View Full Version : V carving with chinese machines

Fernando Soto
07-27-2010, 10:09 PM
Somebody knows if is possible to make V carving with CO2 laser chinese machines? Is the Artcam software appropiate for this?, Thanks.

Ross Moshinsky
07-27-2010, 11:59 PM
V Carving is not impossible with any laser. Essentially what it is doing is creating a gradient which the laser interprets as power. So black might be 100p and 30sp but when it gets to a light gray, it might be 40p 30sp. Thus giving you a high and a low point while engraving. Here is an Epilog writeup that should apply to just about every laser: http://www.epiloglaser.com/tl_creating_3d_artwork.htm

As for my honest opinion, use the laser for what it's good for and let the rotary CNC do what it's good for. I'd estimate to do a V Carving in wood would take roughly 20-50x longer than doing it on a rotary CNC machine. The laser can do a lot of amazing things, but honestly, I like working my laser as efficiently as possible. This means I wouldn't even bother trying to do V Carving since I know the rotary CNC will do it faster and more efficiently. Sometimes outsourcing a job is a great way to save your profit margin.

If your interested in 3D laser engraving, I think you should stick to things like shown in the Epilog tutorial. That kind of word is something the laser can do well and efficiently. Emulating V Carving on a laser I think would be a huge waste of resources. Fun to try, but never commercially viable.

Fernando Soto
07-29-2010, 11:45 AM
Ross, thanks for your answer, its perfect for me. In fact i had purchased an Epilog Laser but I lost it because of failures during the importing process (a large history). Now, I want to continue my job, but perhaps with chinese machines or a self made equipement. So, I asked several laser manufactures. What I see is that the secret is the software. Epilog is prepared to work with V carving with corel draw. But the chinese machines have no possibilities, even those with corel controllers. The alternative could be the ARTCAM software. I dont't find people with experience in something like this. In the future, a CNC rotary machine will be a solution but today I will only have a laser. The comercial aspects you mentioned are very important too and will help me to make desicions. Thanks again. Fernando

Larry Bratton
07-29-2010, 12:34 PM
Fernando, do you already own Artcam? If you do, why don't you consider the purchase of a small CNC router, like the Camaster Stinger. http://www.stingercnc.com/ Then you can do some real V carving and 3d stuff with the Artcam software. Last time I looked that software was about $7,000 US. You can get a pretty nice CNC for abt the same price as a decent Chinese laser

Fernando Soto
07-29-2010, 2:25 PM
Larry, thanks for your help. My idea is tu use a Laser because I can't do noise. I,m starting the bussines in my residence. ArtCam is a nice software but (of course) is too much expensive. I,m also looking for a free or open source 3dcarving software. In the futere I will need another space and I want to add a medim CNC router for woodcarving. Today I can reproduce a chinese laser for half his cost (a homemade laser). I found in the Brasilian Market all the principal components. An interface for corel Draw mus be imported from US or china, I found it, but does not resolve the problem of Vcarving. Perhaps, I can found a free software or less expensive with v carving. Fernando.

Dan Hintz
07-29-2010, 2:58 PM
My idea is tu use a Laser because I can't do noise. I,m starting the bussines in my residence.
I hope you realize using a laser does not mean no noise... you need to use a dust collector to rid yourself of the fumes create by burning materials, and those are not quiet. On many materials, you'll also need a source of air to prevent flaming and/or ejection of material... this means a noisy air compressor.

Larry Bratton
07-29-2010, 3:33 PM
Oh absolutely. My laser is very noisy. I have my exhaust system outside and I am sure neighbors would complain if I had any. So, Fernando, Dan is correct, you are not going to have a noiseless system by any means

Fernando Soto
07-29-2010, 5:26 PM
Dan / Larry. You are correct. Since time I have benn studying this machines, always looking for aletrnatives. Exhaust is one of my problems, and the best solution in the market (in my opinion) is the Trotec exhaust system. I decided to built something similar, and it is working very good. Very low noise and good air movement. I built 04 cabinets, with 4 steps: general collector , pre filter, 20 cm of activated charcol, and 2 fans mottors with the turbines. The outlet tube is 4" diameter.

For the air compressed system I'm looking for some machines used in painting process. These are small turbines (not compressors) that operates in with high revolutions. I have a place reserved for this machine and I'll will need a cabinet with acustic protection. They are not so noisely. I have not buy this machine because I want to resolve the central problem: A new machine Laser to replace my lost Epilog.

Today I contact Artcam. The Interface betueen Artcam and the machine could be another software called Mach 3. So, my central problem today is to find a substitute for artcam. I'm evaluating Rinoceros.

In the future I want to open a Blog and share my constructions. It seem to be a very nice experience.


Larry Bratton
07-29-2010, 7:59 PM
Are you sure you have exhausted all of your options for trying to find the lost Epilog? That just seems to me that should not have happened. What country are you in?

Fernando Soto
07-30-2010, 11:05 AM
Larry, unfortunately I can speak too much because of the forum rules. Of course I'm working to recover my investment but It will take a long time. I'm from Argentina but since 06 years I'm living in Brasil. In the meantime I must find an alternative solution to work and produce money; thats why i'm searching to built a self made machine.