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Thread: Glowforge release

  1. #1141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ramsey View Post
    Specific to the printer, yes, I agree but, I don't recall ever seeing one that would have settings based on what is in the specific document / file. Again my limited knowledge here but in rdWorks as an example, you would have a red layer, blue layer and yellow layer each with their respective power and speed settings. Do print drivers for lasers have that in their settings?
    Yes, that's how it works on my ULS, can't speak to all the others. Again, note that those settings are in the printer driver properties dialog: Corel knows nothing about them. No different from selecting color profile or photo print quality on my inkjet.

    One can argue that having to access the properties dialog makes it a two-step process, but that's only if you're changing materials from job to job. Again, true for virtually all printers more complicated than a teletype.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
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  2. #1142
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ramsey View Post
    Specific to the printer, yes, I agree but, I don't recall ever seeing one that would have settings based on what is in the specific document / file.
    Really, which ones have you seen then?
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ramsey View Post
    Again my limited knowledge here but in rdWorks as an example, you would have a red layer, blue layer and yellow layer each with their respective power and speed settings. Do print drivers for lasers have that in their settings? I want to say no
    ULS and Epilog definitely have such settings in the drivers and I'm pretty sure Trotec does as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ramsey View Post
    and that the control panel on the laser, in this case the GF, is where the user sets that info. So it kind of seems like yes you remove a software step, sort of.... only to perform that function directly at the laser. Kind of speculating at this point.
    No clues as to GF.

    Drivers for paper printers don't know anything specific about a document's contents but, with your knowledge of the contents and intent for printing the document, you can set applicable options such as B&W vs color, draft vs high quality (typically some combination of uni- vs bi-directional, dpi, and amount of ink used per dot), single sided vs duplex, etc. Likewise, ULS and Epilog (and I'm pretty sure Trotec) drivers don't actually know or presume anything about the content of the files you want to send to the laser but, with your knowledge of the file contents and your intent, the drivers let you set things such as quality (such as dpi, speed, and frequency; in some cases print direction); whether to raster, vector, or both or neither; and whether to adjust speed/power/frequency/dpi/raster/vector/skip and possibly focus settings based on colors in the document; and so forth.

  3. #1143
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ramsey View Post
    Specific to the printer, yes, I agree but, I don't recall ever seeing one that would have settings based on what is in the specific document / file. Again my limited knowledge here but in rdWorks as an example, you would have a red layer, blue layer and yellow layer each with their respective power and speed settings. Do print drivers for lasers have that in their settings? I want to say no and that the control panel on the laser, in this case the GF, is where the user sets that info. So it kind of seems like yes you remove a software step, sort of.... only to perform that function directly at the laser. Kind of speculating at this point.
    Printers and drivers--

    this is a shot of printers installed on my 'main' computer. The Samsung, Canon, PDF converter and HP Laserjet are paper printers, the remaining are engraving machines. "GT Smartream" is my IS400, "L-solution" is my LS900 laser...
    dr8.jpg

    For ANY of these printers, clicking "print" brings up the basic Windows printer screen.
    dr1.jpg

    This is the LS900 driver. From this screen I can choose a saved set of power settings ('untitled' at the moment), the 'plate size', which I never change from the full table size, any offset from the corner (handy if I'm using spacers but I usually just do that in Corel), the colors I want to engrave and their speed and power settings, resolution settings, type of engraving (I leave at grayscale and set shading to 100% black), orientation (I change that in Corel, less confusing), then there's rubber stamp mode, wood mode, autofocus, Z-Up position (so the head will clear high parts), blower on/off, and cylinder engraving-there's also a neat feature where I can have the table auto-adjust it's height above/below zero based on my input, makes it great for set-and-forget Cermarking titanium bracelets...
    dr2.jpg

    here I've opened the 'color type' choices- photo mode is full auto, the 'tv' is 'automatic' mode, makes it's own choice, grayscale, and halftone...
    dr3.jpg

    This is the GCC Explorer driver (it's not in my printer list because it's a 32bit driver and this is a 64bit machine).
    Here I choose color type, resolution, mirror, invert color, print-on-mouse-click, and 'SmartACT' which is an 'extension' mode...
    dr4.jpg

    this is the settings-per-color menu--
    dr5.jpg

    this is the 'advanced' window, where I can re-scale sizes if need be, where the laser head goes, top/bottom or bottom/top raster, border and vector tweaks, and my favorite, 'cluster', which lets the machine NOT scan full with rows of engraving where there's large spaces between engravings- you enter a distance, anything farther than that gets run at a different time. This eliminates using separate colors for different columns of engraving
    dr6.jpg

    -this is it's photo engraving menu, LOTS of variations...
    dr7.jpg

    ANYWAY- so YES, all engraving functions are included within the driver. Many adjustments can be made on the machines themselves after the fact, but the drivers do all the main work.

    also notice absent from my printer list are my 2 Triumphs, as they're proprietary...
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 10-16-2017 at 2:31 PM.
    TEN CNC rotary tool engravers, 3- V3400's, 2- V5000XT's, 1- V5000, 1- V3200, 1- IS400, 1- IS7000, 1- C2000, all New Hermes
    TWO C02 metal lasers, 1- NH LS900 40w, 1- GCC Explorer 35w
    ONE C02 glass laser, Triumph 80w
    ONE Galvo fiber laser, Triumph 30w
    ONE vinyl cutter, New Hermes
    ONE large electric bill. Rocky Mountain Power
    Shears x3, Saws x4, Compressors x4
    Blowers x3, Grinders x3, Drill Presses x2
    Mini lathe,Belt sander
    All at home...





  4. #1144
    Just for completeness' sake, I'll pitch in what FSL does with their (older) drivers. FSL requires that you have their program RetinaEngrave running when you want to send a job to the laser, but you do that via printing. With RetinaEngrave running, you hit Print, then select the FSL driver. There are a few options in the "properties" section but it's your basic page size stuff- in other words, how much area does it export to the print driver.

    Once you "print" the document, it shows up in RetinaEngrave, where you do all of your settings, including raster, vector, or whatever. You then hit Go from within RetinaEngrave, and the machine starts running. You can leave RE open to monitor the progress of the run, or you can close it. Once the job starts, it's entirely happening on the laser.

    Note that this doesn't apply to the newest Muse or 5th gen; this is their old system they'd been using for years. As I understand it the new system acts as a webpage where you "upload" your files to the machine. I think they do this for OS independence. I don't have any experience with it though, and don't know if they offer a direct print driver.

    While there is some "design" capabilities within RE, it's pretty much pointless and I've never once done any real work in there. Its only real function is to set your laser parameters.

    An interesting thing to note is that FSL does their "print driver" by duplicating the Microsoft XPS print driver. The FSL driver prints an XPS file to a known location, and then RetinaEngrave imports that file immediately- I don't know if it just watches the known folder for a new file or if the print driver signals the import in some way. At any rate, you can "print" an XPS file on any computer and import that directly into RE and it works the same as the print driver.

    There aren't a lot of features, but it's pretty nice to not have to do the whole Export->Save As...->Import->Navigate to File thing. My 3D printer does the "export gcode to thumb drive" routine and you have to load the card, mount the drive, navigate to your file, and hit start. None of it is a problem, but it's nice to be able to just say "print".

    Last, RE has the option to connect via USB or Ethernet. I use Ethernet and an external wifi adapter and it's worked very well for me.

  5. #1145
    The various versions of LaserCUT (Leetro) also have print drivers for AutoCad, Illustrator and Corel Draw but they only work on the older versions of the programs. I don't personally use any of them though as all my files are stored as DXF for import.
    Poof! and just like magic the shop keeper dissappeared

  6. #1146
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sheldrake View Post
    The various versions of LaserCUT (Leetro) also have print drivers for AutoCad, Illustrator and Corel Draw but they only work on the older versions of the programs. I don't personally use any of them though as all my files are stored as DXF for import.
    LaserWorks/RDCAM has this as well. I don't know that I would call it a "print driver", is more like an application launcher where it exports then imports into and launches the laser program in one step. Serves the same purpose though - and zero difference in usage between that and a proper print driver.
    Shenhui 1440x850, 130 Watt Reci Z6

  7. #1147
    Morning Kev, As always, thanks for the detailed posting. That is just what I was looking for having never seen a 'print' driver specifically for a laser.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Printers and drivers--

    this is a shot of printers installed on my 'main' computer. The Samsung, Canon, PDF converter and HP Laserjet are paper printers, the remaining are engraving machines. "GT Smartream" is my IS400, "L-solution" is my LS900 laser...
    dr8.jpg

    For ANY of these printers, clicking "print" brings up the basic Windows printer screen.
    dr1.jpg

    This is the LS900 driver. From this screen I can choose a saved set of power settings ('untitled' at the moment), the 'plate size', which I never change from the full table size, any offset from the corner (handy if I'm using spacers but I usually just do that in Corel), the colors I want to engrave and their speed and power settings, resolution settings, type of engraving (I leave at grayscale and set shading to 100% black), orientation (I change that in Corel, less confusing), then there's rubber stamp mode, wood mode, autofocus, Z-Up position (so the head will clear high parts), blower on/off, and cylinder engraving-there's also a neat feature where I can have the table auto-adjust it's height above/below zero based on my input, makes it great for set-and-forget Cermarking titanium bracelets...
    dr2.jpg

    here I've opened the 'color type' choices- photo mode is full auto, the 'tv' is 'automatic' mode, makes it's own choice, grayscale, and halftone...
    dr3.jpg

    This is the GCC Explorer driver (it's not in my printer list because it's a 32bit driver and this is a 64bit machine).
    Here I choose color type, resolution, mirror, invert color, print-on-mouse-click, and 'SmartACT' which is an 'extension' mode...
    dr4.jpg

    this is the settings-per-color menu--
    dr5.jpg

    this is the 'advanced' window, where I can re-scale sizes if need be, where the laser head goes, top/bottom or bottom/top raster, border and vector tweaks, and my favorite, 'cluster', which lets the machine NOT scan full with rows of engraving where there's large spaces between engravings- you enter a distance, anything farther than that gets run at a different time. This eliminates using separate colors for different columns of engraving
    dr6.jpg

    -this is it's photo engraving menu, LOTS of variations...
    dr7.jpg

    ANYWAY- so YES, all engraving functions are included within the driver. Many adjustments can be made on the machines themselves after the fact, but the drivers do all the main work.

    also notice absent from my printer list are my 2 Triumphs, as they're proprietary...
    Mike
    ----------------
    Experience: Something you get just after you needed it.

  8. #1148
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Nokesville, VA
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    Michael,
    These are the Epilog and ULS print drivers.
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  9. #1149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Leavitt View Post
    Michael,
    These are the Epilog and ULS print drivers.
    Yup. The ULS one looks just like the one for my (relatively) ancient VL200.

    My machine also has a "simple" driver where you just select the material and thickness and it uses an internal database to auto-guess the settings. Haven't used it since the tech tested it during delivery.
    Last edited by Lee DeRaud; Yesterday at 12:41 PM.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

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