I'm trying out some various pieces of software, for use with uccnc and Stepcraft / 445 nm 2w laser.
In this circumstance, I'm looking at various ways of engraving images with a laser, and have been looking at picengrave, which makes a simple product - PicLaser.
For this product, they ask for some details to help with formatting the G-Code:
1) Laser Off Command (I think this is M11 )
2) Laser Control Command (Is this M10, or M10Q-....) - it had been Z- by default.
3) PreCode Commands (Should this be G21; G91 ; M3; ?))
4) PostCode Commands (SHould this be M5; M30; ?)
The last two are guesses of mine based on the example laser g-code from page 18 in the manual
Thanks for your help!
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So it turns out the developers are quite quick to respond. They have some experience with 2w lasers, and between their suggestions and some tinkering and looking at the G-Code, this is getting close:
Feed Rate: 1650 mm/min
Pixel Resolution: 0.1524
Max Laser Value: 255
Min Laser Value: 10 (I think this should be increased, as a lot of light colours weren't burned in)
Laser Off Command: M11
Laser Control Command: M10 Q
Pic the orientation you wish to have,
then select Std.Gcode
When I had the pixel Resolution higher than this, it burned my piece of wood quite heavily - up to 1.5 cm into the surface.
With the above settings, on Birch, the blacks were pretty close to black, so the feed rate and max power are likely fairly good. As mentioned above, the light colours (of which there were many) were lost, so increasing the min value would likely be good. To etch an image well, you'd probably want an image with lots of contrast.
My Stepcraft is still packed in a box from a recent move, so I can't give you anything specific. It probably would take a couple hours, depending on the pixel resolution.
Given that there's a free trial, you should be able to find out fairly easily. I believe the trial not only watermarks the images, but also stops half-way - but you'll get an idea for time from that. Aside from what you choose to put into the settings, the main limitations for an etch like this is entirely hardware-dependent - laser power and axis stepper speed.