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Author Topic: The Laser Project.  (Read 718018 times)
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Tweakie.CNC
CNC is only limited by our imagination.
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« Reply #990 on: August 18, 2017, 07:09:21 AM »

Thanks Art.

I used a GaAs meniscus lens in this attachment (first time I have used one) and I must say that I am really impressed with the tiny dot size that it can produce.
Now to change out my other GaAs Plano-convex for a meniscus.  Wink

Tweakie.
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ART
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« Reply #991 on: August 18, 2017, 07:28:39 AM »

Really? Ill have to try that.. smaller the better...

Art
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Tweakie.CNC
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« Reply #992 on: September 12, 2017, 04:38:41 AM »

Something that may be of interest to others…

Mach4 has the commands M62P# and M63P# (where the # denotes the Output# number) which both only operate, or take effect, consistent with an axis movement.
So the Gcode…
M62P1 would turn on Output #1 at the instant of an axis movement and M63P1 would turn off Output#1 again, at the instant of an axis movement.

As of Build 210 the Ethernet Smooth Stepper plugin allows for multiple instances of the M62/M63 commands to be stacked and operated jointly upon an axis (any axis) movement.
So please consider the following snippet of Gcode…
G21 F4500
M62P1
M62P2
M63P3
M62P4
M62P5
M62P6
M63P7
M62P8
G1 X0.001
%
At the instant the X axis moves the Outputs# 1 to 8 would contain the binary data 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 (assuming you are reading the bits from the same direction as me). Obviously any combination could be set from 00000000 to 11111111.

The interesting part, and the point of all this, is that Outputs# 1 to 8 could be interrogated by a simple controller (to convert the bit pattern to an 8 bit decimal value from 0 to 255) which could then be used to control / vary laser output power from within Gcode which is running at constant velocity.
It is basically a way to output 8 bit numbers from within a running Gcode and having no noticeable effect on Axis Velocity or breaking the constant velocity chain.

I have not fully tried this yet but it could offer a considerable reduction in the process time when laser engraving 8 bit images (currently using the S### command to control / vary laser output power).

Tweakie.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 08:29:01 AM by Tweakie.CNC » Logged

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« Reply #993 on: September 13, 2017, 08:27:14 AM »

Interesting! Writing a postprocessore for one of the program out there, doesn't seem fun though Wink

Dan
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Tweakie.CNC
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« Reply #994 on: October 07, 2017, 06:06:14 AM »

The making of this was mentioned in another Topic but for those following this thread…

A wall hanging picture, laser engraved into 20 mm thick Birch plywood using the ‘old-faithful’ Mach3 Impact / Laser Engraving plugin.

Tweakie.


* DSC02070a.JPG (356.44 KB, 1006x768 - viewed 242 times.)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 06:52:31 AM by Tweakie.CNC » Logged

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« Reply #995 on: December 13, 2017, 08:15:29 AM »

Something for others who may be interested in halftone techniques…

SquiggleDraw (https://github.com/gwygonik/SquiggleDraw) is an App. which runs inside Processing (https://processing.org/). It is quite easy to set-up and use and it produces an .svg image which can be converted to Gcode within Inkscape (https://inkscape.org/en/) or other vector software such as Aspire9 (http://www.vectric.com/products/aspire.html) .

Here is an .svg generated image converted to .dxf (http://ul.to/vo1uiw3x)
 and the associated Mach3 Laser toolpath (http://ul.to/gqg1inuc)
 

Tweakie.


* SquiggleDraw.jpg (453.41 KB, 1024x560 - viewed 210 times.)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 03:58:51 AM by Tweakie.CNC » Logged

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Tweakie.CNC
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« Reply #996 on: January 10, 2018, 05:19:40 AM »

Over the years this thread has been running I have been contacted by many users of the K40 Laser Cutter / Engraver. They do not use Mach3 or are even likely to use it in the future but they have come here to gain knowledge and information. Because I am happy that the following software is not in any way in competition with Mach I have posted this information as it may be of interest to followers of the thread.

I am a great admirer of Scorch and his excellent software solutions. He was the first to enable free V-Carving for CNC routers and now he is setting the standards for free K40 compatible laser software.

K40 Whisperer is an alternative to the Laser Draw (LaserDRW) program that comes with the cheap Chinese laser cutters available on E-Bay and Amazon. K40 Whisperer reads SVG and DXF files, interprets the data and sends commands to the K40 controller to move the laser head and control the laser accordingly. K40 Whisperer does not require a USB key (dongle) to function. K40 Whisperer also handles Gcode files.

K40 Whisperer is a free open source program released under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

http://www.scorchworks.com/K40whisperer/k40whisperer.html

Tweakie.




* k40w.jpg (73.93 KB, 999x768 - viewed 150 times.)
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« Reply #997 on: January 10, 2018, 07:40:55 AM »

Thanks Tweaky:

   I wasnt aware software existed that uses the LaserDRW protocol. Nice to know. Also handy to have archived so
K40 users have some options.

Art
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« Reply #998 on: January 10, 2018, 07:43:52 AM »

 
Tweaky:

 >>Because I am happy that the following software is not in any way in competition with Mach

 Theres never any problem if you wish to discuss competition to Mach3, While Im proud to have written
it I have no proprietary interest in Mach3, so its just one of many options available these days. On this board nothing
is really off topic for discussion.  Im always interested in hearing the various options available to folks.

Smiley
Art
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Tweakie.CNC
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« Reply #999 on: January 11, 2018, 05:07:36 AM »

With Art’s permission…

For many years now I have successfully used Art’s Mach3 Impact / Laser engraving plugin for CO2 laser engraving 8 bit photographic images onto wood (and other materials). Unfortunately, due to the nature of the pulse timing this plugin will only operate via the PC’s Parallel Port, which is rapidly becoming obsolete, so an alternative was desperately needed.

Art never seems to tire of software development and along with a small handful of others I have recently been trying out ‘Auggie’. This FREE software started as an extension of Gearotic Motion but now stands in it’s own right. It is a very basic (trimmed down) CNC solution which incorporates the beautiful ‘S-Curve’ acceleration / deceleration of the Tempest planner (which really should have been incorporated into Mach3 but never was) and it has been designed around the 57CNC USB and Ethernet CNC controller.

Although Auggie would be equally at home with basic CNC milling, routing, etc. it has some advanced features designed specifically for laser use and it can support RF, DC, Diode and most other types of lasers. It does not stop there as Auggie has many more interesting features which, for the most part, are described here;  http://gear2motion.com/auggie

For me, the most important thing about Auggie is that it has the ability to process 8 bit photographic images and although it is a very different process to the old plugin the final results appear very similar. I am still working on how to get the best results with an electromagnet but Auggie can also be used for Impact Electromagnet operation.

In the following pics, one was produced with my CO2 laser and the other with my impact electromagnet.

Tweakie.


* screen2a.JPG (126.37 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 158 times.)

* DSC02084a.JPG (232.66 KB, 1024x685 - viewed 149 times.)

* DSC02089a.JPG (285.45 KB, 1024x712 - viewed 144 times.)
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