LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

DonL
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LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

Postby DonL » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:45 am

I thought I would start a topic on LaserCAD 7.78 that may or may not apply to other versions and variations of the program. But I find these little issues now and then and I thought I would share my experiences

ISSUE : When exporting from Corel Draw X7 to LaserCAD I found extra lines and objects joined to other objects when they were not that way in Corel... Takes hours to break and rejoin lines so cut or engrave is correct... Quite annoying
RESOLUTION: Reload a previous saved config or reset to factory and problem is gone, Not sure what setting I enabled that caused this but reloading a previous good config or reset to factory worked.

ISSUE : Origins are confusing.
RESOLUTION: Please look for my post on understanding Origins. In that post I explain all of the origin settings

ISSUE: OUT OF BOUNDS ERROR and engraving stops
RESOLUTION: The laser head needs room to decelerate or accelerate, if this room goes beyond the dimensions of the work area, you get this error so the trick is to move your object away from the edge of the work area to more center of the work area giving room for accel-decel or alternatively slow down the engrave speed so there is not as much area needed. Lower speed engraves tend to come out better if the detail is fine, if the detail is not so fine, high speed saves time with no noticeable reduction in quality.

ISSUE: When using a shorter focal length lens You get lines in the engrave
RESOLUTION: Select the layer and double click to get to the power and speed settings, there you will see scangap, this is the distance between passes, with longer focal lengths, the dots are larger so the overlap slightly which is good, but the shorter focal length produces a smaller beam so now the dots are sparated and no longer touching which causes a stripe pattern in the engrave. Reduce the scangap from .4 to .04 and you will find the dots now touch again and the engrave is solid, the smaller scangap will increase project run time because the laser has to make 10 times more passes... so at a scangap of .5mm the laser head swings laft and right 2 times per mm but at .05 it passes 20 times per mm

TIP: Each layer remembers the power, scangap, speed and other settings so if you set Yellow to cut at 10mm/s with 70% power, the next time you select a yellow layer it will have these settings as the default for that layer. You can take advantage of this by making up a color chart and setting the layer defaults so next time you want to engrave or cut, you can save time by selecting the layer with the settings you want to use. Be aware though that loading an image that used yellow to engrave after a project that used yellow to cut you will end up cutting when you should be engraving so double check your layer settings before uploading to the laser. I had a case where my fonts kept coming out distorted and it turns out I used blue for font engrave and some time previously I had enabled slope engrave on the blue layer and it was still on... DOH!

TIP: Keep the rollers adjusted on the laser head, over time the nylon rollers and the aluminum rail will wear, this causes the carriage to wobble and you get wavy lines when engraving or cutting, keep the rollers adjusted by loosening the pinch screw and rotating the axle so the rollers are in contact with the rail but not tight as this will increase drag and cause skipping at higher speeds. If you grasp the laser head and try to wiggle it, it should not wiggle, grasp it with your thumb and index finger and try to rotate the head like a dial, if it moves, there is too much slack and the rollers are not all contacting the rail so adjust as needed.

TIP: CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN Keep the lens and mirrors clean, depending on the material, smoke residue can build up quickly and this will damage the lens and mirrors by overheating them as the laser energy is absorbed rather than passed through Clean optics work better and last longer.

ISSUE: Rotary Table is too high and only small objects fit on it.
RESOLUTION: See my post on the 90 degree modified laser head in Rotary table discussions. By making a 90 degree laser head, you can engrave the side of an object on the rotary table rather than the top. After all, the object is cylidrical so there really is no top or side. By moving the laser beam from down to horizontal, you can increase the work space of the rotary table from 30mm high to 120mm or more.

ISSUE: To switch the Y axis to the Rotary table, it should be done with power off, but the Y axis tries to reset so the table rolls and rolls...
SOLUTION: Use a pen and trip the Y Axis limit switch manually or what I do is I added a dedicated rotary stepper driver so all I swap is the DIR PUL and + so I can do that with the power on. So I power off, Plug in the rotary table then power on, the Y is still normal so the laser resets. I then use the x/y controls to line everything up and then I swap out the Y with the rotary at the controller since I have separate motor drives, Swapping at the motors can cause damage. Soon the U axis will become the rotary so this step will be obsolete otherwise I would have added a switch.

ISSUE: When exporting from Corel to LaserCAD, some or none of the items are transferred.
RESOLUTION: Make sure you are not using guide lines in Corel, Those are the dotted lines you drag down from the ruler to make sure everything is lined up... if you did, remove them before exporting. The guidelines are also sent to LaserCAD and it can't process the data so the entire import is disregarded.

I will post more issues as I think of them, I encourage others to post little issues and work around solutions.

TheSniper
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:05 am

Re: LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

Postby TheSniper » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:28 am

DonL,
Would love to see your version / write-up of a
1) simple box/square/rectangle/triangle with rounded corners.

Using only LaserCad
-Sam

DonL
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Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:32 am
Location: Canada
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Re: LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

Postby DonL » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:15 am

You can draw these simple shapes but it is tedious so I recommend that you draw one of each and save them or export them for use again and again... Also, you need LaserCAD 7.78 because it has the node edit tools.

NOTE If your nodes are not on top of each other, they may not unite with .1mm tolerance, go to 1.0 mm and reunite....


Simple Shapes in LaserCAD.pdf
(659.1 KiB) Downloaded 80 times

TheSniper
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:05 am

Re: LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

Postby TheSniper » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:20 am

DonL,
Just read thru your upload. (Thanks for that)
I was afraid I was missing something. I would typically dray a square object plus the corner circles.
Join them , remove any overlapping lines. then erase the actual corner, and then join/group the entire shape.
very tedious indeed....

I was hoping for a simpler way! perhaps the new version Marco is working on will address these simple chores.

-Sam

DonL
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:32 am
Location: Canada
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Re: LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

Postby DonL » Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:31 pm

OK, Here is an great work-around....

Install the font Flowchart, ^ = Triangle, D = Box with round corners Just use the font to draw your shapes as vectors.
You may need the font fix applied.... All the basic shapes are there - see the help file and you can make killer flow charts :)

SUPER FAST


flow.JPG



cosmorama_flowchart.zip
(22.04 KiB) Downloaded 85 times

TheSniper
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:05 am

Re: LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

Postby TheSniper » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:58 pm

DonL,
Just dl'd installed .... Wow! very promising. lots of times I just want quick easy shapes.
seems overkill to open Autocad etc... (autocad is my preferred method).

thanks!
-Sam

DonL
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:32 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

Postby DonL » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:36 pm

TheSniper wrote:DonL,
Just dl'd installed .... Wow! very promising. lots of times I just want quick easy shapes.
seems overkill to open Autocad etc... (autocad is my preferred method).

thanks!
-Sam

fonts can be a great source of fast graphics, you can get ornate scrolls, faces of famous people, monograms, greek and egyptian statues... tons of fonts... these are all fonts

fonts.JPG
fonts.JPG (26.66 KiB) Viewed 2992 times

WarpedMindGames
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Location: Englewood, OH
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Re: LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

Postby WarpedMindGames » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:11 am

Don,

You seem to be the man on this subject. Tell us more on how to find such fonts and a guide to install them.

DonL
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:32 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: LaserCAD 7.78 Tips and Work arounds

Postby DonL » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:27 pm

WarpedMindGames wrote:Don,

You seem to be the man on this subject. Tell us more on how to find such fonts and a guide to install them.


There are many free font download sites, such as http://www.1001freefonts.com/ or http://www.fontpalace.com/font-details/Famous+Folks/
a google search will help.

These sites have sample images and categories, when you find the font you like, download it. As with any internet downloads, keep you antivirus ON and updated :)

To install simply unzip the downloaded font and double click on the font file, it will bring up a sample of the font and a button called INSTALL. Click on install to install the font.
and windows will copy the font to your fonts folder. It will now be available to LaserCAD or Corel or Word for that matter....

Hope this helps.


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