Trying to get a repeatable process with flask engraving and having a heck of a time. After some trial and error yesterday was able to successfully engrave 4x jobs positioned at each location (tests) and then 2x jobs with 4 flasks. Process was the same for each, I’d manipulate a 12x20 svg file to position/remove artwork, upload with no placement and everything worked.
This AM, did the same thing for 2 remaining flasks. Deleted some art in illustrator, uploaded the SVG and it engraved 1"+ to the left for some reason (Y seems correct). Only thing I did was try playing around with set focus (I’m trying to set the focus to midpoint of the height of the engrave area), everything else was the same. I can’t think of anything I did that should affect the X positioning of the job.
I just really want to get consistent XYZ performance / indexing - it’s been a source of pain on many jobs for me. It’s not necessary much of the time that you’re “cookie cuttering” objects out of material, but for multi-pass jobs or objects that you want square… I’m happy to burn a flask or two to get the settings dialed in, but would like to be able to recreate a job consistently once I’ve done that.
Any suggestions on getting the settings for the engrave dialed in to help with the X extents of the design which aren’t as crisp, welcomed as well. I was going to play a bit with power/speed after playing with focus height.
In reading up, it would appear that manual focus settings over-ride. So basically autofocus gets trumped by material height gets trumped by engrave focus height? Is that correct?
I know that GF gets all of the data from the jobs, but man, it would be really nice if you gave that to the users so that we could examine exactly what is happening between jobs and can re-create them when we need them
You are engraving on black flasks, correct? Let me explain why that might create a problem for you.
The laser head flashes out a red light for a fraction of a second when it moves into position before starting the job. That red light is used to calculate the height of the object, and an algorithm then corrects the view we see on the screen for fisheye effect at that spot.
Then you place your design, thinking that the view is correct, and the engraving is going to happen right where you want it to. Problem is, on dark surfaces, the camera can get an incorrect reading on the height of the object, if it can’t see that red dot.
Simplest fix is to use thin white paper masking tape on the flask. If you mask it first, it will probably spot the dot every time, and eliminate the 1" variance that you are seeing. And you can engrave through it with no problem.
The second issue of the blurry edges on the edges of the flask is a little harder to get around…if there is sufficient curvature, it is always going to defocus a little as the surface falls away from the focal point. For that, you can either select a focal point at the midpoint of the curvature, or maybe try making the engraving smaller. If it has less area to cover, it will defocus less.
I am not placing or moving the art, just uploading it using a 12x20 artboard which I was told would index it the same way everytime. My goal here is to get a reliable repeatable operation and doing nothing visually.
Yesterday I did 7x uploads and engraves as I described - cut the jig (1x), test the position for each of the positions (4x) and 2x passes against 4 flasks that all came out correctly.
Yes, I’m engraving the flasks, but I am not placing the artwork. Instead, I cut a jig and placed the artwork within the same jig file to get everything aligned perfectly everytime. It looks completely off in the preview, but came out correctly, repeatably yesterday. I don’t undersatnd why set focus would have any impact on the XY positioning of the engrave, it should just adjust the Z positioning.
As long as you cut the jig and then perform the engraves in the same job, it should align perfectly. (The relationship between the engraving in the file and the cutlines is absolute.)
If you turn it off though, and then try to place the jig at the same spot, it loses that relative positioning.
For the masking issue, you can try placing a yellow post it note on each flask, above where the engraving is, and target that when you use Set Focus. Click on each flask with the Set Focus tool, watch it to make sure that the red dot lands on the Post-it, and then do your final placement on that flask immediately afterwards, while the view on that flask has been corrected.
(Or…since it’s on a flask, you can probably just wash the masking off. Should be pretty quick, and a lot faster than weeding it off after.)
The closer you get to the center of the machine directly under the camera for placement, the less distortion there is. So if you can place your items to be engraved under the camera, the better it’s going to work out.
Also, did you run the machine Calibration routine? That can help a great deal with eliminating alignment problems.
It’s a lot of things to check but it goes pretty quickly depending on which method you want to use. (I prefer the jig for accuracy, but I’m not trying to do hundreds of the things.)
I’m sorry about the ongoing trouble while trying to set up your projects. I see that you’ve emailed us about this, and I’ve reached out to you there, so I’m going to close this topic and continue to assist you via email.