I will print it if you give me suggested settings for draftboard - how should I adjust the focus height.
Kind of up to you, really. What I did was to remove the tray and elevate it so the top surface was almost exactly the height of the tray. I wanted to maximize the effect, which is a 0.5" spread of focal heights. I just figured out how many different colors I had and did the math with a linear spread, so like if you had 6 layers, you could do 0.01, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5" heights.
Of course you could also decide that you’d rather that not be linear, and get slightly different visual effects. You’re the artist
I am printing it now on two color cardstock. I think I have the score setting wrong, but we’ll see. My actual focus height is .125, so I am using that as well as .175, .225, and .250. I am getting some stuttering in the head movement.
Cool. I started trying this on cardstock, but decided that I needed to use a material that took laser very well. That left me looking at either cork or mahogany, because both of them engrave a nice dark color with surprisingly little laser power applied. I’d imagine that draftboard/mdf would work well too and moderate power levels.
Well, the cardstock doesn’t show enough contrast as I printed it, but with some fiddling I know I could get some interesting results. I printed in separate phases - 4 prints adjusting the focus height for each element. Total print time about 24 minutes.
Oh that’s a pretty cool result.
You can manually override that to do it in one job if you try it again.
It isn’t my fault they went and gave us 4,000 max speed >< Trying to parse that out reasonably and check every 10% power made for a mess of a file. ESPECIALLY since you have a narrower band at higher speeds. Ugh.
Thanks for sharing
How dare they?
I guess if you’re making a matrix of ten power levels and ten speeds sure, that adds up, but you still haven’t accounted for LPI.
That being said… I mean “I want a dark engrave in wood” pretty much narrows you down, you can ignore anything over about 400 speed.
“I want to engrave this very fine image”, well, there goes your high end speed too, thin vertical lines just don’t render well at higher speeds.
Of course, none of this takes the material into account. Wait, what about different rendering methods – 3d vs dots vs pattern? And we’re back to square one, the matrix of things to test has just gotten huge again. The way I see it, engraving is just too complicated to make a successful one-size-fits-all test file, so I have never bothered.
I suppose if GF ever wanted to support metadata like we’ve been talking about it wouldn’t be too hard to make a very comprehensive test palette with some code, but … I just can’t see the benefit. Trying to make a digital solution to a super analog problem like engraving is just asking for disappointment… live in the grey area and you’ll be happier, I say.
The range of reasonable in any approach is much more limited. You will not be engraving paper with anywhere near the range you will use on Walnut and vice versa. Depth engraving (variable power) is very useful to know how deep it will go but dots will go to the same depth as a score. Even the differences of balancing LPI and speed can be derived from a range test on poplar.
BTW welcome back to active as I saw a lot of your posts in the past but fewer recently.
That would be an excellent Phase 1.
To really unlock some cool new stuff, settings should be specified in the file without any requirement for settings existing on the user’s account. That gives you access to everything without having to do any work up front.
This community would do some awesome stuff if we had features like this.
I think all the above that you’re talking about leads to option paralysis (decision paralysis?). Definitely negating returns. At a certain point, the differences are so subtle, you’re just spinning your wheels. Give me just enough so that my experience can guide me in fine tuning.
Throw in additional material variables and it all goes out the window anyways.
That’s a great idea, being able to add attributes into the svg file would be one way to do this. The GFUI app would interpret the correct setting based on those added attributes. Feature request!!!
The GFUI is not optimal for much really - this is the biggest disappointment for me after buying the Glowforge - very, very poor and I wish there was a proper software application. I’m used to working in full-blown CAD applications and maybe expected too much, but when I look at software used by other lasers this is a let-down.
Welcome to the forum.
I am only vaguely familiar with the software other lasers use such as Ruby and CorelDraw. What software are you speaking of?
Without being specific, I create everything in Inkscape which is great (I don’t want to design in the browser), but no matter how well I structure the file, name entities, embed info for materials, settings, etc., as soon as you drag the SVG into GFUI you lose all that and I find the way it throws out all the embedded intelligence and re-hashes everything.
When I’ve looked at competing lasers (back when I was selecting a product) many have their own software app where you go direct from structured design file to the machine. I didn’t realise how doing the backend processing on GF servers and having no control over the process output would be so inconvenient. Maybe it’s just me and the way I’m used to working, but I find it cumbersome and the lack of control frustrating.
I appreciate that you find it cumbersome. I think, however, that the GFUI is pretty good for its intended user - a hobbyist with little to no laser experience. The expert laser user can adapt to the “clunky” interface, but the novice needs what the Glowforge offers. Over the years, Glowforge has enhanced the interface and provided improved tools. Hopefully that will continue.
Yeah you’re not wrong. It seems like there should be a way to embed settings in the file. There have been lots of people with the same idea m, but if you’ve never emailed support about it you should. If they hear that it’s something that a lot of us really want they might finally get around to making it.
We paid GBP7k (USD8.7k) for our Pro - definitely not for the average hobbyist and the clue is in the name “Pro”. It’s more expensive than most of the industrial format machines out there of the same caliber, but we wanted an office-friendly desktop unit and wanted the quality, support and parts backup of a US-sourced machine. I get that some hobbyists may use the cheaper versions, but perhaps they need something different for pro users - there are many people basing a business around their Glowforge machines, including ourselves. We will manage OK, I just find the GFUI a real let-down for such a great machine.
Thanks for re-posting this. That’s a great technique. (And a little similar to another project I’m working on, but it’ll probably take me a few more months to figure out what kind of design I want.)