Biting off more than I can chew.

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Geoffrey Benton
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Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:53 am

Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Geoffrey Benton » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:53 am

I have a Darkly Labs Emblazer 1 with the 3 watt laser ( 4watt on the way) I have an idea, probably not new. I would like to engrave a photo onto a piece of wood and then engrave the same photo onto a piece of three ply at the same size then cut out the main subject in the picture so that I can raise it a little on the first engraving.
First up, I know nothing. I haven't even purchased the PEP5 software yet because I don't know if I can achieve my end result with it.
How do I engineer a gcode that will engrave as a picture and then engineer a gcode that will do the cut out, both being exactly the same size.
Also, if I was to purchase the software, what would be a basic start point with settings for a GRBL PWN type laser?
Thanks,

GB

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Picengravertoo
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Re: Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Picengravertoo » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:24 am

Hi Geoffrey,

You would have to open your image in an editor and trace the outline of what your want to engrave and make everything else on the outside of it pure white. PicEngrave has a Skip White feature so it will ignore engraving the outer white area. It's possible to do what you want, but it's all in the image editing to be successful.

The EmBlaser comes with Cut2D Laser, so there must be a way to trace the outline of your image to generate a gcode file to cut it out.

There are some recommended starting place settings for the 3W EB & PicEngrave here: http://forum.darklylabs.com/index.php?p ... -engraving

Jeff

Geoffrey Benton
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Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:53 am

Re: Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Geoffrey Benton » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:39 pm

I think I can achieve this project, but not with skip white as most of the subjects I have in mind have a bit of white in them. But thanks heaps for that piece of info.
My first attempt was a fail. I set the engraving profile to Analog/pwm as suggested by the info I got from the settings picture at Darklylabs forum, plus everything thing else I could see.
Nada. The laser just slowly diddled across the material and left not a trace behind. I tried again and changed the laser to GRBL PWM for the helluvit and from a tidbit I gleaned from Darlylabs support. That worked however the end picture size shrunk. The picture file data shown on the bottom left of the screen was 142.49 w x 121.92 h but ended up being engraved at 84.87 w x 73.13 h. Ah, I see there that it does give the engraved image size. However, I dunno how that happened or how I can get an image to start out at the size I want and end up at the same size.
Any information about that would help in my onward quest. Also, the picture is nowhere near as sharp as I see elsewhere. Will making it bigger make it sharper, or how can I improve the sharpness of the engraved image?
Thanks.

GB

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Re: Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Picengravertoo » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:34 pm

Either I'm not understanding what your trying to do, or your misunderstanding what I'm trying to explain how to do it.

The outer white areas in the image is not going to burn with the laser anyway, so why would you want it to travel in that area and take longer to finish?

GRBL PWM will generate the exact same gcode as Analog/PWM will if the settings are the same. The reason I suggested using the Analog/PWM profile because it has more features then GRBL PWM has including the Feed Rate Change. The FRC will add a varible feedrate to each line of gcode to slow in higher laser power darker shade areas and it speeds up the lower laser power lighter shade areas. Those settings on the forum such as the feedrate, Min 3rd Axis Depth and the Feed Rate Change percentage may need adjusted for the type of wood your engraving on. As I stated, there recommended starting place settings.

You only have PicLaser Lite which does not have the image editor like PicEngrave has. The Pixel Resolution setting is for the axis step over in the gcode so the laser's burn lines lay down next to each other without any gaps between them or overlapping. If you use any other Pixel Resolution setting than .254mm, you will have to resize your image to compensate for it, or it will not engrave the size you expect.

The PicEngrave image editor has an Auto selection that you input the Pixel Resolution value, then you adjust the Pixel Width or Height for resizing.

Geoffrey Benton
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Re: Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Geoffrey Benton » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:00 am

Thank you for the reply. I do have the try before you buy version of PEP5. I entered the same numbers into Analogue/PWM as I did in GRBL PWM so don't understand why it didn't work first try. Both times said there was a line three error which I also don't understand.
What I am trying to do is to engrave two pieces of wood with the same image. One piece to be something a bit artistic like wood worm riddled with bark edges or something like that. The other, a piece of three ply. I would then cut the actual subject out of the image engraved in the three ply and attach it in a slightly raised position above the image engraved in the artsy bit of wood., having isolated it by doing a trace path in Inkscape and cleaning the outline up in Vectric cut 2D.
So, I don't really need the cut out the white option as I have the patience to wait til both bits are engraved, and one of the features of the first subject I have chosen is white. A tuft of white hair on a dog's chest.
My problem is to have the NC code generated by Cut2D to cut an image the exact same size as the txt code generated by PEP5 for engraving. Oh, and I need to measure both images in mm (or inches) not pixels as pixels change and mm don't.
Of course my other problem is learning the complexities of engraving in the first place.
Cheers and much thanks for coaching me.

GB

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Re: Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Picengravertoo » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:17 am

What is the error your getting? Can you take a snapshot of it and post it here and the first 10 or so lines of gcode where the error appears?

I assume your using PicSender to stream the gcode and if so, are you using the latest version 2.7.6? Make sure you select the Vector Gcode when running the Cut2D gcode files and Un-select it when running raster gcode files as what our programs generate.

If the actual width & height size of your image is the same regardless of the pixel width & height after resizing using the Pixel Resolution value in the PEP5 editor, they will scale the same as when you use Cut2D to cut it out. Use the original image before resizing it the editor to generate the gcode with Cut2D to cutout your image, not the one to raster laser engrave the image with PEP5. Save the image file as a different name after resizing it in the PEP5 editor so you have two separate image files.

PEP5 will only skip pure white like in a Dithered 1bit image, not any slightly darker shades of white.

Geoffrey Benton
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Re: Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Geoffrey Benton » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:40 pm

I can take a screenshot but don't know how to post it on this forum.
I have updated now to 2.7.6. Thanks for the tip.
Where is the opportunity to select the Vector Gcode? Is it in PEP5 or Picsender? I couldn't find it so far.
Have solved the size problem by manipulating the original until the engraved size is close to what I want and then changing cut file to the same size in Cut2D.
Now have to decide whether to buy the program or not. I have no doubts as to its value, just a personal decision on following this new creative path.
I ran the program again with a bigger image and with the laser running at 45 degrees with astonishing results. The image is a lot better than attempt one.
Will run it again on some three ply and attempt to cut it out. Will let you know with pics if I can.

Cheers and many thanks.

GB

Geoffrey Benton
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Re: Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Geoffrey Benton » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:06 pm

It won't run at all now. Says, "Error: Expected Command Letter". Then under that it says "Line spacing 0.1524 mm"
Here are the first few lines of text
( PicEngrave Pro 5 - for MS Windows AU Version )
( Date/Time: 07-11-2017 at 14:20:20 )
( Image File: Dog 1 at Dargo (1280x1096) )
( Image size in mm: 195.072w x 167.0304h )
( Pixel Resolution: 0.1524 mm )
( Line Spacing: 0.1524 mm )
( Max. Cut Depth: 255.0000 mm )
( Min. Cut Depth: 10.0000 mm )
( 3rd Axis Safe Position: 0 mm )
( Start Position: image bottom left )

The only thing I have done that is different is to update pic sender.

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Re: Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Picengravertoo » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:31 pm

If you select the Full Editor & Preview below where your typing in a response here, it will give you the option to add attachments. Select Attachments, then Add Files.

I need to look at the first 10 or so lines of gcode commands itself. You pasted the comments from the gcode file. The Vector Gcode selection is below the Yellow Do Cmd. button in PicSender.

Geoffrey Benton
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Re: Biting off more than I can chew.

Postby Geoffrey Benton » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:51 am

Here ya go. Hope the image is big enough to see. Had to resize it to get it to load.
Thanks for your patience.
Attachments
Screenshot picsender.jpg
Screenshot picsender.jpg (151.79 KiB) Viewed 8124 times


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