Cut power and speed encoded in the cut file

I’m not sure how you tell the GF software what lines to cut, and which to raster (I’m sure it’s in another post somewhere). I know with the Epilog, the lines of specific width (0.001") are cut. With the Silhouette Studio, lines of specific colors are cut. I’m not sure what scheme GF will use, but I had an idea this morning.

I often cut at different power and speed settings on the same piece (sometimes, I want to etch a detail at high speed, low power then cut around that using a higher power, at lower speed).

Currently, with the Epilog, I have to create multiple cut files and then do multiple print jobs (each one at a different power/speed setting). It would be really cool if the GF had an “expert” type setting, where the speed and power of the cut are encoded in the color of the lines. The RED color component could be the power, and the BLUE could be the speed. So any line of color “#640032” would cut at a speed of 64%, and a power of 32% (I’m skipping hex to decimal conversion for simplicity).

That way you could make one file that has multiple cut powers and speeds. It would be cool to experiment with this feature, and make lines that fade as it’s power goes down.

I know it’s not likely this feature will make it to the final software, since most people do not need this, but it would be cool nonetheless.


I think it is already doing multiple cut speed/power settings based on color ( Watch Brad Feld & Dan Shapiro print something ).

Although I think there might be a slightly simpler interface I do like the idea of encoding the parameters in the color. Maybe the green could be focal point height in .5mm increments. :smile:

this would defo be an advanced feature but it is pretty clever. takes the original grayscale idea into an extra dimension. RGB … red = power, green = speed, blue = focal length. Would give a simple way to have some crazy control of the system. @dan - one for the hopper? or too far fetched?

just imagining some what would happen to lines that transition from one color to another… could give complete control…defocusing beam for certain edge effects etc… i like @polarbrainfreeze!

I thought about that too. By changing the color line to make it fade from one color to another, you could create interesting effects. But I don’t know if the GF has that amount of control over the power and speed.

You can imagine going from 10% speed in one pixel to 80% speed the next pixel. Obviously the GF can’t change the speed that quickly. It would be interesting to experiment with.

It might also be hard to find Software that can create gradient lines.

Illustrator can do that, in fact you can have all kinds of crazy patterns as line fill.

The Epilog machines I’ve used allow you to turn on color mapping in the printer driver. You can then set power and speed for colors you specify. At least 6 colors can be used, maybe more but I’ve never tried. Does that not do what you want in a single file and print job?

I don’t have time to play much with the epilog print driver, since I use our local maker-space’s machine. I could probably spend some time and figure this out, but it’s really hard to get any time on that machine. So I try and maximize my use of it by cutting projects, rather than experimenting with it. That’s one reason I’m really looking forward to owning my own machine. I’ll be able to spend some time just trying things out.

Yes, one file with 6 different cut speeds and powers would be more than sufficient. But it just came into my head this morning to encode the cut speed/power right into the color. I am aware that it is not a feature that would be in high demand and that there are a LOT more worthy things for GF to work on at the moment. But I still thought it was worth discussing. Perhaps as a possible future enhancement to the software.

I think it may allow for some really interesting effects.

Your idea has potential for some interesting effects.
Check the Epilog manual available on-line. Settings can also be saved and reused. It will save you a lot of time when you actually get access to the machine at the Makerspace. It’s always a pressure situation to get done what you want with other people waiting.