Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)


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Thread: Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

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    Registered rbjem's Avatar
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    Default Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

    Has anybody gotten the engraving plugin to work with this laser? I have tried a few times and could never get it to engrave.

    I have modified the ports and pins to everything that could possibly make sense and made sure to have the laser pin (pin 17) to the digitize output, but to no avail. It acts like it wants to engrave and starts scanning back and forth but the laser does not power on.

    Does anyone have this working on their machine, and possibly have some tips for someone trying to get this thing to work?

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    Registered Tweakie's Avatar
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    Perhaps you are using an earlier version, also the plugin will only work using the parallel port.

    I have written some basic instructions which are here; http://www.cooperman.talktalk.net/Engraving.pdf
    and the latest version of the DLL can be found here; http://www.cooperman.talktalk.net/Engraving.dll

    There is some more info on the plugin in this thread; http://www.machsupport.com/forum/ind...html#msg131346

    Tweakie.

    Last edited by Tweakie; 07-20-2011 at 02:27 AM.
    CNC is only limited by our imagination.


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    Registered rbjem's Avatar
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    Awesome Tweakie, thanks for updating the plugin and the incredible write-up! I have read many a post by you and am inspired by your hard work and continual dedication to the community. Seriously, thank you.

    I played around with my laser (yes it is through the parallel port) for a couple hours this morning and, after reading your reply was quite confident I could get it to work, but no success. Your updated version appears to work the same as the Nov2010, and as far as I can tell, the plugin is functioning correctly; I set it with my dimensions, calculate parameters, cycle start, and it starts scanning back and forth but there is no laser power.


    I have all outputs which by default are using the laser relay pin (Spindle & output 1) disabled, and enabled the Digit Trig output. I then started testing it by changing one thing at a time, then attempting to engrave. I even took your advice and set it to active low (even though the relay it opposite) and hoped I could get it to work using the negative setting, but nothing still.

    Here is my pinout, and a snippit from the fullspectrum website.
    Quote Originally Posted by www.fullspectrumengineering.com
    RELAY: PWM laser power control. If high, laser is on. If low, laser is off. Setup as PWM spindle in Mach3. S1000 for 1000% power. Set S10 for 1% power.
    This leads me to believe that I need the Spindle enabled and have "PWM Control" checked in the Spindle Setup tab but it didnt seem to work.
    Maybe this requires modifying a setting in the plugin files? I am not very savvy with coding, but could probably manage some easy changes if I knew what is it that needs changing.

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)-pinout-jpg  


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    Registered Tweakie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words.

    Just a thought but I have never been able to use PWM laser power control at the same time as the plugin - perhaps Mach struggles to calculate everything at the same time.
    I think manual laser power control (either external PWM or 0-5V analog) is perhaps necessary when using the plugin.

    Tweakie.

    CNC is only limited by our imagination.


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    Default Re: Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

    Hello All,

    I just finished adding a co2 laser to my cnc router running mach 3 and I'd like to try to photo engrave. I've tried the engraving plugin for mach 3 with no luck. After doing a search I found a YouTube video for a "tomtom" mach 3 plugin. Anyone try this? here's the link:



    Anyway, any other SIMPLE ways (programs) that aren't expensive to get the photo engraving job done? Tried DotG... no luck getting that to work either. I can create the image black and white, get the dithering etc. but need a way to create gcode from the image for mach 3 to run with laser.

    Thanks in advance!

    Gordon



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    Registered Tweakie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

    I think you need to spend a little more time reading the DotG documentation (it took me best part of a day’s work to translate that from the Hungarian) because all the information you need to get it working is there. DotG works just fine for me – same with the Mach3 plugin, excellent results.

    Nothing ever stands still and we just continue learning.

    As an update to my earlier post I have now resolved the problems I had with Mach3 PWM laser power control.
    My simple interface gates together two output signals and uses the Mach3 PWM (set between 0 – 100) as the laser power control providing 0 – 100% of the preset laser power setting. Further details of the interface are here ; The Laser Project.
    The Laser Project.
    And a short video of a test run which alternately switches between engrave and cut power levels. http://www.graytel.talktalk.net/Darwin%202.wmv

    Tweakie.

    CNC is only limited by our imagination.


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    Default Re: Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

    Tweakie,

    Thanks for the quick reply... I tried several ways up to this point and was getting frustrated. I'll read up more on DotG and give it another try. Perhaps I need to uninstall and install DotG again? I have to "cntrl alt delete" to close the DotG program down and it discouraged me from advancing with it much further.

    Thanks for all of your inputs and contributions!!!! Your posts have been a wealth of knowledge.



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    Default Re: Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

    Perhaps, as a different approach, you may wish to consider PicEngrave / PicDither software. This is extremely easy to use, works well and is supported by it's own forum. www.PicEngrave.com - Home

    Just a thought.

    Tweakie.

    CNC is only limited by our imagination.


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    Default Re: Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

    Tweakie,

    I went back and re-looked at your info on the engraving plugin and re-downloaded the plugin from your link and basically started the process over. What do you know... It worked! Couldn't of done it without the detailed explanation you provided in the .pdf on the engraving plugin.

    Thank you!!!

    Here's the results of the first testing. Still have to tweak things but it's it's progress





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    Default Re: Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

    Excellent.

    Tweakie.

    CNC is only limited by our imagination.


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    Default Re: Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

    thanks for the documentation , attached are photos of engravings with diy cnc laser, 2.5 watt diode laser, Mach3 ----> horse 7x6" on 1/8" mica board Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)-horse-laser-jpg , durham 8x5" on darker mica board Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)-durham-jpg , 4x3" humming bird , raster engrave with 2nds pass using gcode line art overlayed on raster scan ---> Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)-humming-jpg , 3x3" Tiger Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)-tony-tiger-jpg



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    Default Re: Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

    Really excellent work, my congrats.

    Tweakie.

    CNC is only limited by our imagination.


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Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)

Help with engraving in Mach3 (impact/engraver plugin)