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Thread: Glowforge release

  1. #1096
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Harman View Post
    I don't understand the obsession with print drivers. Are they truly "one step"? I have not seen all the western machines in action but what I have seen is that when you hit "print" it simply opens a new window that looks much like the "crappy" Chinese laser programs, where you then assign power levels speeds etc., and then you run the file from there.

    Why would one need to run the laser from "almost any program"?

    I don't use a dongle, the USB connection is not unstable and I doubt that a WYSIWYG print driver would actually save me any time.
    It was only after going to the big sign convention in Las Vegas and looking at all the Western Machines that sold me on the ULS with their software as being the easiest to use, seemed much more polished than Epilog, I'm more of a visual learner anyway so that appealed to me more. I love that I can just load a pre-saved setting/profile and press print!
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  2. #1097
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    A print driver allows a user to "print" almost any file format, within almost any program directly (.AI, .CDR, .PDF, .EPS, .SVG, .DOC, .XLS, etc.).
    "Any" is a big word to use. I work with 10 times those file formats and none will "print" to a laser.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    No need to convert or transfer files, set-up, etc.
    No set-up? When exactly does one set speed/power/frequency and all the other idiosyncrasies of working with a laser?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    A user can just work directly from whatever software they are most familiar or efficient with.
    So my 3D CAD file is going to output to the laser? You are over simplifying things just a wee bit.
    I design, engineer and program all sorts of things.

    Oh, and I use Adobe Illustrator with an Epilog Mini.

  3. #1098
    I've never worked with a print driver. How does it deal with functions such as virtual array?
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  4. #1099
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    USB connections will work for most, but not stable for all. Can be susceptible to RF interference. A network connection is especially handy if a shop has more than one workstation that sends jobs to the laser.
    I've run USB connections in some pretty gnarly environments, ones that certainly don't meet any FCC standards for RF, and never had a problem. I suppose it's possible to have a situation where RF interference is strong enough to bugger up USB, but I certainly wouldn't expect Ethernet or WIFI to work under those conditions either.

    And trying to share a laser among multiple workstations on-the-fly is a pretty iffy logistical prospect at best. Ever been in an office when someone wants to print a form or on special stock on a shared printer? That's what would happen on every laser job.
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  5. #1100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Griffith View Post
    "Any" is a big word to use. I work with 10 times those file formats and none will "print" to a laser.
    Well, you forget the word that directly precedes "any" and that is "almost". Also, "etc." which might include 10 times as many formats.


    No set-up? When exactly does one set speed/power/frequency and all the other idiosyncrasies of working with a laser?
    I did not state that there is no set-up, but that there is "no need", which can also mean "you can". Example: Open controller software and pre-load material settings for cork. If enabled, the laser will begin engraving/cutting as a job is sent from the CAD software. Synching load/unload of stock as jobs are sent is a real time saver. More advanced drivers, like Trotec's Job Contol have much more robust and powerful features, I'm sure.

    So my 3D CAD file is going to output to the laser? You are over simplifying things just a wee bit.
    Why would be my first question. But there are ways to create cut files from 3D models.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    I've run USB connections in some pretty gnarly environments, ones that certainly don't meet any FCC standards for RF, and never had a problem. I suppose it's possible to have a situation where RF interference is strong enough to bugger up USB, but I certainly wouldn't expect Ethernet or WIFI to work under those conditions either.

    And trying to share a laser among multiple workstations on-the-fly is a pretty iffy logistical prospect at best. Ever been in an office when someone wants to print a form or on special stock on a shared printer? That's what would happen on every laser job.
    No doubt, you have. Here's what Epilog says, though:

    " In addition to higher transfer speeds, the Ethernet connection provides the most reliable data transfer over long distances.

    Network your laser to all of the computers in your building or more than one laser to each computer, providing you with the maximum efficiency for expanding your business."

    Exceptions and instance are anecdotal, but reliability was one reason, I would recommend network over USB. I have several networked workstations in my shop connect to the same machines.
    Last edited by Matt McCoy; 10-12-2017 at 1:07 PM.

  6. #1101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Phillips View Post
    It was only after going to the big sign convention in Las Vegas and looking at all the Western Machines that sold me on the ULS with their software as being the easiest to use, seemed much more polished than Epilog, I'm more of a visual learner anyway so that appealed to me more. I love that I can just load a pre-saved setting/profile and press print!
    I really like Universal's tech. Great machines and slick software.

  7. #1102
    I brought up print drivers in the 'Lightburn' thread. Here's my 'obsession' with print drivers:

    I have 15 machines, and all but three of them are driven by "print drivers". The three that aren't, both Chinese Triumphs, and the 1981 C2000 which uses DOS-based software. These machines require a dedicated computer to run the programs required to run each machine. I can only imagine the extra headaches- not to mention lack of space- I'd have if I had to had to have a separate computer for each of my machines! While the glass Triumph and the 2000 machines need a dedicated computer, the fiber needs a DEDICATED computer; I can still use the other two machine's computers for other jobs, but not so the fiber, if the laser is running, the computer is totally dead to the rest of the world. None of these 3 machines can be run thru my network, only from "their" computers.

    Phooey on that! --right now, all I need is 3 computers to run ALL of my machines- 1 for the fiber, 1 for the 2000, 1 for all the rest. Currently I use 4 computers..

    With all my other machines I can send jobs to ANY machine from ANY computer on my network, because all the machines are just simple "printers". My BIL runs the 2000 exclusively from his computer, but he also runs the GCC laser with it. I run the GCC, big Triumph, the IS7000 and the 3400CL from my Dell/XP garage computer- the two 5000XT's, the 5000, IS400, the other two 3400's, the vinyl cutter and the LS900 I run ALL from this Dell T5400 computer I'm typing on. Actually I have some machines connected to a 5th 'server' computer, but only because I haven't swapped the LPT/COM port cards into this computer yet. But that's part of the beauty of print drivers, everything works, so I don't need to!

    IF you're only going to have one or two machines, then proprietary driven machines wouldn't be so bad.

    And don't get me started on 'cloud' machining (ecchhh )



  8. #1103
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    Well, you forget the word that directly precedes "any" and that is "almost". Also, "etc." which might include 10 times as many formats.
    "Almost" infers "close to." You should instead say "barely." Even 10 times as many formats is nowhere near the thousands of file formats out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    I did not state that there is no set-up, but that there is "no need", which can also mean "you can".
    You're grabbing at straws here. At some point settings have to be set. "Open controller software and pre-load material settings for cork." is a variation of that process. Print drivers do not read minds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    Why would be my first question. But there are ways to create cut files from 3D models.
    There is no way to hit the print button where the print driver is going to slice up a 3D model without user interaction. Remember, you said this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    No need to convert or transfer files, set-up, etc. A user can just work directly from whatever software they are most familiar or efficient with.
    I design, engineer and program all sorts of things.

    Oh, and I use Adobe Illustrator with an Epilog Mini.

  9. #1104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    I have several networked workstations in my shop connect to the same machines.
    "Machines", plural. The situation you described before was "A network connection is especially handy if a shop has more than one workstation that sends jobs to the laser." The issue is when multiple users try to access the same machine simultaneously. Given that the lasers don't load themselves, there's no way for network software to handle that situation without human intervention.
    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".
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  10. #1105
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Griffith View Post
    Print drivers do not read minds.
    I think that is the next Glowforge patent.....
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  11. #1106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    Here's what Epilog says, though:

    " In addition to higher transfer speeds, the Ethernet connection provides the most reliable data transfer over long distances.

    Network your laser to all of the computers in your building or more than one laser to each computer, providing you with the maximum efficiency for expanding your business."
    I can well believe Epilog's marketing department said that. Whether their customer support engineers approve of people starting jobs on a laser in a different room (or god forbid, a different floor) is a bit different matter. And again, that quote says "your laser" (singular), completely ignoring the need for direct human interaction in the sharing process.
    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.

  12. #1107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    "Machines", plural. The situation you described before was "A network connection is especially handy if a shop has more than one workstation that sends jobs to the laser." The issue is when multiple users try to access the same machine simultaneously. Given that the lasers don't load themselves, there's no way for network software to handle that situation without human intervention.
    Let's try this: I have several workstations that can control any of the machines they are networked too, including the laser. If, you don't want to believe me, see other posts by other members up above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Griffith View Post
    "Almost" infers "close to." You should instead say "barely." Even 10 times as many formats is nowhere near the thousands of file formats out there.
    No.

    Make a compare and contrast between print drivers and non-print drivers for laser motion control and all the conveniences, advantages, and disadvantages between the two implementations. You are building a straw-man argument by creating a narrative that a print driver will not print every file format from every program in the whole world, so therefore it's bad. It is extremely unlikely that anyone here uses thousands of file formats during the normal daily course of laser usage. Bring it back to the real world Doug.


    You're grabbing at straws here. At some point settings have to be set. "Open controller software and pre-load material settings for cork." is a variation of that process. Print drivers do not read minds.
    See Paul's post above. It's brilliant and succinct.


    There is no way to hit the print button where the print driver is going to slice up a 3D model without user interaction. Remember, you said this:
    You started with your need to create cut files from 3D, not me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    I can well believe Epilog's marketing department said that. Whether their customer support engineers approve of people starting jobs on a laser in a different room (or god forbid, a different floor) is a bit different matter. And again, that quote says "your laser" (singular), completely ignoring the need for direct human interaction in the sharing process.
    I don't think you can envision all applications outside your own. Imagine the scenario where two designers are sending jobs to another room, where an attendant is physically loading/unloading material and closing the lid to activate the laser.

  13. #1108
    to be honest I'm not exactly sure what's being debated here about drivers, but I know this much:

    All of my non-proprietary print drivers- the generic drivers for my old machines, the GTSmartstream drivers for my Gravo machines, the LS900 laser driver and the GCC's laser driver- can make my machines print virtually anything any program tells them to print. These types of drivers could care less about file types. It's the PROGRAMS that are file-type dependent.



  14. #1109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    to be honest I'm not exactly sure what's being debated here about drivers, but I know this much:

    All of my non-proprietary print drivers- the generic drivers for my old machines, the GTSmartstream drivers for my Gravo machines, the LS900 laser driver and the GCC's laser driver- can make my machines print virtually anything any program tells them to print. These types of drivers could care less about file types. It's the PROGRAMS that are file-type dependent.
    That makes two of us.

    Yes! Good point and example.

  15. #1110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    Let's try this: I have several workstations that can control any of the machines they are networked too, including the laser. If, you don't want to believe me, see other posts by other members up above.
    Of course I believe that. But you're only using one of those workstations at a time. If there's another person on one of the other workstations, you have to coordinate the use of the laser manually: the network won't do it for you. See the example Kev gave: if he and his BIL both try to run a job on the GCC at the same time, it probably won't turn out the way they expect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    I don't think you can envision all applications outside your own. Imagine the scenario where two designers are sending jobs to another room, where an attendant is physically loading/unloading material and closing the lid to activate the laser.
    I'm not bloody stupid you know. The scenario you describe requires the two designers to negotiate between themselves who sends the next job to the laser. In turn they have to tell the attendant what material to load for the next job. Which was exactly my point: the network does not and can not handle that, it has to be done manually.
    Last edited by Lee DeRaud; 10-12-2017 at 5:38 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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