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This page is full of resources designed to help you troubleshoot any issues that may occur as you use BoXZY.

101 Questions View all

How do I move the laser at a consistent speed?

I've used the laser at steps from 100% speed down to 10% (even 1%) using the Cut Outline option at 100% --- 100% power and the speed at which the laser moves is still too fast to cut paper. Is there a way to move the laser at a constant speed over small distances? Also, the laser is engraving dark corners, but all of the straight lines are faded out, and get darker as the laser slows down for another corner.

The fan works, that isn't the issue. How do I adjust the acceleration of the carriage to minimize it/make it more consistent?

Update (03/17/2016)

I've attached (or attempted to attach) the laser tab settings. I think the main problem is the speed issue, but I could be wrong. I'm confused on one thing though:

When focusing the laser, you mention leveling the bed. In this scenario that has me placing the material on the print bed where up until now I've been placing it on the milling bed beneath it as was (if I remember correctly) reflected in the laser quick start tutorial. If I place the material on the print bed, wont I need to then set the material thickness as the height of the bed plus the height of the material?

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Update (03/26/2016)

Hey, just wanted to give you an update. I have my laser module plugged in, and I went to run 11 line tests at speeds (in %) 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, and 1. I ran all tests with 100% laser power. I noticed that there was zero difference in the darkness of each line, and I didn't hear an audible difference in the stepper motors indicating that each line was likely running at the same speed. Just to be sure, I ran this code:

G0 X0 Y20 F600000

G0 X100 Y20 F71.4

G0 X0 Y30 F600000

G0 X100 Y30 F174

G0 X0 Y40 F600000

G0 X100 Y40 F288

G0 X0 Y50 F600000

G0 X100 Y50 F402

G0 X0 Y60 F600000

G0 X100 Y60 F516

G0 X0 Y70 F600000

G0 X100 Y70 F630

G0 X0 Y80 F600000

G0 X100 Y80 F744

G0 X0 Y90 F600000

G0 X100 Y90 F858

G0 X0 Y100 F600000

G0 X100 Y100 F972

G0 X0 Y110 F600000

G0 X100 Y110 F1086

G0 X0 Y120 F600000

G0 X100 Y120 F1200

which let me observe the movement speed. This ran just fine, there was a difference between each movement speed. But, when I ran the individual tests at the various speeds the laser moved at the same speed for each. To venture a guess, is there some issue when computing a G1 command instead of a G0 one? Without the presence of G1 X/Y(some value) L(some value) the speeds seem to be fine. Thoughts?

Update (03/27/2016)

Alright, new info on the matter! I wrote a gcode test grid for the laser using only G0 from L10 to L100 in steps of 10 and speeds from F174 (10%) to F1200 (100%) in 10 steps as well to get a 10x10 grid of squares. This worked absolutely perfectly, each step moving at the appropriate speed and burning at the appropriate level. I went back and recoded burn command lines (any line with an L#) to be G1 lines and they immediately ignored all speed and power commands, skipping (I assume) to a preset value for each. When G0 lines ran, there were no spontaneous accelerations, everything moved evenly. G1 had accelerations and uneven burn lines due to said acceleration. So, what do I do to fix this? I want things to burn and run how I set them, but the program automatically generates G1 based lines.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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With 18mm material thickness you should be at 68.7 Z height (focus height to the print platform is 50.7 + material thickness). It's referenced from the print platform and not the milling platform. I will check the manual about the discrepancy. This may explain any potential focusing issues. @Justhelper can continue helping you problem solve any speed issues.

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My main concern really is the speed issue. I'm sure once that's solved the laser will be fine.

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This gets more and more strange. G0 should not allow speed control because it's an idle move which uses the default feed rate. G1 should be the one that allows variable speeds because it's the action move header.

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I don't understand that. In the G-Code editor panel when I look at each line, the feedrate is defined on G0 lines and the laser intensity is defined on G1 lines. For example, when running a single line burn:

G0 X27 Y49.05 F600000

G0 X28 F1200

G1 X50.7 L100

G0 X51.7

G0 X50.7 F600000

It looks like this. That's full speed full laser. Should the feedrate be defined on the laser lines? This was auto generated.

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Ok so from what I was told a bit ago, G0 and G1 are used slightly differently on BoXZY. The machine will allow you to designate a feedrate for the G0 commands. This is different than most CNC machines I'm familiar with, but it's a nice feature. They are just as confused as me that G0 works for speed control and G1 doesn't, however. I'll let you know if I can track any other information that can explain this.

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Chosen Solution

In the end: replaced arduino board.

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With another Arduino board or something else? Just asking :-)

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I was sent a new arduino board, same type. It wasn't fun replacing it, but it got the job done. Maker's note: please add labels or color coding to the cables.

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Most Helpful Answer

I'll look into the speed issue, could you provide a picture of your settings? If you can't cut paper at higher speeds your laser is out of focus (even though white or bright colors reflect away a lot of the laser beam). This can also cause issues with darkened corners. The overly broad area of the laser overlaps more area on the corners than on straight lines. You can focus your laser as follows: (Please note this can be considered dangerous, mainly if done incorrectly, and would not be recommended by the BoXZY team to be tried at home. Please return your laser to them for focussing if you are concerned you cannot do this safely. This process was figured out by me personally while fiddling with my BoXZY; It is not how it is done in the factory)

1. Level your platform as shown in the 3d printing tutorial (very important for consistency, you can use the laser for this if you don't have a print head. Leave it unlugged)

2. Home X Y and Z axis, then plug in laser (put your safety glasses on first)

3. Press the focus button on the laser interface with 0 for material thickness (verify the platform moves downward as desired)

4. Put a piece of thin, very darkly colored paper down on the platform in the laser path, preferably matt black.

5. In the manual control window enter the command " G1 X150 F1 L10 ", It must be exactly those digits. Do NOT add a zero to the final 10 or you will be operating at 100% power. Do not press enter yet.

(There is a black nob coming out of the bottom of the laser, it can be turned both ways for focussing. Which direction you need to turn it will be based on the situation. You will need to turn this after you press enter)

6. (Here's the dangerous part) Press enter and as the machine moves very slowly, remove your glasses (carefully, verify the laser is not very bright). Then turn the nob with your fingers until the beam is at its smallest. It may take a few turns, back and forth, to really nail it down. (with the laser on this power level it gives off somewhere around 100mw of power at its focus point because the laser power is more of a curve than a straight line in reality. This is dangerous if you receive a direct reflection to your eyes within 1 inch of the focal point, but it will not hurt your skin during short contact. Indirect reflection will give off somewhere around 5mw, however it defuses at a very fast rate (53 mrad) . With your eyes a distance of a several inches you are completely safe based on the math, and in my experience with this method)

*As a note the BoXZY team could possibly ask me to remove this write up, so in that case, I apologize.

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I've updated to add the picture

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I'll have to take measurements to be sure, but it appears that the linear movement speed is not directly proportional to the set % speed rate. Running 50% vs 100% looked very close to the same.

I'll try refocusing the laser as per the method above and keep an eye on speed issues.

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Ok, I fully understand at this point, I'm very sorry I didn't catch on sooner. I will ask more questions in the future. I assumed you were trying to reach speeds below 1" per minute. This is definitely a gcode output error. Could you tell me what version of windows are you running and what country are you in? In the meantime could you provide me with a copy of the gcode output for the laser and 3d printer? You can save these in the window for editing gcode.

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Drunken Boxzer will be eternally grateful.
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