Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Gallery for images of work cut using PhotoVCarve

Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby JJWMACHINECO » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:59 am

Those last 2 pictures look good at a distance Peter, but what's with all the dots when you make them bigger? My first couple of tries converting to black and white in Corel, the engravings came out like those did. It was because I had the intensity set to high when I used Jarvis to convert. I'm assuming your converting them if your just pulsing your laser on and off. Try cutting back on the intensity and allot of those dots will disappear and you will find a happy medium with the image. That's probably why using halftone did not give me any good results either. In CorelPaint the halftone conversion does not let you adjust the intensity. I have been trying to make my engravings look good at a distance and up close.

Also give us some details on your settings concerning the feedrates your running, tool your calling out, stepover, ect and the size of the beam you were able to focus laser down to. Also what software and process are you using to convert your image?

It just seems like would be allot easier to add an external laser control circuit and it may be because I'm running a servo system instead of steppers. I have the same size motor on the Z axis as I do on the X & Y which accelerates very fast without stalling. It's a very responsive setup when turning the laser on and off. Also I do not need any special PP and the only thing I changed in the Mach profile is set the CV mode to Plasma. Everything else is set just like rotary engraving. It did not start out that way but progressed into a simpler setup. :D

I watched your video and I use my laser beam to find the edge by placing a piece of black anodized aluminum against my wood in the corner, zero then MDI to the center of my stock and zero again. The laser beam makes a perfect edge finder. Also how the heck can you stand not to be able to see the progress of your project with that big shoe on there? I know it would drive me crazy not to be able see the wood being fried. :P Even when I was making Litho's, I made the smallest shoe possible and as far as I was concerned, it was still to big. I'm so happy now that I don't even need a shoe to laser engrave. Image
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Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby JJWMACHINECO » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:34 pm

Resampled image to a larger DPI first, embossed image then converted with Jarvis at 50% intensity. Could have lowered the intensity more to remove more of the dots. Marilyn did not look to bad at that setting. but could have been better. :roll: Size was 7.5" X 9.625". I ran it at 30 IPM with .01" stepover and it took 2.5 Hrs.
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Marilyn
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Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby JJWMACHINECO » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:50 pm

CORELDRAW GRAPHICS SUITE X5 $50 with free shipping, but only ships to the United States. http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-CorelDRAW-G ... 403wt_1185 This is a Full Version, not an upgrade or an academic version. If you need a better way to process your images before bringing them into PhotoVcarve, here it is. This is the version I use. :D
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Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby JJWMACHINECO » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:52 pm

Success lasering shades with PhotoVcarve and analog modulation. NO MORE DOTS. :lol: Still have to play around with the settings some more and details will follow tomorrow.
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Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby JJWMACHINECO » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:23 pm

OK, here is how I did it. The absolute encoder is made by US Digital. The model is a MA3 and it's a magnetic type shaft encoder. It just takes 5VDC in and I used the USB port to power it. It goes from 0-5 analog voltage output. They make a PWM output model, but all I needed was analog.

I gutted my analog modulated laser and installed it into another aluminum housing as you can see in the picture. I mounted in it the temp meter for the laser diode, 0-5V analog volt meter to know where to zero the Z axis and hour meter to know total time the laser has burned. I purchased a dual 12V fan and installed it inside the housing to cool the driver and laser diode very efficiently. I moved the 12V power supply to another box down below.

The mini stepper CNC router has ball screws on the X&Y and a 2.5MM pitch trapezoid screw on the Z axis. I changed the timing belt pulley to 36 tooth and the stepper to 18 tooth to give me a 2-1 ratio on the Z axis so it would only move half as much as the Z axis g-code movement. I attached a 60 tooth pulley on top of the 18 tooth pulley and put a 10 tooth on the encoder. With this 6-1 ratio, when the g-code goes from Z0. to Z-.0165 the encoder puts out 0-5V for the analog modulation.

No need to convert to black and white, or even gray scale in PVC. Just bring in the color photo after some processing in Photo Paint. I set the PVC software to go .016" to full cut depth. Same tool and feeds as pulsing, but I set Mach back to regular CV mode instead of Plasma. It moves through the code allot smoother that way. To pulse the laser with the black and white images, I just set the PVC to generate the code like I did before, but setup another Mach profile with Z axis direction pin reversed. That way when the g-code goes negative in Z, it actually goes up and the encoder jumps to 5V instantly and pulses the laser to full throttle. In that profile, set the CV back to plasma mode. So with my new setup, I can use analog or TTL modulation to control the lasers power to engrave with PVC. 8)

Jeff
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Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby JJWMACHINECO » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:25 pm

Wanted to test the TTL pulsing method on my new laser engraver this morning and here is the result. Could have ran it at a higher IPM and lightened it up a little. :roll:
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Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby JJWMACHINECO » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:36 am

I almost perfected the analog modulation process today. As everyone knows, there is always room for improvements, but I'm pretty darn close. :wink: I found out that the laser does not start burning the wood until slightly more then 1/2V to the modulation so I set my Z axis zero there. I set cut depth to .0145" and the retract to +.0015". The picture was embossed slightly, but that was all I did to it. The first picture of Drew is just like I brought into PVC. Step over was .01", ran it at 30 IPM, the size was 7.8" X 9.8" and it took 3 hours 49 minutes to burn the image. :roll:

Very happy with the results and the detail with shades is amazing. I found that the shaft encoder is very precise and responsive to the Z axis movement for the analog modulation to my laser. 8)
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Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby Tweakie » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:21 am

Hi Jeff,

Excellent work my friend. 8)

A couple of questions, if I may ask.

How many actual shades of gray are you able to impart onto the wood ??

What is the useful range of usage from your encoders 0 - 5 Volts (for example if maximum burn is at 5 Volts does it still mark the wood at say 1 Volt) ??

Many thanks,

Tweakie.
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Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby JJWMACHINECO » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:01 pm

Hi Tweakie.

Thanks for the compliment. It took allot of trial and error to get to this point and I will continue trying to improve. The answer to your questions can be found here. viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15161&start=0 This subject came up in my other thread.

You have came a long way experimenting with lasers and most likely be able to help all of us out allot. 8)

Jeff
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Re: Can PhotoVcarve be used to Laser engrave on a CNC Router????

Postby Tweakie » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:45 pm

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the link - I will check out the other thread.

Tweakie.
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