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January 21, 2020, 12:40:59 pm

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1  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: drilling on: January 14, 2020, 19:44:02 pm
"Lloyd, I did exactly gcode upon your instructions (set peck distance) and it works!!!!  Cheesy I was so proud about myself, jumping here yesterday  Grin Big help, thanks!!"

Hey!  Terrific Hana!  I was just the first guy to jump in with a suggestion.  You'll find this to be the MOST helpful technical site on the internet.  In fact, I'm seldom the person who offers a suggestion, because so many people help.

What version of Windows?  Could it be permissions to write/modify files?
If you install Mach3 again you have to run all the setup process again, assigning pins, tuning motors, inputs and so on. It's not plug-and-play system.
2  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Engraving up a slope on: January 13, 2020, 09:36:26 am
Create the exact line profile in X/Y plane. Then rotate (depending on orientation) at 90 degrees and align the flat part to Z=0. Grid copy it at 1 mm step. Use Engrave MOP. It will follow the line slope.
3  FeedBack / Bug Reports / Re: Pocketing. Again. on: January 11, 2020, 09:03:52 am
and Dave,
I admit I've not used your CD plugin. Will install it to see how it works. I did a polyline clean with CB but, as David points out, it removes only perfect overlaps. I must have been quite tired at the end of the day to not pay attention that there 16 segments. I even counted them but it did not ring any bells in my head. Smiley

I've had quite a number of such cases. Even with a perfect circle drawn in CB when the step over and diameter produce a remainder during calculation. Sometimes converting the circle to a poly does the trick and my guess is it's due to rounding.
This is the reason I raised the issue with pocketing again. I still think it needs some more flexibility. In more complex projects one can easily miss that some tool paths are not quite as expected.
There are other issues too when going to next depth level from clearance at plunge speed. It seems it is more frequent and connected to using spiral lead-in.

Thank you for the insight.
4  FeedBack / Bug Reports / Re: Pocketing. Again. on: January 10, 2020, 16:17:20 pm
I should mention that the offending shape was obtained by using positive 'Offset' command.
Looking at the points collection table I see tiny bulge values where they should not be present.
5  FeedBack / Bug Reports / Re: Pocketing. Again. on: January 10, 2020, 15:47:52 pm
Adjusting the step over does the trick too, Dave.
But as the second picture shows, I have the feeling that some internal calculations go wrong. This is not the first case I bump into this problem. Even simple shapes like the one in my file or a circle can produce very weird results. Producing sporadic cuts, double cuts or changing the milling direction of a pass.
I suspect it's the floating point aritmetics but am not able to isolate an example. Since some time I've been using Profile MOP with cut width where possible. Same moves but much more stable and predictable.
6  FeedBack / Bug Reports / Pocketing. Again. on: January 10, 2020, 12:17:18 pm
Some may get annoyed for which my apologies. But I continue to insist that current 'Pocket' MOP need some tweaking.
From my own experience I came to the conclusion that current algorithm tries to do the final pass at exactly the set step over. At any cost. even if that means doing extra pass(es) and long cut at 180° tool engagement.
And I think this is not right. There should be some margin of step over variation to adjust for best tool trajectory.
If you take a look at the pictures - there is a simple shape for pocketing.
- At step over = 0.4 the generated tool path is not what one expects and is worst approach for milling - doing a full load pass near the outer edge. This should not happen IMHO.
- At step over = 0.35 the tool paths are fine.

Also, I don't think the "optimization" with multi depth level pockets where every other level starts at where the previous had finished is useful. Sometimes I (and I suppose others too) spare extra time to play with step over and start point to make the milling more effective and predictable only to find that the next level starts at another point.
7  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: The Laser Project on: January 10, 2020, 09:35:14 am
All of those machines laser, printers don't deal with mass and don't turn screws.

That's what I was trying to say in a mild manner in my previous post. Smiley
8  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: How to save time with milimetters milling on: January 09, 2020, 08:59:53 am
I don't do much jobs like that but
- first condition is to have as clean and smooth (less control points) geometry
- I sometimes use the inlay path plugin to create geometry copy for the given tool diameter
- then, with a smaller tool diameter use either profile MOP with cut width larger than TD or combine inlay geometry with the original one into a region.
9  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Z heights go crazy on: January 09, 2020, 08:54:15 am
Servo drivers usually raise an error signal to the motion controller if a set error margin is exceeded due to binding. And that is their main advantage.
10  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Z heights go crazy on: January 07, 2020, 14:16:33 pm
99.9% sure it's not CamBam to blame.
11  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: The Laser Project on: January 07, 2020, 14:14:57 pm
FWIW I've taken a closer look at a factory office laser engraver. "Epilog" if I am not mistaken. The main difference compared to a CNC router mechanics is that it is belt driven like a dot matrix printer and very fast moving in the main direction of scanning. The laser head is very light mass, in fact a mirror which diverts the beam from horizontal to vertical and a lens. It is a CO2 laser (about 50W) and the tube is static. The beam is optically fed to be always pointing to the moving head along its axis of travel. Thus a simple on/off mode (at a preset power level) allows high lines per inch resolution at quite fast speed to reproduce a real dot raster image. Much like laser printers do.
It is nearby and I'll ask the guy working on it whether it can do shades of gray instead of raster.
12  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: The Laser Project on: January 03, 2020, 18:22:17 pm
It seems to me at low power the laser is not producing the fine lines while overburns the thick ones.
For some satisfactory results you need about 64 distinctive levels of energy with 0 meaning laser is off. And better expand them on a wider range of spindle RPM, respectively power levels. I'd suggest also to use values that are divisible to 8. Because the internal logic driving the PWM is most probably based on 8 bit (0 to 255) possible values for duty cycle of the PWM. Like 256, 512, 1024 or 2048 RPM. So that the output from Mach3 PWM is calculated with higher precision.
Base frequency will depend on the horizontal movement speed and the selected resolution (in dots per inch) when you convert the bitmap. So that there be enough time to change the laser power for each (virtual) dot.

To be honest I don't think using the height map plugin is the right approach. IMHO better results can be achieved by resampling a gray scale image to lower resolution (like 32-64 levels, it is called posterisation) and reducing its resolution to acceptable value depending on laser beam thickness. Then a special plugin could read directly dot values and convert them to moves with corresponding laser power for each dot. I.e. skip entirely the typical MOP generation by CamBam.
If anyway the height map is used, then the depth values must be enough to cover the minimal gray levels number.
13  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Happy New Year on: January 02, 2020, 09:03:25 am
Happy New Year!
As our local saying goes: New year, new luck!  Smiley
14  Made by CamBam / Members Machines / Re: Water cooler for my spindle on: January 01, 2020, 17:03:28 pm
Very good point about the minimal spindle (bearing) temperature. I became a bit worried recently as the spindle body temperature before start of work is around 13-16°C this time of the year. In the warm part the temperature never got above 42°C with only 15l of coolant. I use antifreeze diluted for -10°C. To prevent algae and just in case the shop stays without warming for a longer time.

The additional heater didn't come to my mind.

Ralf, thanks for the clue.
15  Support / CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Completely CamBoozled on: December 31, 2019, 09:04:28 am
Cambam 0.9.8 - but I've also tried in 1.0. My operating system is Win 10, 64 bit AMD Radeon 6450 HD graphics card. I just read a old thread about video cards that can be reset to help the speed, but I don't know how to switch any of the settings. I did check my drivers and they are up to date. thank you!
What about the processor and installed RAM?  Could also be a display card driver issue.
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