View Full Version : dahlgren cnc

Kevin C. Johnson
07-21-2008, 12:40 PM
I have a small 3 axis 24 x 16 dahlgren engraver. does anyone know what a good program to run it?

Jack Coats
07-29-2008, 6:57 PM
Tell us more about it. If it takes g-code there are lots of programs, if it takes a special driver like Epilog lasers, then other processing might be needed before you can drive it properly.

Kevin C. Johnson
10-16-2008, 1:02 PM
It has been a long time and I have finally got back to this project.
I am not a computer person, (I apologize for my ignorance) but what is and how do I find out if this is a g-code program.

James Jaragosky
10-16-2008, 2:54 PM
looks like it is propriatery


Dahlgren engravers use one of two main controllers to which Flexi interfaces. If the user has an old controller (an S1 or an S2 which can only connect to a Tandy TRS-80) they cannot drive it at all with Flexi and need to buy a newer controller.

SCU = Systems Control Unit (Indirect): This is an older controller that will run off a Tandy TRS-80 or a PC compatible. To run it on a PC compatible, you need to install an interface card in the PC. There is no way to connect it to a Mac except by copying a plot file to disk and using it on the PC. There are only two software packages in the world that can drive it, both made by Dahlgren. The first is an old DOS-based system called SuperPro. The other is a newer Windows package called CasDirect.

SuperPro is a layout program that will allow the user to enter text and import logos to be engraved. It can read two different file formats. The first is .FNT which is its font format, and the second is a .FT9 which is its logo format. Both .FNT and .FT9 are proprietary formats and can only be created two ways. The first way is to send your HPGL file to Lemro (602) 833-7329, and for $10 they will convert the file for you. The second (and cheaper) way to do it is to use a program that comes with SuperPro called GraphicsPro. GraphicsPro will convert DesignCAD files (.DC2) into .FNT or .FT9 format which can be opened by SuperPro and engraved. To make a .DC2 file you have to engrave to a file using the correct Dahlgren driver (so resolution is correct) then run another program Dahlgren makes called DcImport which converts HPGL to DC2.

Dahlgren machines are typical engravers that are made up of two units, a Table and a Controller.


Many different table sizes are made by Dahlgren, all with different motors. Some tables have motors that have 800 steps per inch, while others may have 1600, 2000, or 4000 steps per inch. Since we hard code the resolution of each table in Flexi, we need to have a different driver for each table. A common problem is a user will have to scale everything down 20% if they do not have the correct driver selected. This occurs if they have a driver selected that uses 4000 steps per inch but their engraver has 800 steps per inch. The manual for the Dahlgren machine actually tells users they may have to scale the drawing before they engrave it!

Tables are identified by a number and a series of letters. The number indicates the table size and the letters indicate options (Z means that it has a motorized Z-axis so it is a 2.5D machine)

Common tables fall into six categories based on their size and the resolution of their motors.

Read all about them here


Kevin C. Johnson
10-16-2008, 3:37 PM
thanks for the information. I used engravelab to run it, this may have been a better question is there anything that is comparable to engravelab or is that the only thing that I can use to run it?