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How to mill and engrave?

Hi,

New to my Boxzy, can someone teach me how to mill & engrave wordings on my plastic material? Try using the Boxzy Interface and the build plate keeps lowering downward (z-axis), I assumed the build plate lowering is because of wrong interface used as a 3D printer instead of milling (which Z-axis should rise).

Please tell me how to mill wordings for my plastic part. Thank you.

Regards,

Edwin.

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Would you like to engrave with a laser (burning material) or by milling (physically removing material)?

What type of plastic are you working with?

How familiar are you with CNC machines and BoXZY software interface?

To get started look at

Laser Attachment Guide: PDF

Milling Attachment Guide: PDF

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Hi Yoda,

Thanks for the pdf. My main concern now is to engrave wordings using both milling and laser.

On one hand, I can handle the milling. I can edit the G codes from the 3D print to milling engrave (need to edit the G codes to remove the "dragging lines" created for 3D printing, but I cannot use these "dragging lines" for engraving wordings, else it became like a rectangular block), is there a more user-friendly & simple approach towards positioning the wordings for milling? As I need to keep editing the G codes each time when I change wordings or position.

Next, the issue with laser engrave. It seems no matter what jpeg or png picture I input, Boxzy only managed to move along the x,y axis (during dry test), but when it reaches the tip of the first word, it stop. Either showed "format error" or "checksum error". What could be the issue? I haven't got a laser engrave since I received Boxy a week ago. Please advice.

Regards,

Edwin.

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Have you tried using Fusion for CAD/CAM to mill words?

As for the laser engraving. Try to create an image with a word in paint and save as uncompressed .bmp (grayscale). Load that image into BoXZY software and do not scale or crop it. Turn anti-aliasing off as well. Run a test on a flat piece of wood.

Your Z-axis should be static during engraving with laser. You have to measure the thickness of your material and enter it into BoXZY software (in metric units "mm") so that the laser beam can be focused and produce optimal burn. If entered value is incorrect, your image might become distorted.

If you are trying to laser on something that is not a flat surface, than you will have to create manual G-code entries so that Z-axis can be adjusted to accommodate part profile. This might be a daunting task and I have not tried it myself (yet).

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Hi Yoda,

I'm using Solidworks and Adobe Photoshop.

I finally got the laser engraver worked! I found out for the "format error" and "checksum error" was simply due to the dry-test that I had been testing. The moment I put in the laser engraver, it worked perfectly. Therefore, I suggest Boxzy should prompt "insert laser engraver" rather than "format error" when running dry test without the laser engraver. The format error message is so confusing. As for the image, there is no need for grayscale, I tried different format and it all worked well.

One question, how does specifying the "material thickness" and "focus" work? I found that I manually adjust the Z-axis at about 50 - 60mm, it worked well for all the parts I put in. Even without changing the material thickness or focus? I was assuming if I key in the material thickness and press the "focus" button, the Z-axis should automatically adjust to the correct height for best focusing but it does not seems to work out that way.

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Love playing with the laser engraving, so much easier than milling (need to keep edit G-codes).

I did laser engraved on something which is not flat (with several slight dent/slots on the surface) and it engraved well.

Haven't play with the 3D printer yet as I had a Z-18.

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Hi Edwin,

The Z axis goes down so that the laser is focused at the right depth. The laser focus is at one setting and when you tell it how thick your material is the Z axis moves to aim the focus of the laser at the right depth for the piece.

Hope this helps,

Ken

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Hi Ken,

Thanks but the Boxzy doesn't seems to laser engrave any jpeg or png format that I input! It either show "format error"or "checksum error". Is there an issue on the picture settings?

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Hi Edwin,

I only tried engraving with greyscale. I did not try to do anything like a transparent background. Try changing the image to a duotone and seeing if that helps. It will let you know if it is because the parser can't read your picture or not. I think that you would want a white background.

Hope this helps,

Ken

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Edwin Yeo will be eternally grateful.
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