Reply To: Image2Gcode – Free Raster Image Laser Engraving Software – Modified for MPCNC

New Home Forum Software Development Image2Gcode – Free Raster Image Laser Engraving Software – Modified for MPCNC Reply To: Image2Gcode – Free Raster Image Laser Engraving Software – Modified for MPCNC

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Ok, as it turned out my problem was a combination of the wrong (or unsuited) SD library and timing problems on the serial communication.
Also unlike in 3D printing higher acceleration and jerk setting can improve the outcome quite bit.
With my combo of Arduino Mega, Ramps 1.4 and this Smart Discount Controller I failed to realise that both the SD and the display itself use serial communication.
So everthing relies on the correct timings and buffer sizes to make it work at higher speeds.
I can now engave (from SD) 20x15cm pictures at 0.10 resolution @ 2400mm/min.
For what I do this is now quite enough and with the great Image2Gcode program I can now finally engrave the way an engraving should look like.

I still agree that for diode lasers a simple PWM approach is the best way to go.
After all you can adjust the focus by rising the Z axis and have not much else to worry about.
Althoug I see little problem in running a CO2 system on a simply Marlin firmware through FAN PWM control (with mods for the PWM signalof course) the hardware has different requirements.
One way of additional control is the pulse mode where you can define a PWM frequency and laser pulses per mm and their duration time.
A feature noone needs for a low power diode but if you engrave glass, ceramic or other brittle things it comes in handy there is far less heat transfered this way.
Diode lasers are also quite slow in the speed department unless you invest serious money in the higher power range.
GRBL is really slim, fast and should be the first choice to run laser stuff, but I still struggle with it especially as I would need massive hardware mods on my machine to get it conform to CNC standards as used by GRBL.
I think it is only matter of time until someone put out a cut down Marlin firmware that only has what is needed to run a laser and without all the bloat that is only used for 3D printing.
The market got flooded with these little CDROM motor driven laser engravers in no time.
Once more people convert their cheap and otherwise useless chinese laser cutters into proper freeware machines things might change.
But only if tools like Image2Gcode are kept free and people keep developing new stuff we can move away from expensive solutions that are still not perfect.
Leo69 and Bryan made the impossible possible for us and they give support, something that is hard to find for other freeware 🙂