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Fórum » Only in English » Technologies » Diode Lasers. (Using Diode Lasers with CNC Machines.)
Diode Lasers.
velvetpig Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2014-01-01, 06:20 | Üzenet/Post # 901
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Hi John,
Thanks for your reply.
First i should have said "Going from good to worse" (Great program) , Its me changing things and getting into a muddle.
Please see what i mean about inches in metric screen.



Cheers
Denis
Csatolások/Attachments: 9602884.jpg(46Kb)


Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by velvetpig - Szerda, 2014-01-01, 06:26
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2014-01-01, 12:33 | Üzenet/Post # 902
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Hi Denis,
First, Happy New Year.

I also apologize for your problems with PEP.  I have tried versions back to 4.2.0 and cannot get the error to occur here.  I have to assume something went wrong with your install.  Regardless, I don't believe this will affect the gcode files as internally the setting values are used as just numerical units.  The display of inches or mm is just a display feature only and does not enter into any internal formulas or calculations.  What you are experiencing is really a strange program bug.  I will continue to see if I can find a cause.

I am also sending you an email with the latest version, v4.2.5, which I will release for download soon.  Please install it and let me know if corrects the problem.

John

Denis, I just realized this.  Why is the screen image you posted in black and white?  It should be in color.  Is it this way on your monitor?


I paint with a blue light beam.

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by picengraver - Szerda, 2014-01-01, 12:59
 
velvetpig Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2014-01-03, 12:05 | Üzenet/Post # 903
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Thanks John,
I thought it would only be a display issue.
I have not been methodical in my approach to trying different settings so as a consequence MY tests have been going from bad to worse,
Nothing to do with PEP.
I intend to install a second computer in my work shop so i can make changes on the fly instead of going back and forth to the house.
Thank you for your excellent product support. 
I will try the new version on the workshop comp.
Denis, I just realized this.  Why is the screen image you posted in black and white?  It should be in color.  Is it this way on your monitor? 
My mistake, i did notice that but left it B/W. Now you know what i have to put up with MY SELF cry
Cheers
Denis

 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2014-01-03, 23:03 | Üzenet/Post # 904
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Thank you Denis.

I still have not been able to find a cause for the display problem you are having, and of course I have some concern about it.  Please let me know if the new version does the same.

More importantly, please let us know here what results you are obtaining with your laser trials.  There are some very experienced and helpful members here, so even posting mistakes leads to us all learning something new from each other.
John


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
velvetpig Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2014-01-13, 12:44 | Üzenet/Post # 905
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Hi John,
Havent had much time to play with the laser but what i have done is very acceptable (to me) so far.
I have  mainly been using dithered images am very happy with PEP.
v4.2.5 fixed my screen problems.
I have tried VFR with no luck and i like to tinker so i have ordered parts to make Daves DAC, Not being electronically gifted i was wondering if a file for a Vcarved board exists, I have read both this and PicDither - PicEngrave - PicLaser threads  over and over but i cant find a reference to one or have i missed it?
Even a photo of the back of the breadboard would help. I have ordered 4 of everything to allow for the magic smoke.
Still need to order the driver.
Cheers 
Denis
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2014-01-14, 16:38 | Üzenet/Post # 906
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Hi Denis,
I'm glad the display issue is resolved.  I was never able to replicate it, so I assume perhaps it was just a rare occurrence.  Thanks for letting me know.

Sending you a private email.

Best to You,
John

Hozzáadva (2014-01-14, 16:38)
---------------------------------------------
Idézet velvetpig ()
On my TTL setup screen i use metric but the Max.3rd Axis Depth shows inches.
Friends,
Well, it seems there was a display issue with PEP that Denis found.  With his gracious help, a couple of illusive display issues were found in PEP, and a patch has been implemented.  The version (4.2.5) presently posted on eBay and my web site (www.picengrave.com) now includes a fix.  Mostly those affected are metric users.

Thanks again Denis for your help and patience.
John


I paint with a blue light beam.

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by picengraver - Kedd, 2014-01-14, 16:40
 
router Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2014-01-24, 01:00 | Üzenet/Post # 907
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I've got a 2W 450nm laser that I'm trying to do grey scaling with.  The problem is it's either too dark or too light.  There doesn't seem to be a middle ground. My driver is supposed to be analog and, in fact, it does seem to vary the power when using PWM on an arduino, with values of 0-255.  I'm reading the A axis to listen for up/down movements and steps. So, using PEP, I converted the image with absolute values from 0 to -0.0255, for a total of 256 steps.  That part works brilliantly.

My question is, has anyone tried using an arduino for varying the power of a laser?
What other options (circuits?) might I use? Examples, diagrams, layouts all welcome.


Jay
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2014-01-24, 03:04 | Üzenet/Post # 908
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I've had an Arduino Uno sitting here on my desk for a few months with (good) intentions of setting it up for a laser diode controller, but have not done more than look at it occasionally hoping it would somehow program itself.  Doesn't look like that's going to happen. smile   I am not aware of anyone else presently using an Arduino.

Tweakie is our resident expert on most things electronic, so maybe he will step in with some recommendations.

In the meantime, if you have not done so already, download and read the paper "Laser Diode Setup PDF" from my web site (www.picengrave.com).  It outlines two methods for analog control of laser diodes.  

For a laser diode analog controller itself, I think the FlexMod controller (http://innolasers.com/ebay/laser_diode/FlexModP3.php ) is probably the current popular unit that is readily available and is used by some members here.

John Champlain


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2014-01-24, 11:11 | Üzenet/Post # 909
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Hi Router, welcome to the forum.

I think John's suggestions are the way you should proceed.

My best guess, not knowing exactly the details of your set-up, would be that your existing diode controller is just not up to the task.
How is your digital to analogue conversion being achieved ?

Tweakie.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
 
router Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2014-01-24, 19:35 | Üzenet/Post # 910
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I use the arduino to set up an interrupt that is connected to the step signal coming from Mach3.  Another input is attached to the direction signal.  When the interrupt is triggered, the arduino checks the direction and either adds or subtracts 1 from a counter.  The counter is used to send a 0-255 signal to the PWM attached to the laser driver.  The problem is that I think Mach3 is sending the signals faster than the arduino can respond, though it does seem to be getting a number close to what I expected.
I need to connect a line to the motor control or similar, so I know when the program has stopped, so it can switch off the laser.

BTW: I meant my form ID to be frasej, but my translator for Hungarian to English didn't read correctly.  So I'm stuck with Router wacko


Jay
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Szombat, 2014-01-25, 00:31 | Üzenet/Post # 911
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Jay,
Glad to see you here.  What kind of driver are you using for your laser?  I would have thought that the Arduino would be much faster than Mach3 since some use it to drive stepper motors, but only a guess on my part.  Is it possible your driver may not be fast enough?

BTW, have you updated your copy of PEP from 4.0.1?  It's now on ver. 4.2.5.

John
www.picengrave.com


I paint with a blue light beam.

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by picengraver - Szombat, 2014-01-25, 00:35
 
router Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2014-01-28, 00:29 | Üzenet/Post # 912
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Actually, I'm on 4.2.3, I'll have to pick up the new one.  My driver is this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm....e6f389e
Turns out it is working fine.  The problem, I think, is my wires connecting the arduino to the breakout LPT breakout box, aren't shielded.  So part way through the job, I'll get a spurious signal that throws my power value way off.  I discovered this by having the arduino send back it's current value once ever 100 passes through the code.  Everything will be running along fine, then suddenly I'll get values way above 255.  The only thing I can think of is shielding.  So, it turns out that everything should be fine once I use shielded cables. biggrin   The image, what I was able to print of it, turned out very favorably.  You've got an excellent program in PEP.

Sorry, no picture yet, I was only able to engrave from the neck up to just below the nose on this portrait I'm doing, before the values went wacko.  But I am happy that I've figured it out, maybe.

Hozzáadva (2014-01-28, 00:29)
---------------------------------------------
See the following site for image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jayfrase/12180276666/


Jay

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by router - Kedd, 2014-01-28, 00:33
 
texaspyro Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2014-01-28, 04:54 | Üzenet/Post # 913
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I built a couple of laser diode heads for my desktop mini-mill.  One uses a 3 watt 445 nm multi-mode blue laser.  The other uses a 0.7 watt (driven at 0.5 watts max) 405 nm single-mode near-ultaviolet laser.  Single mode lasers can be focused to a smaller spot than multi-mode lasers.  The kerf from the 405 nm laser looks like it is around 12.5 microns wide!  My main application is cutting solder paste stencils.

Here are some Tweakie Bikes cut from 0.032" bassword (0.063" balsa cuts the same) using the 405 nm laser.  Cutting was at 8"/minute.  Two passes were used to assure that the bits fell out... otherwise residual fibers can cause them to hang and punching them out can break things (particularly in balsa) due to the tiny features.

I converted Tweakies g-code to DXF and then converted the DXF to Mach3 gcode to control my laser.  Laser power is set via the "S" spindle speed word.  Spindle power mcodes control the laser power supply and coolant mcodes control the co-axial assist air (via a small 12V diaphragm pump).  Assist air is needed to get those ultra-fine cuts...  otherwise the material edges seem to keep burning some and the cuts are not as fine.

The features in the DXF for the larger bike are 1mm wide.  After cutting,  the features measured 0.98mm...  works out to a kerf width of 0.0005" !  The laser lens is 4" from the cutting surface.  With a shorter throw,  the spot can probably be focused even finer.  The smaller 1/4 scale Tweakie-bike's features are 250 microns wide.

Hozzáadva (2014-01-28, 04:54)
---------------------------------------------
I did the "Engrave TWEAKIE in a grain of rice" test.   Not having any rice,  I marked a piece of Kapton.  Letters that were 50 microns tall were almost legible if you knew what you were reading.  100 micron tall letters were readable.  I could probably improve things with some proper attention to focusing.  the laser is just focused by (remaining) eye right now.

I did some quick math and it looks like engraving images would take around 3 hours per square inch on my hideously slow mill (20" per minute max feed rate)...  but they would have awesome resolution!

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by texaspyro - Kedd, 2014-01-28, 04:47
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2014-01-28, 08:35 | Üzenet/Post # 914
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Hi Texaspyro, welcome to the forum.

Excellent work my friend - we need to see more, lots more. ok

Tweakie.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2014-01-28, 17:28 | Üzenet/Post # 915
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Group,
Jerry (Honk) has been informed that the MC14516 IC chips used in the Dave's DAC circuit for laser diode analog control are no longer being produced, and will be unavailable when present stocks are depleted.

For the past few months I have been using a different circuit, originally suggested by Dave Gabry, and first tested by Jeff Woodcock, that uses a Maxim digital potentiometer chip.  After seeing the problems Jerry has experienced in getting the original DAC circuit to work for him, I have added a brief addendum describing the Maxim DP circuit as I now use to the laser diode setup PDF paper available for download from my web site.  Experienced electronic hobbyists should be able to assemble this circuit.

Download from: www.picengrave.com/Laser%20Setups.pdf

The Maxim chip is more difficult to solder to a pc board since it is available as a surface mount component only.  Adapters are available from Digikey to convert the chip to a standard 14 pin dip, but still requires delicate soldering to mount the Maxim chip.  I have hesitated to publish this circuit until now because of this issue, and I am truly indebted to Jeff and his son for doing the difficult soldering job for me.

John


I paint with a blue light beam.

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by picengraver - Szerda, 2014-01-29, 17:25
 
Mindstorm88 Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2014-01-28, 18:18 | Üzenet/Post # 916
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Hi Guys, i'm Bruno from Canada,
                                   
        I'm not new at CNC but really newbie at Laser, I'm just about to order  a Nichia NDB7875 445nm and a Flexmod 3p ...

My big question is , What is the maximun expectation should i have for this ??? What i mean is , what is my material limitation for engraving (Etching), metal , alu, Lexan .....

Thanks
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2014-01-28, 20:49 | Üzenet/Post # 917
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Welcome Bruno,
Best way get an answer to your question is to experiment and discover, but short list:
Metals are out - at least I haven't found any suitable.
Wood, paper, cloth, leather, some plastics, and painted surfaces are generally OK.

Surface color will also affect results.  Lighter colors (whites?) are generally more difficult than darker colors.

The clear plastics I tried were disappointing, unless painted, but even then not good.
John


I paint with a blue light beam.

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by picengraver - Kedd, 2014-01-28, 20:49
 
Mindstorm88 Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2014-01-29, 00:37 | Üzenet/Post # 918
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Idézet picengraver ()
Jerry (Honk) has been informed that the MC14516 IC chips used in the Dave's DAC circuit for laser diode analog control are no longer being produced, and will be unavailable when present stocks are depleted.
BTW don't worry for that ic , you can use CD4516BE , these are still produce, and there enough around for few years !!!
 
elektron Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2014-01-29, 02:05 | Üzenet/Post # 919
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Hi, router !

Does your code work correctly or still the problem exists ? If the code is written in asm, can be faster. But maybe the ARDUINO is not enough for the job ? Ihave ARDUINO too, and desire to make my 1W diode laser machine to get complete soon. Can you show the code, maybe rewriting it would be faster.

elektron
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2014-01-29, 07:56 | Üzenet/Post # 920
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Hi Bruno,

Welcome to the forum.

Tweakie.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
 
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