T2Laser is an alternative paid software (free trial available) to further enhance your machine. You can download it from cnet, softpedia and other major download sites or visit our webpage t2laser.org
@marco_b You are right. The spot size is probably 0.12 or slightly larger so 0.08 is over scanning but it is close to 300dpi (318dpi to be precise). The majority of burn happens in the center 75% of the spot so this isn't as bad as it seems and if you want small images at very high quality it's totally acceptable.
OK, so it's not backlash it's your motors losing steps.
Steppers have lower torque at higher speed so like I said above, slowing down would probably show improvement.
There are several possible causes.
You may have too much friction, either belts are over tight or the wheels/bearings are sticking.
Your motor current isn't sufficient.
The power supply isn't able to provide enough power to the laser and motors - this is common on the 5W and higher lasers. They should have their own dedicated supply.
I appreciate you checking it out.
#1 is not normal, there must be a configuration issue. I have a few settings that may resolve this. Disable DTR, select low buffer mode or enable the simple protocol. The laser should tell T2Laser when the motion is complete and then it will allow full control again, so this signal is getting lost.
#2 this is a hardware issue, the laser should have a pull down resistor on the TTL line so when the input is "floating" (not on or off) it defaults to off. That is called fail safe and for a laser should absolutely be the default. If you pull out the USB cable, lose connection or the Nano fails the laser will go to max power which is dangerous. I can not fix this in firmware or software, but you can add a resistor between - and S to fix it (1 kohm should work).
The first setting is for the G-code file, the one on the Laser Control screen is the manual laser power, for the buttons underneath that fire the laser.
You can set higher than 255 but since the firmware is limited to 255 anything higher is ignored. You don't get more power as 255 is 100%.
Reduce the feed rate as already recommended and increase the passes until you get a good result.
Air assist makes a huge difference, and raising the platform is also a good suggestion. Use a metal lath / grid or honeycomb surface.
@mrmister I agree with you, it does require a well adjustment machine but my point was it's technically possible with these machines and the over burn at the beginning isn't related.
@mrmister There will be no change in feed rate when scanning UNLESS you use Rapid Skip Blank (which is why I suggested to disable it). So that means it could have a dark edge if negative but not if positive, the solution is to add a white border (T2Laser has that feature under the Edit menu).
and using T2Laser software
The EleksDraw tested with different pens. You can achieve many different styles from a hand drawn look using felt tips to a professional pen plotter (technical drawing) with a roller ball. Paint pens and also fabric pens directly on T-shirt material also work but need a better holder. I also discovered with the felt tips that you can vary the line width with different servo values (line color in T2Laser), but you need a level surface and a way to keep the paper flat. I plan to add a feature to do each color separately so you can have a multi-color design.
@eleksuser I've had my 40W CO2 since '08, the controller board died so I replaced it with an Eleks L6 (which would now be the Mana CNC). It works great with T2Laser now, and I also added a Z-axis motor for focusing.
If it's working I wouldn't replace the board, but if/when it fails the replacements are expensive so that would be a good time to consider it.
The trial is limited to 30 minutes per session, but you can restart and keep testing it (no limit to how many times you use it). It is also limited to 10,000 lines of G-code which is enough for a small engraving. It is otherwise fully functional and has so many more features than other software.
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