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Messages - mattm58

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Projects / Re: GoT scotch Glass
« on: January 10, 2019, 09:55:15 AM »
Is this the paint you used or was it a spray?

How thick of a coat did you put on?  Thanks!

A3 Large Size Frames / Re: Building a larger frame for my A3 Pro
« on: December 19, 2018, 02:05:08 PM »
Yep, looks like that's the correct profile of rails.  I upgraded mine, didn't do the x axis, just the y, to a 4' rail.  I had to tap out threads in the rail, but used all the existing parts from the A3.  You'll obviously need the longer belts and wires.  If you haven't already, add cable chain to manage the wires, with the wires as long as they need to be they'll constantly be getting in the way.

T2 Engraving / Re: Question and enhancement requests
« on: November 07, 2018, 09:37:02 AM »
Thanks Zax!

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

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:
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:

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. 


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)
- 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?


General Discussion / Re: vector vs raster
« on: September 17, 2018, 10:59:21 PM »
Ok Zax, finally got a chance to try things, here's what I did:

Hatch Custom Spacing set to .15,  (feed rate, linked, at 1000/rapid at 4000

Load image, generate as raster, time estimate is 12m, 56s
Load image, autotrace (outline only), time estimate is 1m, 25s
Load image, set sketch/hash, autotrace, time estimate is 9m, 56s
DXF Optimizer on, Load image, set sketch/hash, autotrace, time estimate is 5m, 42s

Not quite the same as what you got, but the dxf optimizer is the key

gcode attached

General Discussion / Re: vector vs raster
« on: September 14, 2018, 06:02:07 PM »
Ok Zax, what am I doing wrong...

I open T2, open the image, set feed rate at 1000, velocity at 4000, set hatch options/Custom spacing at .15, Mode = black & white, horizontal, select Sketch (Hatch), run auto trace, generate g-code, (7428 lines), hit control laser and it says it's 21 min, 9 sec.

I leave all settings the same, uncheck sketch (hatch) so it does as raster, generate g-code (12213 lines), hit control laser, and I get 19m, 21sec.

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.

T2 Engraving / Re: Need help with grayscale/dithered
« on: July 10, 2018, 11:28:38 PM »
Woohoo, finally got the grayscale to work!  Not sure if it was disabling velocity mode or disabling sketch, or the combination, but that did it.  I didn't change any other settings.  After reading your last post, Zax, I disabled those two and ran the power line sample, which worked.  Then with the same settings ran the grayscale test and it worked.

Guess I'm going to have to do some more testing to come up with the matrix of what works best with B&W/Dithering/Grayscale.  When I was trying the dithering before it didn't show up correctly in the viewer unless I had sketch selected.  Either that or read the manual, but that immediately revokes my man card.   ;D

As always, many thanks Zax, you're the man, and your software is great!

T2 Engraving / Re: Need help with grayscale/dithered
« on: July 10, 2018, 01:03:16 PM »
Sorry, didn't grab any pictures, but tried this same file (looks good in viewer) on both a piece of oak and a piece of alder, both had the same result, no grayscale, just solid dark burn.

Everything looks good on the grey scale G-code and "view", so it's likely a material issue. Try something other than the MDF.

T2 Engraving / Re: Need help with grayscale/dithered
« on: July 06, 2018, 07:00:51 PM »
Woohoo, solved one problem, got the dithering to work.  For some reason none of the "Sketch" modes were selected.  I selected Sketch (Filled) and regenerated the gcode and all worked!

Grayscale still doesn't work though.  I did the manual test, seems to do what I would expect. 

In the "Manual Laser" pic there are actually 4 burns 5mm apart, the bottom was power 5, left no trace of a burn, the next one up was 100, then 200, then 255.  Each "laser on" was for approximately 5 seconds.

I've also attached the grayscale test grbl file, along with what it looks like in the viewer.

T2 Engraving / Re: Need help with grayscale/dithered
« on: July 06, 2018, 11:27:21 AM »
This is the first time I've really tried grayscale, so I can't say it worked before...

I went out to test and realized I had no idea what you were asking me to do with manual operation.  I did run a few more tests:

Grayscale power 0-5, speed 3700 - no visible marking on MDF
Grayscale power 0-50, speed 3700 - image attached, very light, 5% segment seems empty, others all look nearly the same if not the same
Grayscale power 0-75, speed 3700 - image attached, obviously darker than previous, 100% and 5% segments are different, but not by much...

If you can provide instructions on manual operation, or point me to documentation/video I'd appreciate it.

Even if power variation isn't working, it wouldn't explain the dithering not not giving "shades" of gray, would it?  Doesn't dithering use full power for the dots?

T2 Engraving / Re: Need help with grayscale/dithered
« on: July 06, 2018, 09:21:06 AM »
Forgot to add the pic of the laser...

T2 Engraving / Re: Need help with grayscale/dithered
« on: July 06, 2018, 08:40:32 AM »
Thanks Zax!

Attached is a pic of the top of the laser, low power button next to the wiring connector, I don't see any other buttons on it anywhere.

I haven't used any other software since switching to T2, why would I?  :)

I reset the grbl params just before these tests, here are the params:

$0=10 Step pulse, microseconds (10)
$1=25 Step idle delay, milliseconds (25)
$2=0 Step port invert, mask (0)
$3=1 Direction port invert, mask (0)
$4=0 Step enable invert, boolean (0)
$5=0 Limit pins invert, boolean (0)
$6=0 Probe pin invert, boolean (0)
$10=1 Status report, mask (1)
$11=0.010 Junction deviation, mm (0.020)
$12=0.002 Arc tolerance, mm (0.020)
$13=0 Report inches, boolean (0)
$20=0 Soft limits, boolean (0)
$21=0 Hard limits, boolean (0)
$22=0 Homing cycle, boolean (0)
$23=0 Homing dir invert, mask (0)
$24=100.000 Homing feed, mm/min (100.000)
$25=1000.000 Homing seek, mm/min (1000.000)
$26=250 Homing debounce, milliseconds (250)
$27=1.000 Homing pull-off, mm (1.000)
$30=255 Max spindle speed, RPM (255)
$31=0 Min spindle speed, RPM (0)
$32=1 Laser mode, boolean (1)
$100=80.000 X steps/mm (80.000)
$101=80.000 Y steps/mm (80.000)
$102=80.000 Z steps/mm (80.000)
$110=4000.000 X Max rate, mm/min (5000.000)
$111=4000.000 Y Max rate, mm/min (5000.000)
$112=6000.000 Z Max rate, mm/min (5000.000)
$120=800.000 X Acceleration, mm/sec^2 (800.000)
$121=800.000 Y Acceleration, mm/sec^2 (800.000)
$122=5000.000 Z Acceleration, mm/sec^2 (5000.000)
$130=400.000 X Max travel, mm (400)
$131=300.000 Y Max travel, mm (300)
$132=200.000 Z Max travel, mm (200)

I'll go out and try the manual power controls in a bit when I get a few minutes.  Work is getting in the way of my fun... 

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...

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