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  1. Download Pronterface for your system, install the program - please remember you must already have Arduino software installed on your machine or Pronterface will not talk to the BoXZY.
    • Download Pronterface for your system, install the program - please remember you must already have Arduino software installed on your machine or Pronterface will not talk to the BoXZY.

  2. Download and install Inkscape for your system, when you finish that, you will need to download the Inkscape laser plugin that Walter modified for us, it can be found at: https://github.com/walterhsiao/thlaser-i....
    • Download and install Inkscape for your system, when you finish that, you will need to download the Inkscape laser plugin that Walter modified for us, it can be found at: https://github.com/walterhsiao/thlaser-i....

    • The extension files (shinylaser.inx, shinylaser.py) go into one of the following inkscape directories: Windows: C:\Program Files\Inkscape\share\extensions Mac: ~/.config/inkscape/extensions

    • Thank Walter for his incredible job!

  3. Fire up inkscape
    • Fire up inkscape

    • Draw your vector artwork in here, or insert text

  4. Run the convert objects to a path
    • Run the convert objects to a path

  5. Open the extensions menu
    • Open the extensions menu

    • Go to Export

    • Use Shiny Laser for BoXZY

  6. Using the plugin export your paths to GCode
    • Using the plugin export your paths to GCode

    • Make sure it has a .gcode file extension for Windows or Pronterface will not find it.

  7. In Pronterface load the file
    • In Pronterface load the file

    • Make sure there is nothing in the quick change carriage

    • Home X, Y , and Z Axes.

    • Insert the laser into the carriage.

    • Manually bring the Z axis down so that the top of what you are trying to etch is at the laser focal point.

    • You do this by hitting Z+ until you get where you want to be, It can move in steps of 10, 1, or .1. Alternately, you could edit your GCode file to adjust Z to the right height. "G1 Z57.3" move the Z to 57.3 mm.

  8. I am going to burn into the sacrificial board my text.
    • I am going to burn into the sacrificial board my text.

    • Adjust your X and Y to select where you want to have the print begin.

  9. Make sure YOUR GLASSES ARE ON, the laser can damage you your eyes, or anyone in the area not protected.
    • Make sure YOUR GLASSES ARE ON, the laser can damage you your eyes, or anyone in the area not protected.

    • Make sure everything is well ventilated, then hit print.

  10. With your glasses on, make sure that the laser does not set fire to your project, it will produce smoke as it is burning into the object.
    • With your glasses on, make sure that the laser does not set fire to your project, it will produce smoke as it is burning into the object.

    • One it is done, the interface will return the X and Y to where you left them last.

  11. Now MAC users can use the laser etcher without waiting for the BoXZY interface software.
    • Now MAC users can use the laser etcher without waiting for the BoXZY interface software.

  12. The latest updates to this Inkscape extension allow easy cutting as well as etching, by providing easy multi-pass mode setup and proper scaling and alignment. These pictures are made of this extension doing both etching and complete cuts through 1/16" basswood. The etching in the duck was done with a single pass at 60mm/min feedrate at 70% laser power.  And its oval cutout was done at 60mm/min feedrate with 8 passes at 85% laser power.
    • The latest updates to this Inkscape extension allow easy cutting as well as etching, by providing easy multi-pass mode setup and proper scaling and alignment.

    • These pictures are made of this extension doing both etching and complete cuts through 1/16" basswood.

    • The etching in the duck was done with a single pass at 60mm/min feedrate at 70% laser power. And its oval cutout was done at 60mm/min feedrate with 8 passes at 85% laser power.

    • The "logo" was done with cutting only (so that it cleanly separates into two pieces). It was also done with 8 passes at a 60mm/min feedrate, but at 90% laser power to make sure the fine detail completely cut through and separated.

    • Experimentation is always needed to find the most optimal cut-rate, number of passes, and power levels for the given material. But the BoXZY's laser is very predictable and consistent and somewhat flexible in the value choices.

Conclusion

Read the BoXZY guid to see how to set the focus please.

Most of all, of course, thank you to all the people who made this happen. Team BoXZY, the folks who made Pronterface and Inkscape, and Walter who if he had not done the hard work, this would not have happened.

3 other people completed this guide.

Ken Gross

Member since: 01/25/2016

969 Reputation

2 Guides authored

6 Comments

@ken I couldn't seem to PM or email you but Just Helping mentioned on my question ABS not sticking to tape and hairspray that you also have Simplify3D and got it working with BoXZY.

Not sure how to export or share the profile but is there any way I can get your config file or Boxzy settings. Seems you can export process from S3d https://www.dropbox.com/s/yraaj439tu8p0g...

David V - Reply

Hi David,

I would be happy to give you my config file.

I can't seem to send the file to dropbox for you. My email address is magician.144@gmail.com

Ken

Ken Gross - Reply

I fixed a couple of issues with the gcode scaling and X/Y origination, as well as the cut-path curve gen Yoffset issue, encountered with Inkscape 0.91. I've sent a pull-request to Walter, but you can also access it in the 'boxzy' branch of my GitHub fork:

https://github.com/dewhisna/thlaser-inks...

With these changes, 0,0 on the Inkscape document will be 0,0 on the laser making it much easier to align and set up correctly. Before, the start location offset depended on page sizing and object location on the page.

For using with the BoXZY, I find it best to set the page size to 165x165mm and turn on grid-lines at 5mm intervals and set the default units to mm. This can easily be set as the Inkscape default template or create a 'BoXZY' template.

I run on Linux, and while the BoXZY plugin for Repetier-Host sort of works, it's still clunky on Linux and limited in its vector path abilities.

FWIW, the CAMotics project (http://camotics.org/) is an awesome tool for visualizing the output from this extension.

Donna - Reply

I will definitly try your brach version of the shinylaser inx and py files, but I struggle with Walters original files. The shinylaser does not show-up in Inkscape->Extensions->Export. I see only the three, which are initially there. Also the change in the properties of these files to make'm trustable, did not do anything.

The path is: C:\Program Files\Inkscape\share\extensions

I have no idea why they are not recognized. Do I need to register them and if so where?

BR MM

Marco Mailand -

A quick swop method to focus the laser.

Get a clear piece of tube that fits over the Z end stop screw, push the tube down to the bottom of the screw and mark where the top of the screw reaches to. From this mark measure a further 50.7mm and cut the tube.

When using the laser module simply slip the tube over the endstop screw and you have focused the laser.

Martin - Reply

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