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View Full Version : Got Laser, Bad start, Help w/Marble



Tim Stamplis
10-27-2006, 2:03 PM
Well, I finally got my laser. 30w versalaser 300. First day, while trying to do marble, I was in the focus area of the control panel and I clicked near 1" x 1" area to move the head and the thing went nuts! the cariage came all the way forward and kept banging into the front of the machine! Then went all the way backwards and did the same thing. This happened twice. After that, got severe scratch lines horizontally on marble etchings. Seems to have stopped now thankfully!

Anyway, marble is my passion, and from reading the posts here for the past couple months, it seems some have great success and do fine, while others seem to have to give up as they just can't get it. I want to get it!:D It seems most complaints are based on grey scale. I am not having a problem with white images on lasersketch marble. I am, however, having a horrible problem with graininess (Is that a word?). I'll try to attach this photo so you can see what I mean. I use photograv, scan the image at 250dpi, convert to greyscale in photoshop and adjust contrast/brightness there and save as 250 dpi 8-bit greyscale. Process in photograv with new param sets from cd for black marble. 30% power and 50% speed on the 30w is what ULS recommends and I use. I have tried at 500 dpi but looks to washed out. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Now lets try to upload this file:confused:

Bruce Volden
10-27-2006, 2:29 PM
Tim


I don't know photograv~ is this a "nice, clear" photo you are scanning? I don't think I've seen that much grain from a newspaper. However, I scan at 300 DPI on a large (+5X7) photo in grayscale, crop, adjust contrast, resample accordingly-I like to save image a little larger than required for final engraving this has also helped "eliminate" banding! Open up CorelDraw and plug away.

Doesn't sound to me like you're doing anything "wrong"!!!????


Bruce

Lee DeRaud
10-27-2006, 2:38 PM
The recommended settings for marble/granite are too hot, IMHO. Sometimes "less is more": try 20P, 100S on a sample and see if that works any better.

FWIW, there's a grayscale calibration drawing somewhere in the VL directory. If you run that off at various settings, you can get the stone you're working with dialed in very quickly.

Mike Mackenzie
10-27-2006, 2:52 PM
I agree with lee those setting sound to hot try to lower the power. Also are you using the materials based driver or the advanced driver?

With that banging it sounds to me like the air line hose has got caught up and that was causing the banging. If it does it again let us know and I will tell you where to look.

Tim Stamplis
10-27-2006, 3:15 PM
I'm running it at 20/100 now, doesn't look much different than 30/50. The graniness is still quite high. The photo is very nice quality and scanned at 250 dpi. On screen, looks lovely:)

Mike, the banging was not from a hang up, the cariage (or whatever you call it) was trying to go further than the physical dimension of the machine! If it wasn't enclosed in the machine, it would have flown accross the room! It was engraving a photo, and half way through, it moved like a full 4" over to complete the engraving. After that, when I tried to move the carriage to focus on the next job, that was when the carriage moved all the way forward and kept trying to come more forward grinding and banging because the case was in it's way:confused:

The 20/100 is done, it's darker so it's hard to say if the graininess is any better. Gonna reprocess a different photo (5x7 as suggested) and re-run and 20/100 see if I can lighten it up. Will post results.

Tim Stamplis
10-27-2006, 3:43 PM
Mike,

I read in one of the docs my rep gave me that ULS has some parameter sets to use with Photograv, do you have them? Also, again while printing, the head stopped a while, moved to the right, then returned to engrave and did not start where it left off. I have had this machine one day, is there a problem I should be looking at or is this one of those "just happens" kind of things?

Mike Mackenzie
10-27-2006, 4:20 PM
No Tim,

That is not normal something sounds like it came loose during shipping (connection). I would look at this however if the people you purchased it from are near maybe they can help. Otherwise I would call the tech dept.

Is this a VL200 or VL300? Did you install the correct table size? I think that the motion problems maybe related to the photo issues. Are you using the materials based driver?

If not what advanced driver did you set-up? If you installed the advanced driver something may not have installed correctly and you may want to unistall everything and re-install it.

I do have some of the parameters for photograv I will see if the factory has any more than what I have.

Tim Stamplis
10-27-2006, 4:43 PM
No Tim,

Is this a VL200 or VL300? Did you install the correct table size? I think that the motion problems maybe related to the photo issues. Are you using the materials based driver?

If not what advanced driver did you set-up? If you installed the advanced driver something may not have installed correctly and you may want to unistall everything and re-install it.

I do have some of the parameters for photograv I will see if the factory has any more than what I have.

Mike,
It is a VL300. The rep set up the advanced driver for me. I used the material based on an image and it was horrible. So I have been using the advanced driver ever since. In Corel, the table size is landscape and 12x24, it is correct (I assume that is what you meant).

If you could forward the parameters to me that would be great. I will call my rep Monday and ask her to help with the motion issue.

Tim

George M. Perzel
10-27-2006, 5:59 PM
Hi Tim;
Welcome to the world of lasers-very, very gratifying but can also drive you nuts. I don't have a Versalaser so can't help you there. First of all, I suggest you do a search on this site for "black marble" and read every post for the l;ast two years-lot of info and experiences/advice from folks who have been where you are. I don't do much marble but have had success and offer the following:
1. Buy your marble from a reputable tile flooring place that can access a number of distributors. Ask for "china black" and specify dead black with no specs or grain. I pay about $8 a square for mine-expensive but YGWYPF. Check the whole box out when you get it-sometimes vast differences within the same box.
2. Work with decent photos and images-GIBO applies . Scan at 300 dpi-anymore is just a waste of time. Convert your photos to greyscale, adjust contrast/brightness using "curves" in Photoshop/Photopaint. Size it to the final dimensions and set the dpi to whatever you are going to laser at in the photo program. When doing portraits/people, I use a black background so only the image engraves on the marble. Save as a bmp.
3. Import into Photograv and let the program do its thing-don't mess with the various adjustments in the program until you gain a lotta experience using the program- and then very, very carefully. DO NOT CHANGE THE PICTURE SIZE ONCE IN PHOTOSHOP. If it's not quite right, redo it in the photo program.
4. I laser at 300 dpi, with 80% speed and 30% power on a 60 watt Laserpro Mercury.
5. Try Keith's trick with ArmorAll to improve contrast.
Good Luck
George

mike wallis
10-27-2006, 9:12 PM
Well, I finally got my laser. 30w versalaser 300. First day, while trying to do marble, I was in the focus area of the control panel and I clicked near 1" x 1" area to move the head and the thing went nuts! the cariage came all the way forward and kept banging into the front of the machine! Then went all the way backwards and did the same thing. This happened twice. After that, got severe scratch lines horizontally on marble etchings. Seems to have stopped now thankfully!

Anyway, marble is my passion, and from reading the posts here for the past couple months, it seems some have great success and do fine, while others seem to have to give up as they just can't get it. I want to get it!:D It seems most complaints are based on grey scale. I am not having a problem with white images on lasersketch marble. I am, however, having a horrible problem with graininess (Is that a word?). I'll try to attach this photo so you can see what I mean. I use photograv, scan the image at 250dpi, convert to greyscale in photoshop and adjust contrast/brightness there and save as 250 dpi 8-bit greyscale. Process in photograv with new param sets from cd for black marble. 30% power and 50% speed on the 30w is what ULS recommends and I use. I have tried at 500 dpi but looks to washed out. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Now lets try to upload this file:confused:

Hey Tim, from the looks of it the grain may be in the marble although it looks allot like Granite. I had a ton of problems with Laser Sketch Marble/Granite which I won't go into detail here. There is a new supplier in CA which is the best I've seen yet. Contact Mark Garcia at Artistic Laser, there great to deal with and there Granite/Marble is top notch and competively priced. He'll also use flat rate boxes which saves on shipping. And no I'm not affiliated with them just a very happy customer and glad there's another supplier here in the states.

I Forgot to mention, he'll mail a free sample last time I checked.

Good Luck