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Author Topic: 3D laser engraving  (Read 5499 times)
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danmauch
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« on: June 23, 2015, 10:02:29 AM »

 I have two laser engravers/cutters that have stepper motors on the platform/z axis. I have been wondering why there is no software available to control the up/down while engraving in the XY coordinat es? All the laser software I see is for two axis with the Z being set to the focus point and then left there. I have a friend that has been making wooden jewelry boxes with a domed top. He has been machining the dome using a 5 axis DIY machine. But he want to use a laser to do some of the intricate engraving where tools bits would be to big. It would seem to me that mach3 could be used to control the three axis and laser using G code. So my real question is why hasn't this been done before?

 On another subject I recently purchased a raspberry pi 2 that has a quad core and is rated at 1 Ghz but is actually around 920mHz. What caught my attention is that MS has released a win10 OS for the Raspberry pi2 and for some other small Micro controlle rs. I have thought that if win10 can run mach3 then using a USB interface like the UC100 or an Ethernet SS then a small standalon e PC would be nice to replace some big shop pc's. Any comments?


Dan mauch
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DanL
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 09:23:32 PM »

it can be done if M3 will work with win 10, then pi plus screen plus key board or touch screen plus motion devices. it has been done with a different single board computer it was post on the M3 forum sometime ago the person said it worked well.

it is a good idea it would be good if M4 could work with a single board computer plus touch screen and motion devices
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ArtF
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2015, 06:19:38 AM »

Hi Dan(s)

   Well, I wasnt going to mention it, but Im working on a new module called "LaserGear". This module is a cnc motion control
module. It is beign designed specifica lly for lasers and impact engravers to do a couple things not possible in any other
program, firstly control power during motion, and secondly have a focus axis so a laser can do topologic al work.

   This is all because I am now in Win7, not XP, I can no longer use my printer port driver, and I have no access to plugins
for other devices in M3 or 4. To sync output like power and focus one needs to do it in the motion plugin.. so, since I no
loner can do it in Darwin, Gearotic will soon ( hopefully) have a cnc module of its own that can do these things.
   
   To do this I had to pick hardware. . I dont like to play favorites, but I have settled on the PoKeys57c nc. Its usb, ethernet, and has
a c api for programmi ng. Also the programme rs at Pokeys are working with me to add the sync capabilit es I need as I go. This module
will be my sandbox for cnc, allowing me to develop future plugins for mach4 in various areas as well. More important ly I'm hoping it
will set a protocol standard for Lasers in CNC, and perhaps be usefull as a 3d printing motor control module.

    This work is in progress, but I cannot yet announce a release date. But in the end, my laser will be driven by Gearotic directly
via ethernet, or USB. Its the only way I can get the power I need. My Arduino project worked well for me, but now, since a
Pokeys can do PWM, it will not be required. All that will be needed is a Pokeys 57 and Gearotic.

  Ill post video's as I get close as always.

Art
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danmauch
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2015, 03:52:21 PM »

 Two in 5 voices is my head  Wink asked " will be ready tomorrow?"  I argued against them but lost!
My other voices simply say keep us informed. It exciting.

Dan Mauch
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DanL
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2015, 06:32:06 PM »

did you have to go with that one O well just have to use the arduino. looks like I wont be able to plug my G540 into it I new you would be changing I was hopeing a ESS or PDMX

time to start save then
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ArtF
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2015, 08:02:37 PM »

Dan:

    The decision to use the PoKeys wasnt a hard on in this case for a couple reasons,
first, it has a motion engine, Arduino's , though handy, are not fast enough for
what I need to do. Secondly, it has a C library for programer s, it is unique in that,
Thirdly, it has a built in utility for PLC operation s with a well designed graphic program
where you just drop and place AND, OR gates and such and download programs into it. This
capabilit y runs in parallel with whatever software may be controlli ng it. This is like
having Brains built in from Mach3.

   Its top speed of 125khz for the Pokeys57c nc makes it twice as fast as my printer port.

  The PMDX and ESS are great boards, I like them both, but they are not at a point in
their developme nt where I can as easily attach to them. ( I am designing this so that other
baords "could" be used in future if the protocols do get taken up.), but for design and testing,
Im using 4 different Pokeys, the Pokeys 56u and 56e should work for 3 axis motion and digital bit output
during motion, while the 57U and 57E woudl work for 3 axis with variable on the fly PWM manipulat ions
(thus allowing power manipulat ion during motion. ) the 57CNC is both usb and ethernet and should work with 8 axis.
 
   I dont recommend anyone getting a device specifica lly for this as of yet, Im in the middle of the
screen designer ( the old chicken and egg problem ) , and it will be awhile before I report full motion
,at this point the program only displays test screen controls and attaches to all Pokeys in a system.
Id also point out, this will not be a full implement ation of the GCode side of a controlle r, it is being
written specifica lly for Lasers and engravers, specifica lly because I have a laser and it NEEDS a solution
to handle the exact things Dan was asking about. Focus and Power during motion. Smiley

  The good thing I suppose is that anyone with a pokeys can use Mach3 , Mach4 AND gearotics controlle r when
it is done. What works well in Gearotic will likely end up in Mach at some point. Ive done quite a bit
of coding over time that has never been used or was just research. ( 3d from webcam was 4 years in
my projects folders for example). I have a 6 axis, 6th order Quintic planner I almost completed and was tested in
Quantum, I intend to use that for motion which means Ill have to finish its pause function. The Screen is a design
idea from the days of Mach2 ( which probably few remember. ), mixed with things Im learning this summer from GDI+
graphics.

   Anyway, thats the plan, I woudlnt rush to get ready, this is very experimen tal, as most of my summer projects
are. This is a standalon e program which will be callable only from the Gearotic Tools screen as a module.
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DanL
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2015, 10:28:54 PM »

its all cool art the hope for ESS is that I will have to add a laser to my dad`s machine when I have it working on the emco and it does a good job I will just have to get my arise into gear to get the electric wheel chair addon`s finished to pay for what will be needed in a year or what ever.

it`s all good I will just make do to my xp computer blows up and do the change over then I will have to get gearotic any way for the scanner, gray scale, and laser when done.

if I can use one of the other podkey board`s it would be good in the long run what ever you say is good I will go with that

thanks for all your cool stuff you do art
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DanL
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2015, 11:38:39 PM »

Hay art I would be keen to have a play with the screen set it looks quite good
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ArtF
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2015, 06:59:00 AM »

Hi Dan ( et al.)

  Here is a link to the screen designer shoudl anyone like to play with it.

http://www.gearotic.com/linkcnt/click.php?id=7

Art
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 07:02:49 AM by ArtF » Logged
danmauch
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2015, 09:41:38 AM »

 It's been a couple months since you started this thread on 3D laser engraving and was wondering if you will have it done before you put on your gearotic hat and return to that.
Dan Mauch

Dan:

    The decision to use the PoKeys wasnt a hard on in this case for a couple reasons,
first, it has a motion engine, Arduino's , though handy, are not fast enough for
what I need to do. Secondly, it has a C library for programer s, it is unique in that,
Thirdly, it has a built in utility for PLC operation s with a well designed graphic program
where you just drop and place AND, OR gates and such and download programs into it. This
capabilit y runs in parallel with whatever software may be controlli ng it. This is like
having Brains built in from Mach3.

   Its top speed of 125khz for the Pokeys57c nc makes it twice as fast as my printer port.

  The PMDX and ESS are great boards, I like them both, but they are not at a point in
their developme nt where I can as easily attach to them. ( I am designing this so that other
baords "could" be used in future if the protocols do get taken up.), but for design and testing,
Im using 4 different Pokeys, the Pokeys 56u and 56e should work for 3 axis motion and digital bit output
during motion, while the 57U and 57E woudl work for 3 axis with variable on the fly PWM manipulat ions
(thus allowing power manipulat ion during motion. ) the 57CNC is both usb and ethernet and should work with 8 axis.
 
   I dont recommend anyone getting a device specifica lly for this as of yet, Im in the middle of the
screen designer ( the old chicken and egg problem ) , and it will be awhile before I report full motion
,at this point the program only displays test screen controls and attaches to all Pokeys in a system.
Id also point out, this will not be a full implement ation of the GCode side of a controlle r, it is being
written specifica lly for Lasers and engravers, specifica lly because I have a laser and it NEEDS a solution
to handle the exact things Dan was asking about. Focus and Power during motion. Smiley

  The good thing I suppose is that anyone with a pokeys can use Mach3 , Mach4 AND gearotics controlle r when
it is done. What works well in Gearotic will likely end up in Mach at some point. Ive done quite a bit
of coding over time that has never been used or was just research. ( 3d from webcam was 4 years in
my projects folders for example). I have a 6 axis, 6th order Quintic planner I almost completed and was tested in
Quantum, I intend to use that for motion which means Ill have to finish its pause function. The Screen is a design
idea from the days of Mach2 ( which probably few remember. ), mixed with things Im learning this summer from GDI+
graphics.

   Anyway, thats the plan, I woudlnt rush to get ready, this is very experimen tal, as most of my summer projects
are. This is a standalon e program which will be callable only from the Gearotic Tools screen as a module.
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ArtF
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2015, 10:15:00 AM »

Hi Dan:

   I doubt it will be "finished" per say, but Ill be releasing it as a GCode editor and wizarding program as Gearotic starts developme nt again. It will likely be  a
dual pipeline from that point as Ill work on both as I see fit.  As I go, Im seeing where it really could be quite useful for gearotic and may allow me to put out modules
that use Auggie as well as G2 to make a particula r widget or process easier. Fourth axis work comes to mind, or engraving outputs.. .

    As you can imagine, making a full control program is pretty complex ( I think Mach4 is into its 5th year), so it will take awhile to get to completio n,  but I expect non-motion control releases of Auggie this fall, with Motion slowly being turned on as the year progresse s from simple to complex. Im finishing the interpret er at this point
and soon will have Gcode and toolpath simulatio n. By the fall I should have a few good screens to release as general utilities, what I'm finding is that Auggie
may make it possible for me to simply release screenset s that add functiona lity in all segments of Gearotic. . if so it will have paid for its investmen t in time
this summer. So unlike most motion control programs where its useless to run it without motion, Im trying to make Auggie useful in various ways as it builds
to full control. Im in a lull where I cant show much as Im deep into the main code to tie together many aspects of the programs internals . Once I have toolpath,
3d simulatio n and Gcode properly interpret ed and displayin g the way I have always wanted personall y to see them, Ill start releasing video's explainin g my rather
different way of looking at the issues involved. . hopefully anyway, Im having enough fun with it that I can see it going pretty far, and I look forward to a time
where others can more easily add parts to its whole, who knows ,that may change its direction even further. Smiley

   Im renovatin g my laser as well to have a table that moves up and down to control focus on the fly, so Ill want motion myself this winter, if that helps give you
an idea of when motion is likely. As you probably know Im always very careful about timelines, I dont like being accused of vapourwar e promises, (which has never
really happened but I credit that to being very careful about what I promise. Smiley  ). So in that vein I wont promise completio n times, but I will be attemptin g
to have my laser running up and down by XMas or so..

Art


Art


Art
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danmauch
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2015, 04:16:58 PM »

 If you can get it to work on 3D topograph ical objects i think you will make a million. I have a friend that makes jewelry boxes on his 5 axis homemade machine and he is intereste d in laser engraving on various domes and other shaped objects. When i looked into 3D laser engraving I could only come up with one company that makes them and they want a ton of money. There are a lot of machines out there that have the stepper motors on the platforms so anyone that comes up with a way to vary the focal length relative to the toolpath would be intereste d in such a product
Dan
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ArtF
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2015, 05:47:02 PM »

Dan:

   I think the ability to change focus to take advantage of smaller and larger beam diameter would be handy too, by calibrati ng diam vs speed one should be able to use the beam as a variable width brush to engrave with... or 3d scintter print with.. just  thoughts Ive had on the subject of variable focus..

Art
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