern,  but it only appears on the right side,  and not in the same spot. You can see from the pictures that the left side is fine and stays aligned.

At first I thought it was an issue with the generated grbl, but I burned a saved file that I know worked and had the same problem.

10
T2 Engraving / Multiple Machines?
« on: November 27, 2017, 04:41:18 PM »
@Zax, two questions:

- Can multiple copies of T2 be run on one laptop controlling 2 machines?  I've currently got an A3 and have bought longer rails & wiring to enlarge it.  I'm now thinking I may want 2 machines, one standard size for smaller stuff and the bigger one for multiple hour/larger burns.  Just wondering if I can run both from one machine, having to buy a second laptop will definitely affect the decision.  :)

- I've also got one of the little NEJE 1.5w machines I use with a rotary jig to engrave pens.  Can T2 run one of those?  I'm currently just using the software that came with it, which I really have no issue with, it works, more of a curiosity question.

Thanks!

11
This used to work, I believe.  I'd say I was pulling my hair out before figuring this out, but being bald that option went away a while ago...

When saving the g-code, it appears T2 is no longer setting the correct vector rate when using sketch plus to do both raster/vector.  I'm trying to engrave, then cut.  Here's my steps:

Start T2 (version 1.5a Registered)
Open image
Select Sketch Plus (Overlay)
Set Feed Rates (engraving at 2000, vector at 100, rapid at 2500 as example)
Click Trace Image button
Select to outline
Click trace image again
Click Save G-Code
Save it
open g-code
First section (raster) has:

...
( Image2Gcode for Grbl )
...
( Feed Rate   : 2000   )
...
G01 X11.6 Y25.7 M03 S0 F2500
X11.7 M03 S255 F2000
X11.8 Y25.7 M03 S255 F2000
...


Second section (vector) has:

...
( Raster2Vector for Grbl )
...
( Vector Rate   : 100   )
...
G01 X9.6 Y25.2 F2500
M03 S0 F2500
X9.5 Y25.2 M03 S255 F2000                                        <---- This should end in F100, not F2000
X9.4 Y25.7 M03 S255 F2000
...



12
Engraving / Depth burn without soot?
« on: July 27, 2017, 04:05:54 PM »
I'm new to laser engraving, so forgive me if this is a stupid question:

How do you engrave with depth, but without the soot/ash?  Take for example this image:

http://woodengravingservices.com/images/home-images/01-02.png

There is depth to the engraving, but it's not black.  I've got a 2.5w a3 laser and using T2 software.  If I engrave fast or with low power where it's only the darker brown color and not black, there's no depth.  If I engrave slower then the engraved part is black.  Do you have to have air assist constantly blowing the piece where the laser is actively burning?  Do you do low power and multiple passes?

Thanks for taking the time to read through and helping out a newb!

13
Spare Parts Sources / Enlarging A3 laser
« on: July 18, 2017, 03:32:55 PM »
Ok, I picked up a 2.5w A3 laser, but of course now I want bigger...   :)

Laser wattage is fine, I make wood signs.  I'd like to be able to burn a sign up to say 30x60cm.

So I've found sources for longer rails & belts, but where do I get longer wires or extensions for the laser & motors?  Are the connectors on them a standard, and if so, what size/name are they?  I saw one post about wire extensions, but it didn't say what machine they had.

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