Can the Z axis be used in place of the A axis as mentioned above? In my setup I have 2 motors on the Y axis one is driven by the A axis slaved to the Y. So my Z stepper motor is disabled at the moment.
Yes, the Z axis can be used, but wouldn't you want to use the Z axis for setting the laser's focal height from your material? I would set the B or C axis as the Y axis slave and use the A axis for the laser. Just a thought.
The focal distance is critical to maintain, so setting Z at a consistent precise distance every time sure helps. However, you could make a wooden gauge block and focus your laser based on that height (3"?). Then you set the gauge block down on your material and then move the Z down to it so that distance is consistent every time. Whatever works best for you and your setup.
so I just did another image test and the result leads to yet another set up question. If A was connected to a motor there is a MACH 3 check box some place for motor direction. Reason I ask is the latest test was a negative image. black parts are white and white parts are black. So changing motor direction would in effect reverse the signal so dark will be dark and so on? ****** Just got off the phone with Jay at J Tech, anyhow it was solved. Changed the output direction in MACH3 and reset my jog keys. Am burning a new image now.
You have to change the Dir LowActive for the A axis in Ports & Pins, Motor Outputs. If it's checked, uncheck it. If it's unchecked, check it. This will effect the jogging directions too, so you need to change the A axis jogging keyboard shortcuts again.
There is not allot of shades/contrast in the original image, so the results may not be as desirable. If you want to engrave B&W, use the Atkinson Dithering Algorithm. It's adjustable. Anyway, your on the right path.