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Old 02-19-2020, 02:46 PM
Danica Sarain Danica Sarain is offline
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Default Question about laser engraving raster image

Is there a step by step/how to

Trying to laser engrave an image on a piece of wood.

Thing's I've tried so far:

Using GIMP/PS to getting an indexed 1 color bmp and trying to open it with WINCNC -Results in either a grey box in the preview or a single blue line that extends from the middle of the workspace to several feet in the -y direction.

Using inkscape and trying the extensions to export laser gcode. This also includes the j-tech extension. None of them worked because they are based off of "normal" gcode for m03/m05 to turn the laser on/off. This also led me down the rabbit hole of reading up on the wincnc commands and finding out that the laser turns on and off automatically.
Looking at the gcode produced by the laser inch pp, I noticed that there was only a single line for the L249[s] in the tap file even though in a test file I specified multiple "spindle speeds" to adjust power. That was resolved by adding another line under segment to get the variable. While it fixed the tap file to produce what it should have, I also found out that I would be unable to do any greyscale images.

resources:
https://jtechphotonics.com/?page_id=2012 inkscape laser plugin for j tech
http://www.wincnc.net/webfiles/CNC%2...nual_3.0r3.pdf - wincnc manual
https://github.com/magdesign/Raster2Gcode - another laser plugin for inkscape


Available software:
GIMP/PS/CorelDRAW
inkscape/AI
Fusion 360/SW
Vcarve pro/wincnc


<<<Edit 1>>>

Okay, Found a solution. Hope this helps.

Within photoshop, it's mode > greyscale, then mode > bitmap. This will produce a 1-bit bitmap.
With GIMP it's Image > Mode > Indexed > 1-bit B&W
Both programs give different algorithms that changes the look of the now B&W image--you can use the default or ctrl+z (undo) and pick a different one until you find the one you want.

Export/Save as BMP/Windows Bitmap

From here you have 2 options. Open up wincnc, ctrl+O (open) or file > open, type * (shift + 8) then press enter. This will let you see all the files instead of just nc/tap files. Select the BMP you created in the previous step, if you didn't set your laser z you should do that now. The preview window should show your image. Hit the go button to start. For me this went a bit TOO slow so...

Second option:

On your desktop (or inside another folder) right click > New text document. Select text below. Copy (ctrl+c), Paste (ctrl+v) in the new text document, Edit values, save as .tap

[Start copying here - It's safe to keep or delete this line or just start copying below]

[Set your Laser engraving Z in wincnc]
[Edit Lines to set X,Y,Z Feed rates]

G90 [ABSOLUTE MODE]
G53 Z0 [LIFT Z TO TOP]

M11C15 [ Bring Laser down (May be different on your machine)]

[Laser Power: 100 | 100 IPM]
L249P100 [<<<<<<<<< Edit this L249P### to change the power where ### is the percentage of power with a value between 0-100]
F100 XY [<<<<<<<<< Feedrate for xy]
F50 Z [<<<<<<<<< Feedrate for z]

Z0 [Machine to Z0 - If you didn't set your Z you will hear a crunching sound right about now]

[Below is where you put the full path of the 1-bit bmp file. You can also use the following instead - L252 is "0 rotation", L253 is "90 CW", L254 is "180 CW" L255 is "270 CW"]
L252 C:\Users\User\Desktop\Air Force Logo 3.693 x 2.913_150dpi.bmp

G0 [Rapid Move]
L250 [Laser stop]
G53 Z0 [Lift Z to top]

[You can stop copying here and safely delete this line]

<<Edit 2>>
Removed " [example file name] " from the line L252 C:\Users\User\Desktop\Air Force Logo 3.693 x 2.913_150dpi.bmp [example file name] --causes error if not deleted and trying to run the file.
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Last edited by Danica Sarain; 02-20-2020 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Solution
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2020, 09:54 PM
minimum99 minimum99 is offline
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To get the details of an image when laser engraving on wood, image dithering have to be applied to the image and the software that generate the G-Code must turn on/off the laser to burn the dots that the dithering algorithm produced.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2020, 02:41 PM
stob82 stob82 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minimum99 View Post
To get the details of an image when laser engraving on wood, image dithering have to be applied to the image and the software that generate the G-Code must turn on/off the laser to burn the dots that the dithering algorithm produced.
I have tried dithering and I still get an image that I can't tell what's what. For the past 2-3 months I have been trying everything possible from detailed image editing (in Gimp), to different wood species to different wood finishes prior to engraving that yielded very small results. This is very frustrating that there isn't any updated version of instructions (pdf file from CAMaster) on how to use this thing. These instructions on converting images to grayscale, dithering, exporting it as bmp file doesn't work. And when I called camaster to ask them if they are going to have a pp for vectric laser module, I was told no and the reason is because wincnc is better at that. wasted 1K on something that I could buy for $200-300 and get same results.
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Old 12-14-2020, 10:42 PM
DVE2000 DVE2000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danica Sarain View Post
Z0 [Machine to Z0 - If you didn't set your Z you will hear a crunching sound right about now]
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2020, 11:42 AM
drummerjg drummerjg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVE2000 View Post
Man, I HATE when that happens......
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2020, 12:59 PM
tb1472000 tb1472000 is offline
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I'm just researching what to buy, so I don't have a CNC machine or laser, but WINCNC.net has in the download section a post processor for Vectric dated 11/16/20. Not sure if it will help or not. Also, I've read other posts about people using Lightburn software. I believe you can try that for free to see if it works or not.
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Old 12-15-2020, 01:06 PM
DVE2000 DVE2000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerjg View Post
Man, I HATE when that happens......
One of the worst sounds in the world. Similar to that awful crunch when you’re in your car...
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2020, 12:02 PM
Jim Becker Jim Becker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tb1472000 View Post
I'm just researching what to buy, so I don't have a CNC machine or laser, but WINCNC.net has in the download section a post processor for Vectric dated 11/16/20. Not sure if it will help or not. Also, I've read other posts about people using Lightburn software. I believe you can try that for free to see if it works or not.
If you want to use the actual Vectric laser tool pathing modal that's an option for v10.5, you'll have to wait until the Camseter laser option solution is on the Vectric list of compatible setups if it has not yet been certified. Don't buy the software option until it's supported as there are no refunds for incompatibility.

https://www.vectric.com/products/laser-module
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SR-44 (2018), 1.7kw spindle, Performance Premium, USB, Keypad, T-Slot table (y-axis configuration), WinCNC, VCarve Pro upgraded to Aspire

Non CNC stuff...

SCM/Minimax - slider/JP/BS
Festool "a good collection"
Stubby - lathe
Oneida Cyclone
more...

Retired from full time work in the telecom industry 9/2017
Commission work for equestrian tack storage and other custom furniture and cabinetry
Located Bucks County PA
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2020, 08:19 PM
DVE2000 DVE2000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
If you want to use the actual Vectric laser tool pathing modal that's an option for v10.5, you'll have to wait until the Camseter laser option solution is on the Vectric list of compatible setups if it has not yet been certified. Don't buy the software option until it's supported as there are no refunds for incompatibility.

https://www.vectric.com/products/laser-module
Apparently that’s no longer true. I was speaking to Mike at WinCNC to get my new wireless controller set up (absolutely love it, btw). I’d spoken to him about getting a laser before. They’ve released a post processor that’s meant to work with the Vectric laser option. Obviously, laser and cutting wouldn’t be in the same tap file.

http://www.wincnc.net/webfiles/Post%...NCLaser10.5.pp

Header says:
Code:
 +================================================
+                                                
+ WinCNC  -   Vectric machine output configuration file   
+                                                
+================================================
+                                                
+ History                                        
+                                                
+ Who      		When       		What                         
+ =========== ========== ===========================  
+ Mike/Kelly		2/3/2014  
+ Mike/Stephan  7/29/2020 Converted to work with Vectric Laser Module
+================================================
POST_NAME = "WinCNC Laser 10.5(*.tap)"
FILE_EXTENSION = "tap"
UNITS = "INCHES"
LASER_SUPPORT = "YES"
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2018 Stinger II SR-44, 1.7kW Spindle, Performance Premium, Recoil, Gantry Lift, Cyclone
Fusion 360
Aspire

Last edited by DVE2000; 12-17-2020 at 09:08 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2020, 09:00 PM
Jim Becker Jim Becker is offline
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That's good to know, Gary, but hopefully Vectric will provide support accordingly. It's not on their list and they specifically state no support in that case. I don't have anything in this hunt and am just making sure it's clear about what Vectric says at the current time.
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---
Jim Becker

SR-44 (2018), 1.7kw spindle, Performance Premium, USB, Keypad, T-Slot table (y-axis configuration), WinCNC, VCarve Pro upgraded to Aspire

Non CNC stuff...

SCM/Minimax - slider/JP/BS
Festool "a good collection"
Stubby - lathe
Oneida Cyclone
more...

Retired from full time work in the telecom industry 9/2017
Commission work for equestrian tack storage and other custom furniture and cabinetry
Located Bucks County PA
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