2 Watt Laser & Vectric Laser Module Photo Toolpath

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ArtJoe
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:16 pm

2 Watt Laser & Vectric Laser Module Photo Toolpath

Post by ArtJoe »

I have the Shark SD120 that came bundled with a 2 watt laser. I'm trying to use it with the new Vectric laser module photo toolpath. It's moving extremely slow and burning the wood.

I started with Nextwave's recommended settings (kerf 0.01, 1 pass, power 100%, speed 100 inches/min, max burn rate 50). My first try I used a dense raster, 0.003, line spacing. The preview looked too light, but I tried it anyway. The size was 3.5" x 5" and it was estimated to take about 35 min. I let it go for over an hour, but it wasn't making any progress so I turned it off. It only burned the corner solid black and ate into the wood.

Second attempt I adjusted the max burn rate to 700 to try to get a more accurate preview. I also adjusted the gamma of the bitmap to turn the blacks more gray. I decreased the line spacing to 0.01. This time it got a little farther, around 10% finished in an hour, and there was some white left, but I could tell it was way too dark. I haven't tried again, but I'm thinking the max burn rate should be something closer to 2500 to get the preview to match. I also used that 10% in an hour to adjust the machine time scale factor from 2 to 35. I'm not going to wait 10 hours for a 3.5" x 5" photo engraving.

Has anyone had success with this? What power and speed settings did you use? From what I've been able to find, I may need to turn one or both down. It sounds like the cnc can't keep up with the programed speeds, but I don't know what the limits are.
preview-attempt-1.jpg
preview-attempt-2.jpg

ArtJoe
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:16 pm

Re: 2 Watt Laser & Vectric Laser Module Photo Toolpath

Post by ArtJoe »

I still haven't had much success with the Vectric Laser Module, but Next Wave Ready2Raster seems to work better.

I did the one with wood grain, on the left, first. It's a little light, but it only took half an hour. I also realized I may have forgotten to reset the Z axis to zero after I moved it up to 0.1.

I went back to Vectric for the burned areas on the left and right sides of the white block. For these I set the laser to 50% power and the speed to 120 in/min. They look better than what I did before. You can see some of her arm and hand as well as the stem of the bouquet. Still, this was going to take from 6 to 10 hours, so I stopped it both times. That's when I tried the Ready2Raster .tap file again. This time I set the Z axis properly, so it's a little darker, and it really pops on the white. I probably over did it on the image adjustment because the whites are blown out, but this I can wrap my head around. I stopped this because it was only a test. If the sides weren't already burned, I would have let it go.

So, I recommend Ready2Raster over the Vectric Laser Module, and it's free. Still, I wish I could get Vectric to work.
Ready2Raster.jpeg

ArtJoe
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:16 pm

Re: 2 Watt Laser & Vectric Laser Module Photo Toolpath

Post by ArtJoe »

Oh, I also tried setting the laser power to 10% at 50 in/min speed, but it didn't make a mark.

gmagge
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:00 pm

Re: 2 Watt Laser & Vectric Laser Module Photo Toolpath

Post by gmagge »

I have a separate laser matching, but it is also a diode laser and had the same problems until I started using GIMP and a plug-in called DA Big Gimping plugin. You can check them at these links:
GIMP is free and the plug-in is $30

GIMP - http://www.gimp.org/

Plug-in - http://infinitelaser.us/product/da-big- ... -for-gimp/

I’ve gotten good results with them using a 3 watt cheap Chinese laser.

Good luck

ArtJoe
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:16 pm

Re: 2 Watt Laser & Vectric Laser Module Photo Toolpath

Post by ArtJoe »

Thanks very much for the response. I've used Gimp before as an image editor. I didn't realize it could be used for this. I will check it out.

gmagge
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:00 pm

Re: 2 Watt Laser & Vectric Laser Module Photo Toolpath

Post by gmagge »

Hope it works for you, the plug-in offers you the choice of material to make the image for, tile or wood. I’ve used both with great results.

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