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Fórum » Only in English » DotG Free Etching software English forum » DotG software questions, answers in English (Questions, answers only in English)
DotG software questions, answers in English
KisKZ Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2011-12-14, 10:49 | Üzenet/Post # 1
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Anything about DotG software in English
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-01-10, 13:23 | Üzenet/Post # 41
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Hi Guys,

This needs a lot more investigation but based on the fact that my previous example (positive image) when viewed against a sky background appears as a negative image I decided to make a negative image and then view it against a sky background and this is the result (my little helper ‘Bertie’).
It is overcast here in the UK today and it was hard to find a patch of blue sky but the effect can just about be seen.
Could this be considered something similar to a ‘lithophane’ ??

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 8850277.jpg(57Kb)


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tweakie Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-01-10, 13:40 | Üzenet/Post # 42
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This is cheating a bit because it is against a white background with the contrast levels altered in Photochop.

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 8073257.jpg(43Kb)


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-01-10, 16:27 | Üzenet/Post # 43
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tweakie, I'm not sure what You call positive and negative image, but this is impressive.
I think the effect is very similar to lithophane indeed. Was it made by laser?


H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-01-10, 17:01 | Üzenet/Post # 44
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Hi Amator,

Not laser, this was made with the impact magnet at 0.3mm stepover.

Once a way is found to increase the contrast of the impact dots then I think this could be successful, perhaps. smile

Tweakie.


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tweakie Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2012-01-23, 13:44 | Üzenet/Post # 45
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I managed to get some spare machine time this morning so I could play for a while. biggrin

As we know, laser penetration / burn is related to both laser power and exposure time (feedrate) so it was interesting to look at this test of an iconic monochrome image.
At the start of each line the laser is turned on and at the end of each line the laser is turned off but, as it can be seen from the picture, the penetration / burn at the start and end of each line is greater than it is in the centre and in this instance, it is due to the acceleration / deceleration settings of the X axis – The axis it is travelling slower at the ends of it’s travel than it is in the middle. This effect is speed related and does not show up when using an impact magnet but when using a laser it is clearly visible.
It does not, I think, detract from the overall effect of this image but it is something that has to be considered in other applications I am considering such as cutting veneer using a raster as opposed to vector process.

I think I need to do more testing in this area to get more information.

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 5112667.jpg(107Kb)


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2012-01-25, 22:12 | Üzenet/Post # 46
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tweakie, I think I understand the problem You described.
On some laser video I saw that the beam mover axis was moving between constant limits, independently from the lenght or position of the burned line. The work area was reached with a constant speed. I don't know how this type of gcode was generated, but I suppose it was to solve the acceleration/deceleration exposure growing. Have You any idea how to create this type of gcode? I think it needs a special laser related software.


H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Csütörtök, 2012-01-26, 09:55 | Üzenet/Post # 47
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Hi Amator,

The only true ‘raster scan’ type of software that I know of is the Mach3 plugin.
It does, just as you describe, scan ‘full width’ so for most of the image the axis is travelling at full speed but this plugin also controls the laser by a unique form of PWM and adjusts the output power with axis speed and so eliminates any edge problems.

The code for the Mach plugin has, thanks to Art, been made ‘open source’ and I did a bit of work on some changes last year but I need to obtain more knowledge on the inner workings of Mach and it’s timers before it can be made more suitable for use with lower power lasers. The relationship between axis speed and laser output power (PWM) really needs a variable adjustment – perhaps, one day, I will work out the best way of doing this. cool

Tweakie.


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tweakie Dátum/Date: Szombat, 2012-02-11, 08:35 | Üzenet/Post # 48
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Hi Guys,

Just a heads-up to let everyone know that an English translation of the DotG manual is now available on Beni’s website here http://dotg.weebly.com/download.html
An English translation of the Post-Processor manual will also be available shortly.

Tweakie.


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Szombat, 2012-02-11, 20:50 | Üzenet/Post # 49
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tweakie, You're active, and help a lot. Really Thank You!

H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2012-02-13, 15:52 | Üzenet/Post # 50
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Hi Amator,

Thank you for the kind words. In practice I receive a lot more from this forum than I actually put back in.

This is my first test using the M10P1 / M11P1 command set for switching my laser with a DotG compiled GCode.

As these M codes are only activated coincident with an axis movement a little ‘trick’ has been incorporated within my DotG post processor. Following each M10P1 I have added G0 B0 and following each M11P1 I have added G0 B1. This fools Mach3 into thinking that I have a B axis and makes the imaginary movement to trigger the M commands.

Although this may sound as though the M commands have no advantage over using an axis direction pin for triggering in practice there really are many benefits.

I still have much more to learn about using DotG and the post processor - I will post more information as I proceed.

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 9930739.jpg(159Kb)


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2012-02-13, 19:24 | Üzenet/Post # 51
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tweakie, does it mean that You configured Mach to have a B dir pin in the LPT port? It's logical level is used to turn tle laser on and off? I don't see clearly why is it better than simply configure a collant pin and use M8/M9 command. Is it faster?
Anyway that is a nice work again!


H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-02-14, 10:43 | Üzenet/Post # 52
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Hi Amator,

Yes, I have configured Mach to have a B axis with minimum steps per unit, maximum acceleration and velocity but it has no output 'step and direction pin configuration'.

The ability of a laser to cut-into or mark a surface will depend on the type of material, the output power of the laser and the exposure time. My experiments with low power lasers showed me that it was necessary to introduce a time-delay between the laser being turned-on and the actual axis movement in order to give the laser time to ‘bite’. The M3 / M5 command set were excellent in this respect, mainly because of the easily set ‘spin-up delay’ associated with M3 command.
As I moved to higher laser power levels it was found that the M3 / M5 were not suitable, in fact any time delay (as with M8) between the laser being turned-on and the subsequent axis movement caused a ‘dot’ at the start of a line and any delay (as with M9) between the laser being turned-off after axis movement had stopped caused a ‘dot’ at the end of the line. This effect had been discovered by others long before me so Mach3 had introduced the undocumented M10 / M11 command set which only take effect co-incident with axis movement. These M commands had become broken during subsequent Mach revisions and because nobody (except perhaps me) had been using them they remained that way until I until the Artsoft team agreed to correct the problem.

Because the M10 / M11 commands do nothing without axis movement, using them with DotG in ‘dot’ mode required the ‘trick’ mentioned in my previous post to get it to work. However, DotG behaves differently in ‘line’ mode - there is axis movement for the ‘lines’ but not for the ‘dots’ so a different solution may be necessary here. Thanks to the foresight of Beni and his ‘stand alone’ post processor anything is possible.

Whilst working on the post processor translation I will be trying everything mentioned in the document to make sure I get it correct. This is taking me some time and I haven’t yet tried the ‘line’ mode or ‘slide’ mode but will get there in the end, hopefully. biggrin

Tweakie.


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-02-14, 18:02 | Üzenet/Post # 53
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Hi Tweakie!

I understand now why You choosen the M10/11 commands (otherwise they are new for me).
I still interested where is the connection between PC and laser. If it has no configured pin in the LPT port, how did You solve to drive the laser?

Amator.


H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-02-14, 18:33 | Üzenet/Post # 54
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Hi Amator,

My laser is connected in exactly the same way as you would if using the M7 / M9 commands.
The P value following the M10 / M11 commands (for example M10P1 / M11P1) is the Mach Output# so in this case Output 1 is configured within Mach to an LPT output pin (for me it is pin 16). It is just the imaginary B Axis which has no LPT output.

Tweakie.


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-02-14, 21:34 | Üzenet/Post # 55
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tweakie, it's clear. You use an output instead of dir pin. (In my imagination I connected Mach with laser via a dir pin) Elegant solution. Thank You for info!

H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2012-02-15, 12:29 | Üzenet/Post # 56
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Quote
(In my imagination I connected Mach with laser via a dir pin)


Hi Amator,

You are correct. Before the M10 / M11 were fixed I did indeed use a direction pin for the laser trigger.

Tweakie.


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Béni Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-02-19, 19:18 | Üzenet/Post # 57
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English manuals are available on DotG official site.

http://dotg.weebly.com/download.html

Special thanks to Tweakie.


http://dotg.weebly.com/
http://benishare.weebly.com/
 
KisKZ Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-02-19, 20:34 | Üzenet/Post # 58
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Quote (Béni)
English manuals are available on DotG official site.


Thank you Beni, Tweakie, Amatőr!
You are together the best team!

I'm put this info in small news on main page.
 
Amatőr Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2012-02-20, 18:33 | Üzenet/Post # 59
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Yeah, that was the hard part, and a great job from Tweakie!

H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2012-02-27, 12:46 | Üzenet/Post # 60
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Hi Guys,

Unfortunately I don’t have Amator’s picture framing skills so this is presented just as it is.

The initial image of Brittany Snow was resized to 100mm x 135mm, adjusted in brightness and contrast then processed with PicDither using the Sierra algorithm. It was then reduced to 2 bit with IrfanView, saved as a .bmp file and the GCode created with DotG, in dot mode, at 0.25mm step over.
The final result comprises 77,800 laser produced dots and took approx 50 minutes to complete. The material is a faux aluminium faced plastic engraving laminate (a non-pvc, laser friendly material).

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 3437492.jpg(74Kb)


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