Is this software or machine issue? Lithophane woes.


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Thread: Is this software or machine issue? Lithophane woes.

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    Registered Lithophantastic's Avatar
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    Default Is this software or machine issue? Lithophane woes.

    Hi, I'm planning to purchase a new Rockler Shark CNC machine. I currently use larger kit built machine with photoVCarve and Mach 3 for processing. The Rockler machine uses PhotoVCarve and it's own processor. Before purchasing the machine, I asked the shop owner to run a lithophane on the Rockler Shark displayed in his shop. I provided the new bit and the processed gcode on a thumb drive. The estimated carve time was 6 to 7 hours for a 16" X 20" lithophane.
    Imagine my surprise when I get a call from the shop owner and he tells me it took 16 hours. Plus, there is a 1/4" raised line running straight through the left side of the acrylic. He saw it and strongly believes it is not a problem with the machine. He guesses it is the software. I'm not sure if that means PhotoVCarve software or the Rockler processing interface.
    This shop owner has an excellent reputation and I trust him.
    I've seen this raised line problem before with my current machine and set up. Although, it's usually in the form of a skip of a single line. Drives me crazy because it ruins the whole piece.
    What do you think?
    First, why did it run so long?
    Second, is this a machine error?
    90% of our machine time is for carving lithophanes.
    Thanks!

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is this software or machine issue? Lithophane woes.-vectric-fencers-jpg  
    My work is at [URL="www.lithophantastic.com"]http://www.Evergraphs.com[/URL]


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    Registered Lithophantastic's Avatar
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    A 6 to 7 hour run time is reasonable to us because it currently takes us 2 hours or so to run an 8" X 10" lithophane with Keling stepper motors.
    Also, I have no idea how the word "lithophane" became an ebay link in my original post.

    My work is at [URL="www.lithophantastic.com"]http://www.Evergraphs.com[/URL]


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    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    My guess would be a mechanical issue, like a coupler slipping ever so slightly, than slipping back into position a bit later.

    Gerry

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    Registered Lithophantastic's Avatar
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    Thanks, Gerry. I get the opportunity to meet with one of the Rockler people tomorrow.
    I appreciate the unbiased feedback from the CNC zone community.

    My work is at [URL="www.lithophantastic.com"]http://www.Evergraphs.com[/URL]


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    Gold Member lovebugjunkie's Avatar
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    Been using VcarvePro/PhotoVcarve for 5-6 years, maybe longer, I'm old and forget.

    I agree it is some problem with the machine/hardware controller and not PhotoVcarve.

    In PhotoVcarve if you see it in the simulation you will see it in the work, if you do not see it in the simulation but see it in the work, looking at the machine or its controller.

    Also might want to ask on the Vectric site, a number of people there are using the Shark.

    Also I seem to remember people were having problems with a PostProcessor that would run correctly on the Shark, I may be wrong, I did not pay that much attention as I do not have a Shark.



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    Registered Lithophantastic's Avatar
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    Default I bought it.

    Thanks for the feedback. We went ahead and bought the Shark. It's not especially fast and information from photo Vcarve computes differently. For example, a 12% step on the Shark (processed with the Shark controller) produces a different result compared to a 12% step on our kit built machine (processed with Mach 3).
    I would have thought it would be uniform but it is definitely not. I guess there's always an experimentation process with settings?
    This experience with a new machine and controller has given me a new appreciation for mach 3.
    Anyway, here's the big deal: we think the skip on the lithophane is due to an energy drain somewhere in the process. Perhaps a background process such as a Microsoft Windows update on the puter, (hissssssss, booooooo).
    Or, a one line skip could be due to something as simple as starting the blow dryer or starting the vacuum cleaner.
    One thing I do appreciate is that it's made in USA and I can get support for it pretty easily.

    My work is at [URL="www.lithophantastic.com"]http://www.Evergraphs.com[/URL]


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    You should always use a stripped down computer to run the file from. Run Black Viper and make sure you disable all updates. Also do not connect that computer to the internet. Those things cause more problems than you know. Also how did you zero the material I have a problem if I zero to the bed the Litho will take about twice as long zeroing to the bed than zeroing to the top of the material.



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    Member vger's Avatar
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    Did you get the issue with the shark rectified? Looking at the image, I too am inclined to think it is mechanical in nature. Do you remember what angle you were cutting at? Sometimes the smallest things can make a sizable difference at the cutting point. A small thin flake of material on a linear rail can offset the tip of the cutter by much more than the thickness of the flake in some cases. Other than the streak, the litho looks great.

    I just completed my first litho and I think I am hooked! I am considering building a machine specifically for doing the final cutting (lighter duty and faster) so I can use the larger heavier machine prep the material.

    Steve



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Is this software or machine issue? Lithophane woes.

Is this software or machine issue? Lithophane woes.