EleksMaker engravers and GRBL

  • Topic about GRBL and EleksMaker engravers.
    I did not find the full topic about a popular solution like the GRBL firmware (I use GRBL 0.9j) and engravers from Eleks.
    Most often I use EngraverMaster for burning. But sometimes you need to burn not only a solid line, but with shades. For this, I use PicSender. This solution is convenient because I do not need to flush the controller every time. Everything works on the same firmware - GRBL 0,9j.
    But PicSender does not always work well with large image sizes. Let's look for the best firmware and operating software. In order not to reflash the controller every time, and that it would normally work either with a sharp or continuous burning, and with halftones and shades.

    P.S .: EleksCam I usually do not use. The operator's PC works for me under Windows XP or under Linux Mint with Vine. EleksCam on these solutions does not work.

  • Grbl's 1.1 release includes laser mode, which makes generating gcode for lasers much easier and safer. In an ideal world all software developers would update their code so you could select 0.9 or 1.1, but this is not an ideal world :)

    I guess all new laser software will use 1.1 because of the advantages. For instance, I think T2laser by @Zax requires 1.1 (but it also provides an easy way to upload new firmware). So I've switched to 1.1f.

    I'm on Linux, so I used the Arduino IDE method described here: https://github.com/gnea/grbl/wiki/Flashing-Grbl-to-an-Arduino

    I have a good vector solution for Linux using an Inkscape extension: https://bitbucket.org/vig/lasergcode

    For raster, if you have development experience, why not write your own image-to-gcode application? For instance, in python you could use the PIL library to resize the image so pixels are the width of the burn line, and then use the average RGB value to make gcode instructions to burn it.

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @foxylad I agree with you 100%, not only is 1.1 safer but the motion is faster and smoother. Add to that the ability to change laser power and feed rates on-the-fly and you really shouldn’t be using anything else.

    I recommend my default firmware (1.1) but T2Laser works with any version of Grbl, from Benbox to the latest. It also works with other firmware such as smoothie using its Grbl compatible mode.

  • Today I'll try to flash 1.1 and test the work of EngraverMaster (now for me this is the main application) and PicSender.
    Today I also tried LaserGRBL. If the firmware GRBL 1.1 is smoother and safer than 0.9, it is worth checking out. Because when burning a large image this part on my board became very hot and the image shifted horizontally.
    At the same time I already have a radiator on this element!
    If this problem occurs on the new firmware, then it will be fine. I like LaserGRBL more than PicSender.

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @grom If the MOSFET is getting hot you probably need to use a different PWM frequency, likely it isn't being completely biased and that generates heat.

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