First test results and learnings along the way

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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:58 am

First test results and learnings along the way

Postby ErwinTuijtel » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:39 am

So after a hick up I started really using the software picengraver pro 5 with picsender.

After reading the documentation most of the basic settings where easaly made. I only have to get use to switching between laser and spindle mode in picsender.

I have been testing with this image.


First results. The first part is in the bottom left corner. Pretty black. Forgot to set the $$32 to 1, the laser mode ;(. The second part I tested is above the first one. I just took the picture, did not dither it. The settings I used where, GRBL PWM, Feed rate 3000 unit/min, Pixel Resolution 0.1524, Max PWM 255, left angle 45 degree. As you can see it is not completely okay. First of all you see a black line, Windows screensaver went on. Unfortunately my laptop could not handle it. Second you see the image is not completed. Windows went in to energy saving mode ;). Learning on the job.

After this I decided to stop this image. In my opinion it was to dark. So I tested my laser focus with the lines you see.


Again I loaded the photo and I dithered it with Floyd-Steinberg. I lasered it with the same settings, only my laser was better focussed. Also I lowered my feedrate to 2000. I thought the 3000 was a bit to much.


$0=30 (step pulse, usec)
$1=255 (step idle delay, msec)
$2=0 (step port invert mask:00000000)
$3=4 (dir port invert mask:00000100)
$4=0 (step enable invert, bool)
$5=0 (limit pins invert, bool)
$6=0 (probe pin invert, bool)
$10=18 (status report mask:00010010)
$11=0.020 (junction deviation, mm)
$12=0.002 (arc tolerance, mm)
$13=0 (report inches, bool)
$20=0 (soft limits, bool)
$21=0 (hard limits, bool)
$22=1 (homing cycle, bool)
$23=3 (homing dir invert mask:00000011)
$24=25.000 (homing feed, mm/min)
$25=750.000 (homing seek, mm/min)
$26=250 (homing debounce, msec)
$27=1.000 (homing pull-off, mm)
$30=255. (rpm max)
$31=0. (rpm min)
$32=1 (laser mode, bool)
$100=40.000 (x, step/mm)
$101=40.000 (y, tep/mm)
$102=188.976 (z, step/mm)
$110=8000.000 (x max rate, mm/min)
$111=8000.000 (y max rate, mm/min)
$112=500.000 (z max rate, mm/min)
$120=8000.000 (x accel, mm/sec^2)
$121=8000.000 (y accel, mm/sec^2)
$122=50.000 (z accel, mm/sec^2)
$130=790.000 (x max travel, mm)
$131=790.000 (y max travel, mm)
$132=100.000 (z max travel, mm)

What is your opinion about the last picture? I still think it is a bit too dark.

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Re: First test results and learnings along the way

Postby Picengravertoo » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:45 am

Use the Analog/PWM engraving option as it has more features. You should not have to Dither the image when using the MultiMode grbl 1.0c and the J-Tech 2.8W laser. The image editing in the editor is important. If it engraves too dark, lighten it up with Gamma. Sharpen it some to bring out the detail. The feedrate will effect how light or dark your engraving is and try playing with the Gray Curve.

The Analog/PWM profile has the Feed Rate Change feature which will expand/enhance the shades. When using this, set your feedrate slightly higher. When we had our 2.8W laser on our Shapeoko 2. the set feedrate used on Poplar was 2540mm/min with a 20% to 25% FRC.

The J-Tech lens does not focus to quite a round spot, so you may need to use the 45D Right engraving angle instead. If that does not improve your engraving, try this.

Jog your laser up out of focus so you can see the rectangular beam shape. There is a screw on the front of the heat sink you can loosen to rotate the laser module. Orient the long length of the laser's rectangular beam shape parallel to one of the 45D Raster engraving angles. then tighten the screw back up. Set the focal height at 3" and focus on a piece of black anodized aluminum until you see the spot the smallest, then secure the lens with dabs of hot melt glue from the lens thread to the module/heat sink.

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