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Thread: Using fiber laser engraver attatched to an existing cnc machine ?

  1. #16
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    It does seem to be an add on board, but no doubt not cheap and with it's own problems.....
    Strangely difficult to find more info or a manual for it.

    I would have thought that such functionality would have been integral to any standard control card which has rotary functionality.

    Rab
    cnc-tookit

  2. #17
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    Take a look at this site.........EWC Group Inc.
    These people do rings you are are doing and they also sell lasers to do it.
    Check them out.
    Trotec Speedy 300 - 60w, with Quatro CSA-626 fume extraction
    Xenetech 1625 x2,
    New Hermes TX pantograph, CG4 cutter grinder
    Brady Globalmark2 label printer,
    Assortment of custom tooling , shears & punches, heat bender.
    Software: Xenetech XOT, Corel X3, Bartender label software

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Lenkic View Post
    Take a look at this site.........EWC Group Inc.
    These people do rings you are are doing and they also sell lasers to do it.
    Check them out.
    Thank you Tony, I wasn't aware of them, I'll take a look at their site.
    Rab

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Rab Gordon View Post
    Hi Kev,

    Thank you for your thoughts on this.
    I'm primarily wanting to engrave rings, however I see a lot of posts of people having various issues when using a rotary axis on their fiber engravers.
    Seemless engraving often comes up as causing problems and engraving by following vectors seems to be surprisingly difficult.
    Which is why I though of incorporating the laser with one of my current cnc machines which cope quite easily with rotary jobs such as rings and can also manage more complex curved surfaces using full 4 or 5 axis mode if needed.

    One thought would be to get a typical off the shelf, galvo head fiber engraving machine and start simple;
    Use ezcad to set power and frequency and fire the laser at a single point, but find a way to interrupt the laser fire signal to turn the beam on and off externally, ie. treating it like a spindle from the cnc machine.
    I doubt it'd be as simple as that, but good enough in theory.

    For your big panels, I saw mention in a bjjcz manual of repeating the last job held in memory, so if you're engraving the same thing at different locations on your panel that would seem possible to automate by moving to location then using an output from the 5000XT to trigger it's engraving cycle ?

    Rab
    cnc-toolkit


    This can be difficult depending on the software. I do this frequently on a Trotec Speedmarker 1300 30-watt galvo-fiber system. The software has a segmentation feature which enables rotary engraving pretty easily. Seamless engraving accuracy depends on the the correct diameter value put in the software. If its nominal the graphics can be off but it doesn't take much to recorrect. It all depnds on how serious are you? The SM-1300 is an amazing workstation and is built for high-volume industrial marking.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Cicala View Post
    This can be difficult depending on the software. I do this frequently on a Trotec Speedmarker 1300 30-watt galvo-fiber system. The software has a segmentation feature which enables rotary engraving pretty easily. Seamless engraving accuracy depends on the the correct diameter value put in the software. If its nominal the graphics can be off but it doesn't take much to recorrect. It all depnds on how serious are you? The SM-1300 is an amazing workstation and is built for high-volume industrial marking.
    Hi Nick,
    I'll check it out.
    Thank you,
    Rab

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Rab Gordon View Post
    Hi Nick,
    I'll check it out.
    Thank you,
    Rab

    Here's a video of a testing I just did, it was for a full marking around a medical instrument. It's small, but you see the segmentation and how it works. It you notice some of the other marking that are blocking and not constant, that is a result of the wrong diameter being put in.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/h0mq85jpsnr5zv9/MVI_0904.MP4?dl=0

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Cicala View Post
    Here's a video of a testing I just did, it was for a full marking around a medical instrument. It's small, but you see the segmentation and how it works. It you notice some of the other marking that are blocking and not constant, that is a result of the wrong diameter being put in.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/h0mq85jpsnr5zv9/MVI_0904.MP4?dl=0
    Thanks,
    How would this segmentation method work when engraving a ring with a curved (D-Shaped) cross-section ? The diameter is larger in the middle of the ring and decreases as it goes towards the edges.

    Rab
    cnc-toolkit

  8. #23
    That will be problematic, you would just about HAVE to run very short spaced "micro-splits", and even then actual engraved hatch lines will vary in spacing from programmed spacing. But done right, it could work, but it would be slow going...

    And I just wanted to point out, the segmentation thing shown in Nick's video is pretty much identical to how the Chinese machines do it, it's a what I referred to as "splits" in my last post, each split represents a different segment, etc...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    That will be problematic, you would just about HAVE to run very short spaced "micro-splits", and even then actual engraved hatch lines will vary in spacing from programmed spacing. But done right, it could work, but it would be slow going...

    And I just wanted to point out, the segmentation thing shown in Nick's video is pretty much identical to how the Chinese machines do it, it's a what I referred to as "splits" in my last post, each split represents a different segment, etc...
    Is there a reason for it being common to split / segment the design rather than following a vector as would be done with mechanical engraving and which you'd think should work better for this type of engraving ?

    Rab
    cnc-toolkit

  10. #25
    Below is the video from the link on the previous page- That setup will do the -on-the-fly- engraving you're after. Probably a $1000 or so upgrade, maybe a bit more because to get the best results you'll also need to replace the stepping motor with a servo motor.

    The reason the new setup will work while the 'basic' rotary won't, is because (a) the basic rotary's controller isn't designed the 'steer' the rotary on the fly, and (b) I'm thinking the basic steppers may not be capable of the microstepping necessary for high-quality work. That's the main reason for segmenting the engraving...

    The video's comments mention a servo motor should be used... And regardless, note in the video there's no heavy steel chuck, just the motor and the part. It would be a pretty tough task to rotate a chuck at the speeds a fiber is capable of running.

    I think this video is really cool, I'm giving serious consideration to getting one of these, and possibly a 3D setup for one of my machines

    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Below is the video from the link on the previous page- That setup will do the -on-the-fly- engraving you're after. Probably a $1000 or so upgrade, maybe a bit more because to get the best results you'll also need to replace the stepping motor with a servo motor.

    The reason the new setup will work while the 'basic' rotary won't, is because (a) the basic rotary's controller isn't designed the 'steer' the rotary on the fly, and (b) I'm thinking the basic steppers may not be capable of the microstepping necessary for high-quality work. That's the main reason for segmenting the engraving...

    The video's comments mention a servo motor should be used... And regardless, note in the video there's no heavy steel chuck, just the motor and the part. It would be a pretty tough task to rotate a chuck at the speeds a fiber is capable of running.

    I think this video is really cool, I'm giving serious consideration to getting one of these, and possibly a 3D setup for one of my machines
    I think this upgrade would be a big improvement, however I've not been able to find out much more about it or find it's model number or read the manual.
    I've been told that the controller from scaps is far better but it's also far more expensive....

    Rab
    cnc-toolkit

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Rab Gordon View Post
    Thanks,
    How would this segmentation method work when engraving a ring with a curved (D-Shaped) cross-section ? The diameter is larger in the middle of the ring and decreases as it goes towards the edges.

    Rab
    cnc-toolkit

    Depends on the lense used, I stick to a 160mm for testing and if I need to go bigger because due to marking size or focal range it's 254mm then 330mm but the beam diameter increases heavily and results might not work depending on the accuracy needed. The segmentation or splitting is a issue when it's a full wrap graphic without any breaks, you can manually set each segment as well to dodge splitting a letter or graphic in half. I wish non segmentation rotary would work but it just can't for engraving and single point outline has limited applications.

  13. #28
    So while I've mentioned 'micro-splits' above, I've never actually tried it-- till now

    Just finished a job with the rotary and decided to experiment. Here's what I did-

    First, I wanted to have the rotary microstep to its nearest equal 'built in' stepping distance, so- I changed my rotary's step driver to rotate 20,000 steps a long time ago. The part I engraved is 1.25" diameter, which is 31.75mm, times pi = 99.7458mm, divided by 20,000 steps = .00498729mm per step. Ok, so .005mm should work. HOWEVER- as I type this I just realized I'd factored the stepping using the 31.75 diameter rather than the 99.75mm circumference-! This gave me a .004mm distance... So regardless of that, the test came out okay, but I'm wondering if I'd used .005mm as a reference if this would've turned out better...

    anyway--

    So using the .004mm reference, to start I used a .08mm 45-135 degrees cross hatch, and I used a .16mm split size; the hatch and split sizes being multiples of .004--
    I then engraved the top 'Liberty' graphic...

    For the bottom graphic I used identical settings EXCEPT that I changed the split size to a full 2mm...

    Results:
    ro1.jpg
    Not too bad really, as far as normal viewing goes. But note the top version is not as white as the bottom version, there's a reason for that...

    Closeup of the top version, notice the vertical lines, they appear to be hatch lines but,
    they're actually all the .16mm spaced split lines...
    ro2.jpg
    But the engraving and image in general looks very nice, but the hatch engraving is
    hidden BY the split lines, which is why this engraving doesn't appear as white, the hatch engraving
    reflects much more light that the residual split lines...

    Closeup of the bottom version, the 2mm split lines, while faint, are clearly visible. The only
    benefit to this engraving is it's mostly hatch fill, and brighter. But the split lines are the deal breaker...
    ro3.jpg

    Took about 40 seconds to run the top version, and about 10 seconds to run the bottom, give or take...
    ========================

    And as I think about the 'vector rotary' above, I'm not real sure it'll work well with cross-hatch engraving, because, no matter how fast or accurate it is, it's taking the place of a mirror capable of moving engraving 10,000 mm/second. Even if the rotary is capable of 5 revs per second, at 1" diameter that equates to 400 mm/second, 96% less than galvo speed... So I may rethink the need for one
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  14. #29
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    Is the speed mainly an issue due to the increase in time the job will take or it is more of an issue that the beam needs to be moving fast to get a better quality engraving ?

    Rab
    cnc-toolkit

  15. #30
    Speed of engraving directly correlates with engraving quality; a lot of fast passes to the same depth will *usually* result in better engraving quality than a few slow passes. However, for the most part, the quality (IMO) refers to the EDGES of the engraving. Engraving within the edges usually isn't a problem, and if it is some cleanup passes at different settings can take care of it. But the edges are a different story, when cutting out the middle the hatch overlap pretty much vaporizes/removes the metal, but the edges are the beam's stop point, and the hot metal builds up in the form of slag. I liken fiber laser engraving to cutting steel with an acetylene cutting torch, just on a MUCH smaller scale---
    slag.jpg
    I just grabbed this pic online of cutting torch tests, a bit of an oversimplification but it does describe what's happens during lasering with a fiber: the middle goes away but part of the middle remains on the edges.

    The trick is to come up with an engraving routine that will hog out the middle while tempering the engraving along the contour edges...

    The reason my micro-split engraving took 4x as long to run is simply because the laser had to stop and wait for the rotary to turn. And while my engraving of the top version of my test looks good, the sad fact is, the vertical lines are all just individual stop points of the laser beam, aka 'new edges'... so all those vertical lines are actually slag buildup. With a lot of testing with different engraving routines, I could probably greatly reduce the slag, but how much..?
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


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