Suggested T2 Settings
I just ran across a post on 'Benbox Laser Machines/CO2 Lasers/3d Printers' from 2016. A maker named caperry88 had posted 2 files with various settings and their results on T2. Unfortunately, the attachments are no longer available or maybe I just can't see them because I'm not a member of that board. Does anyone on here have those files or something like it? I'm trying to get a handle on more detail in my burns.
@rlambert I found the post you are referring to http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,79.0.html and downloaded his 2 PDF documents but to be honest they're not that useful. If you e-mail me (there's a contact option on my website) I will send them to you.
Here's how I determine the best settings for a material, it's somewhat experience and then trial and error. I always start with laser min at 0 and laser max at 255 (which is full power using my firmware and parameters), then resolution is set to match the laser spot size (0.16~0.18 in the case of my 2.5W modules) and then set a feed rate which I think will be close, say 1500.
If the burn is too dark I increase feed rate, in steps of 500, 200, 100 until I get it right. If it's too light I lower it using the same method, if feed rate gets above 2500 I will lower the laser max to 200 and repeat the process. Only adjust one parameter at a time, usually just the feed rate.
Thanks for the input. Since you're the expert, if you don't think the articles will help, then I won't bother. I was wondering if the Microprocessor or Post Processor might have anything to do with my laser's abilities. The microprocessor is Nano and Post Processor is GRBL(S). The firmware is the default 1.1e. My last grayscale attempt had a resolution of .05, intensity of 0-255 and speed of 1000 I think. I used diagonal pattern too. Still ended up with a charcoal square. That's when I began wondering if my laser is capable of doing what I want. Oh and I'm running the Eleksmaker 3 Pro with the 2.5w laser. Would there be any advantages to swapping the arduino out for a Mega?
On a different note, I've tried several options to try to get the cabling from the arduino to the laser to stay off the bed but it always sags and gets in the way on large burns. Any suggestions?
Thanks for the quick response.
@rlambert Your microprocessor and post processor settings are correct. The problem is your resolution, it needs to match the spot size of your laser which is probably 0.15~0.20 (start with 0.18 and if you get lines lower it to 0.16). Using 0.05 means the laser is going over the same area 3 or more times and that's why it's so black.
No, there's nothing to gain with using a Mega instead of a Nano. Grbl runs perfectly well on the Nano.
I just tie the cable up to a shelf above the laser, you could use drag chains, spiral wrap or a rigid wire to help keep it off the bed.
@Zax OK, I'm in the same boat, so I want to do photos.
I have a 7 watt laser. I want to do grayscale. what speed
should I use, what power min-max. Should I use the same setting .15-.20?
That's for the help. I Looking to do 8 x 10 inch wood burns. At That scale
what should my Res. be for the photo?
@Zax Thanks again for the help Zax. I made several test burns and found that a feed rate of 1500-2500, power of 0-200 up to 0-255 with a resolution of .16 worked the best for me. I found that the wood makes a big difference. I'm practicing on cheap 1/4 plywood from the big box store... lots of imperfections and color variations. I think the biggest difference was the resolution. I had heard somewhere that .05 was the best overall setting, but I see that was way off. I'm getting cleaner burns and a LOT less smoke.
@davidwhorf maybe my settings will be a good start for you. It took me 12 practice burns to get what I wanted. Good luck.
The four best images I got had the following feed rate, power, and resolution.
2500, 0-255, .16
2000, 0-255, .16
1500, 0-255, .16
1500, 0-200, .16
@rlambert Yes, the material makes a huge difference. I use Birch laser ply if I want quality results but it isn't cheap.