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Fórum » Only in English » Technologies » PicDither - PicEngrave - PicLaser. (Anything relating to these softwares can be discussed here.)
PicDither - PicEngrave - PicLaser.
tweakie Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2013-06-23, 06:44 | Üzenet/Post # 1
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Anything relating to - PicDither - PicEngrave - PicLaser etc.
 
JJWMACHINECO Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2013-06-23, 10:17 | Üzenet/Post # 2
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Thanks Tweakie. I guess I will be first to start this. 

I learned something new recently when using PicEngrave Pro + Laser. I thought I could improve the detail of my analog laser diode engravings by increasing the DPI to 400 before bringing them into the editing program to adjust gamma, resize and sharpen. The image would look good on the screen, but what I'm finding out is the when I sharpened them, the smaller pixels did show up as being to sharp. When it's saved, it reduces to the image back to 100 DPI. I would bring that edited image into the main gcode generating program and it would still look good on the screen, but when the gcode was generated, it seemed to pixelize the subtle shade changes in areas to much as you can see in these pictures, especially in the facial areas. They started to looked like a dithered image TTL engraving does instead of analog.





I kept thinking that it was because I was engraving on the backs of the Birch Ply and the wood is not as good a quality and causing this, but it appears I may be wrong. 

I have not been happy with my analog engraving results lately, so John, can you give any insight if this is what is actually happening?

Thanks. Jeff

Csatolások/Attachments: 2465989.jpg(122Kb) · 7490906.jpg(116Kb)


Extensivly Re-worked/Re-designed/Modified Servo K2CNC KG-3925 and the Mini Laser Engraver
 
Pabló Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2013-06-23, 11:07 | Üzenet/Post # 3
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JJWMACHINECO

lenses were watching to do this dirty?
phenomenon is caused by something in me




Pabló


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JJWMACHINECO Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2013-06-23, 11:44 | Üzenet/Post # 4
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Pablo,

I have a new lens on my laser. When my lens gets dirty, I loose power and this is not what I'm seeing is happening.

Jeff


Extensivly Re-worked/Re-designed/Modified Servo K2CNC KG-3925 and the Mini Laser Engraver
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2013-06-23, 19:56 | Üzenet/Post # 5
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Thank you Tweakie, for this thread.  I appreciate it very much.

Jeff,
It's possible that something else was accidentally changed in the source code when I set it to ignore the white background.  I just got back in my home this afternoon after being away while it was being tent fumigated for dry wood termites, so I'll spend some time checking into this.  What version did you use for the two images above, which, by the way, look pretty good to me.  smile

A monitor screen can only display at 96 DPI.  Perhaps increasing to 400 DPI then sharpening may be having some effect on image quality, too.  I'm not sure, so I will do some testing to see what might be happening.

If you can, please do the same image with the new version and an older version.

Thanks,
John


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
JJWMACHINECO Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2013-06-23, 20:32 | Üzenet/Post # 6
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John,

I'm one step ahead of you.

This is what I figured out. I just have to learn not to sharpen the images not as much as I have in the past with your new version. I cut out the background of the original image again, but left it at 96dpi. I adjusted gamma the same and sharpened it to 20 as I have before. The image looked just like it did before on the screen when I changed it to 400dpi. I generated the code in version 4.2.1 at the same settings as before and it came out better this time, but still had some of the same issues. That is the first engraving I posted.

I took the same edited image and generated the code in beta version 133, which does not ignore white areas and it came out like it should, which is the second engraving.

John, there is not a problem with your new version, I just have a new learning curve on how much to sharpen the image now. I will try another one with the background removed, but with allot less sharpening this time and see what happens.

Good idea Tweakie for starting this thread. Others can now learn from each others screwups when using PEP4PL. haha

John, did you leave your new LD build in your house so fumigation would kill all the bugs in it too?  laugh

Jeff



Csatolások/Attachments: 9592167.jpg(109Kb) · 9712544.jpg(112Kb)


Extensivly Re-worked/Re-designed/Modified Servo K2CNC KG-3925 and the Mini Laser Engraver

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by JJWMACHINECO - Vasárnap, 2013-06-23, 21:25
 
Pabló Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2013-06-23, 21:33 | Üzenet/Post # 7
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JJWMACHINECO

this is good Jeff! up
You do not ever give up! biggrin
the only way one can learn


Pablo83.weebly.com
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2013-06-23, 23:02 | Üzenet/Post # 8
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Thanks very much Jeff for the testing.  I'm happy the coding is OK.  I wish there was a way to determine how an image will turn out (a preview) before burning, but I can't think of any way to do that with programming, at least not with my abilities, that is.

This week I should start to get things back to normal here (whatever that is) and get back to my new build.  I had DTR wire the new diode with 24 inch lead wires and connect them to the driver so I won't have to do any soldering myself, which is one less thing to worry about.  I'm pretty gun shy now after losing two diodes in a row.

As I wrote you earlier, I think the two diodes failed from using a single switching type power supply for both the diode driver and the cnc controller.  I don't know of any other thing that I did differently with the new build from my older machine, which uses separate power supplies.  I will now use an old computer power supply for the diode, like on my other machine.  

John


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
JJWMACHINECO Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2013-06-24, 21:35 | Üzenet/Post # 9
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Here is the results using version 4.2.1 and I only sharpening to 10 this time instead of 20. Background was cut out and white ignored. I noticed I'm loosing some of the sharpness that I am used to, but the issues I was having is going away. Need to do more experimenting with settings to find a happy medium.

John, when you get your build up and running, do some testing on this yourself also.

Jeff

Csatolások/Attachments: 7992118.jpg(112Kb)


Extensivly Re-worked/Re-designed/Modified Servo K2CNC KG-3925 and the Mini Laser Engraver
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2013-06-26, 21:02 | Üzenet/Post # 10
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Idézet (JJWMACHINECO)
John, when you get your build up and running, do some testing on this yourself also.
Jeff,
There is a problem in the gcode produced with PEP v4.2.1.  It has to be causing the problem you are seeing.  I just found it and working on a fix.  It only shows up in the left to right moves of horizontal axis moves as far as I can tell now.  It is not your wood or image editing.
John facepalm

Uh, this is not a mistake I tried to make. smile

LATE EDIT:  V4.2.1 was not the cause of the problem I found.  It was a later development version that has not been distributed. 
Red Faced John wink


I paint with a blue light beam.

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by picengraver - Szerda, 2013-06-26, 22:18
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Csütörtök, 2013-06-27, 15:38 | Üzenet/Post # 11
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This is the first image from my new machine after getting it more closely tuned in.  I used PEP v4.2.1.  Sharpened to 5, and set gamma to 1.2.  Engraved at .008 pixel resolution.  Took 49 minutes.  Size is 5.5 x 4.9 inches / 140 x 125 mm.
John

Csatolások/Attachments: 0107273.jpg(165Kb)


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Csütörtök, 2013-06-27, 15:44 | Üzenet/Post # 12
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Hey, that's excellent John. respect

Tweakie.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Csütörtök, 2013-06-27, 16:17 | Üzenet/Post # 13
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Thanks Tweakie,
I guess my over-budget  sad build is finally turning out to be OK. smile   I have to admit it had me worried for a while.

John


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
Pabló Dátum/Date: Csütörtök, 2013-06-27, 17:26 | Üzenet/Post # 14
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picengraver

this is excellent John! up

Pabló


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JJWMACHINECO Dátum/Date: Csütörtök, 2013-06-27, 19:59 | Üzenet/Post # 15
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Looks like you have you setup dialed in real good John.

With the little of sharpening you used, the power of your diode must have made up for it because the image looks crisp and sharp.

I found piece of Birch Ply I did not use before because it had a dent in it, so I did another test on it. Gamma at 1.2 and sharpened it to 20 again with background removed using 4.2.1 with .007" pixel resolution and 50IPM feedrate. It did allot better this time then before, so the back of the Ply must have been my issue after all.

Jeff

Csatolások/Attachments: 8298732.jpg(117Kb)


Extensivly Re-worked/Re-designed/Modified Servo K2CNC KG-3925 and the Mini Laser Engraver

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by JJWMACHINECO - Csütörtök, 2013-06-27, 20:02
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Csütörtök, 2013-06-27, 22:42 | Üzenet/Post # 16
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Thanks Jeff.

I'm running comparison test as we discussed, and I will post my results later.  So far I see no differences between older and newer versions either.  Unfortunately, I had to change wood type, so my first two comparisons, while identical, are too dark.  I'm running the same files again at 60 ipm, up from 50 to see how much they lighten.  Too bad we can't just combine the simplicity and ease of use of a laser diode with the speed of a CO2 laser.  laugh

John


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2013-06-28, 02:51 | Üzenet/Post # 17
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Today's PEP version comparison test.  All engraved on the same piece of cheap plywood of unknown wood type.  Image sharpened to 20 - no other editing.  Same gcode files used for all same version images.  Version 133 does not skip white background; version 421 does.  All images engraved at 5.5 x 4.9 inches.

Tomorrow I will try to restock with some better plywood.
 
John







Csatolások/Attachments: 5128933.jpg(197Kb) · 7539549.jpg(200Kb) · 5119268.jpg(201Kb) · 2348706.jpg(140Kb)


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
JJWMACHINECO Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2013-06-28, 12:01 | Üzenet/Post # 18
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Ok John,

Now I'm really confoosed. unsure  Looking at your first examples, I see the issue that I was talking about in the 4.2.1 but not in the 133 running @ 50IPM. Your laser diode has more wattage then mine, so they did come out darker at the same feedrate as me.

It looks like it improved with 4.2.1 the faster you ran until 100IPM then the issue reappeared. Is that what your opinion is on this test?

Thanks. Jeff


Extensivly Re-worked/Re-designed/Modified Servo K2CNC KG-3925 and the Mini Laser Engraver
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Péntek, 2013-06-28, 14:21 | Üzenet/Post # 19
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Hi Jeff,
My presentation was not the best, so I apologize for adding to your 'confooseun'. confused   Actually, these images don't look as good as the actual wood images because of lighting, camera used (my iPad), and editing for size reduction.  Perhaps scanning and posting at full size would have given a better visual representation.

My strong opinion is that it has to be a wood type issue.  I have been seeing the same effects now with my small machine for a long time.  The same image engraved with the same file and settings is substantially different with wood changes.  It appears to me that some woods vary so much in grain density across the surface that it is impossible to get the same shade at different places on the wood with no changes in the laser operation.  I will try today to get some wood from several different sources and run the same file on each with no setting changes.   I think this will be a better, more accurate, test.   An extreme example would be engraving on birch ply and red oak, which I have tried in the past, but not with any thought of doing a controlled comparison test.

I am completely satisfied that the code in the two versions is the same, outside of the fact that v133 includes the white background and v421 does not.  So the only thing left is the wood.

I expected the 100ipm example to be not too good, but I was just testing the limits of my new machine.  I have not yet really optimized Mach3's velocity and acceleration settings, and my laser was running at 1.8 amps, so i was surprised a little that the result wasn't worse than it was.  I will up the current to 2 amps and try again to see if 100ipm improves.

Sharpening does darken pixels and make them burn darker (obviously), and I think that a sharpening value will also need to be selected not only on image subject as you have discovered, but also for the wood type used.  I'm still trying to verify this theory.

Another thought I have is that I know that image size has a large influence on final results.  So another test I want to try is engraving the same image  on the same wood with at least a 2 to 1 size difference (or any other ratio) to see the differences.  I plan to do this with one file engraving both images side by side for better control of all variables.

Now that I have a better machine, a lot of testing will be possible that I could not do before.

I think that we also need to select a standardized test image to help us learn how various things affect our engravings.   Perhaps a gray scale color patch.  I think that it should not be a jpeg image so the colors are not affected by compression artifacts, which may skew the results.  Do you have a suggestion or image preference?

John

EDIT: I also want to comment on the 100ipm image a little more.  The light streak through the hand area is, in my opinion, an example of what I see as the wood density/burning issue I'm trying to describe above.


I paint with a blue light beam.

Az üzenetet módosította/Modified by picengraver - Péntek, 2013-06-28, 14:25
 
Honk Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2013-07-16, 00:51 | Üzenet/Post # 20
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John
I have my RAM in and I am up and going again. Just trying to get all the settings we talked about before. I must have something not quite right though. I have the relay in and working, M03 and M05 work just like it's suppose to. My problem is C-0.0001 will turn on the laser but C0.0000 will not turn it off. It seems to be all dark where the dithered areas are but it leaves light lines where the white (background) is. and where it is in a rapid move it will leave light lines. I can see why it is like this, When it is in a rapid move it just doesn't burn as deep. What do you think I haven't set right in Mach3 that C0.0000 will not turn off my laser? I am beginning to think I am in the wrong line of work. A brain surgeon would be less demanding.
Jerry  
 
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