PicEngrave Pro 5 or 6 B&W Laser Engraving Instructions

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Picengravertoo
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PicEngrave Pro 5 or 6 B&W Laser Engraving Instructions

Postby Picengravertoo » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:04 pm

I started with this image which has allot of grays in it.

TTL Map Image.jpg
TTL Map Image.jpg (377.55 KiB) Viewed 4418 times


I then opened the image in Corel Photo Paint and Resampled the DPI to 600 to minimize pixelization and saved it in a BMP format so there were no artifacts injected from the JPG format compression.

I opened in the PicEngrave Pro 5 image editor and resized it for a .004" Pixel Resolution (step over) and the size of the wood plank I will be engraving on. I will be using our M140 445nm 2W Laser Diode engraver that has a .005" burn line width. Since I will be engraving a 1Bit Dithered B & W map image, I want the laser burn lines to slightly overlap by .001". This is not recommended when engraving grayscale images which would need the burn lines lay down next to each other instead. The Pixel Resolution setting needs to be determined by your laser's burn line width, so this is just a reference based on our 2W laser.

I adjusted the Gamma to .5 and set the contrast to 1.6 so it will lighten the grays and darken the blacks. I then Sharpened the image to 20 so it will bring out more detail. I then saved it again in the same BMP format for the reason I mentioned above.

TTL Map Edit 1.JPG
TTL Map Edit 1.JPG (492.49 KiB) Viewed 4418 times


I re-opened the edited/saved image for the Dithering process. I selected the Atkinson Algorithm and set the Error Constant to 150. Dithering the image ensures there is only pure Black & White in the image so the laser will only pulse on/off. This is what the image looked like after Dithering it.

TTL Map Edit 2.JPG
TTL Map Edit 2.JPG (325.67 KiB) Viewed 4418 times


Since this laser engraving will be done on our Mach3 machine using the J-Tech Photonics PicConvert board for the laser modulation, here are the PicEngrave Pro 5 settings I used to generate the gcode.

TTL Map PEP5 Mach3 settings.JPG
TTL Map PEP5 Mach3 settings.JPG (474.72 KiB) Viewed 4418 times


Here is where the PicConvert board can be purchased from: https://jtechphotonics.com/?product=dacpwm-converter-board

Here are the PicEngrave Pro 5 settings for when using the GRBL Firmware and streaming the gcode to your laser engraving machine with PicSender.

TTL Map PEP5 GRBL settings.JPG
TTL Map PEP5 GRBL settings.JPG (458.93 KiB) Viewed 4418 times


The same Pixel Resolution setting when editing the image must be used to ensure it laser engraves the desired size. With the Feedrate setting at 75IPM and Feed Rate Change at 20%, the laser will travel at 75IPM in White no burn areas and slow to 60IPM for burning the Black areas. The feedrate must be set based on your Laser's Wattage & burning power and the Feed Rate Change percentage based on the ability of your machine to accel/de-accel quickly through the abrupt feedrate change moves.

Here are the results on Poplar:

TTL Map Engraving.jpg
TTL Map Engraving.jpg (1.08 MiB) Viewed 4418 times


Noticed how crisp/sharp the text is and how detailed the overall map laser engraving came out.

When testing the Demo with TTL (laser Pulsing On/Off) B&W laser engraving, do not expect these kind of results because the Watermarks will add grayscale back into the image & cause the laser power to ramp up and down in the Black areas instead which will reduce the overall sharpness & detail. There are different image editing process for laser engraving grayscale for quality/detailed results.

For those testing our Demo programs that have very little experience/knowledge in the laser diode engraving processes and need professional advise/assistance, use our Contact & Links Page here:

https://www.picengrave.com/Contact.htm

https://www.picengrave.com/PicEngraver_Pro_5_+_Laser.htm

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Re: PicEngrave Pro 5 or 6 B&W Laser Engraving Instructions

Postby Picengraver » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:41 pm

Well done Jeff. :Bravo!

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PicEngrave Pro 5 or 6 B&W Laser Engraving Instructions

Postby Picengravertoo » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:51 am

Thanks John. :D

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PicEngrave Pro 5 or 6 B&W Laser Engraving Instructions

Postby Picengravertoo » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:06 pm

I was reading on another forum that a person stated to only use PicEngrave for Photo engraving, but not for Black & White images, logos and text. There recommending using a very expensive vector engraving program instead.

Well, that just shows how very little laser engraving experience that person has with no willingness for learning to be a laser engraving expert. Using PicEngrave raster gcode to laser engrave B&W with a Dithered image will give you much better results because your laser beam will not be jerking all around constantly changing axis directions like when vector laser engraving. Raster engraving will be much easier on your machine's mechanics too.

Here is the image we used. It was Dithered in the included image editor before opening in PicEngrave Pro 6 to generate the gcode.
DI.jpg
DI.jpg (137.41 KiB) Viewed 3084 times

Here is the optimized laser travel path when selecting the Skip Repeating White Colors in the Analog/PWM engraving profile. We did a cross hatch (which is not necessary) by selecting both the Left 45D & Right 45D engraving angles. We used PicSender to stream the raster gcode file.
TPT.JPG
TPT.JPG (143.07 KiB) Viewed 3084 times

Here is the results on Brown Chipboard.
170.jpg
170.jpg (662.08 KiB) Viewed 3084 times

It may take slightly longer to laser engrave logos/images this way, but the superior detailed sharp results you will achieve are well worth it. Our PicLaser can be used for B&W laser engraving images/logos also, but does not have the laser travel path optimization that is in our PicEngrave Pro 6.

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PicEngrave Pro 5 or 6 B&W Laser Engraving Instructions

Postby Picengravertoo » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:50 pm

We have been testing a new laser version of grbl 1.0c for the EmBlaser 1.

Here is the original image we used.
Original Stamp.jpg
Original Stamp.jpg (779.27 KiB) Viewed 3010 times

This is the image after editing and dithering it in PEP6's image editor.
Dithered Stamp.jpg
Dithered Stamp.jpg (842.23 KiB) Viewed 3010 times

We used a 20ms dwell, 200IPM feedrate and a .006" Pixel Resolution in PEP6's Dot Pix Laser profile for this B&W laser engraving.
173.jpg
173.jpg (1.08 MiB) Viewed 3010 times

The Dot Pix Laser gcode commands will skip over continuous pure white areas automaticly without stopping and dwelling. The dwells can be set at a 1ms to 1sec in 1ms increments. When using the dwells, you can control the black shade tones easier compared to adjusting the feedrate or laser power. Or, if you set the dwells high enough, the laser will cut into the wood to give your B&W laser engravings some depth.

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Re: PicEngrave Pro 5 or 6 B&W Laser Engraving Instructions

Postby SMarston » Mon May 21, 2018 9:08 pm

Picengravertoo wrote:
We used a 20ms dwell, 200IPM feedrate and a .006" Pixel Resolution in PEP6's Dot Pix Laser profile for this B&W laser engraving.

The Dot Pix Laser gcode commands will skip over continuous pure white areas automaticly without stopping and dwelling. The dwells can be set at a 1ms to 1sec in 1ms increments. When using the dwells, you can control the black shade tones easier compared to adjusting the feedrate or laser power. Or, if you set the dwells high enough, the laser will cut into the wood to give your B&W laser engravings some depth.


Where is the Dwell setting in PEP6?

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PicEngrave Pro 5 or 6 B&W Laser Engraving Instructions

Postby Picengravertoo » Mon May 21, 2018 10:38 pm

It's in the Laser Options in the Dot Pix Laser profile. There are only two grbl 1.0c firmware versions (Multi-Mode & EmBlaser 1) that works properly with it. Either of them can be downloaded on this forum's main page.

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PicEngrave Pro 5 or 6 B&W Laser Engraving Instructions

Postby Picengravertoo » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:15 pm

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