PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

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PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

Postby twehr » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:56 am

Today, Marco announced that the latest version of the AWC-608 LaserCAD software supports PPI cutting. The latest version, 5.9, also requires a firmware update of the controller.

The new software and the firmware update are available here.

Some explanation of how the PPI works in LaserCAD is here.

I have not had a chance to try it out yet. Hope to do so Monday evening or Wed & Thu evenings. If anyone else gets a chance to download and test these out, please share your experiences here. Photos of the results are always welcome!!!!
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Re: PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

Postby artwood_decor » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:10 pm

Thank you Tim for keeping us up to date about this.
I'm not that good at electronics to DIY it, so this is welcome. Plan to buy LO DSP in about a month or two.
Can't wait to see some results.
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First Test

Postby twehr » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:17 am

I downloaded and installed the Controller patch and the latest (v5.90) of the LaserCAD software and ran some quick tests of the PPI function.

Keep in mind that this is my first experience with PPI, so I have neither expectations nor a basis for comparison. That being said, I believe I can say the the PPI does work.

In the photo, I am showing the cut edges of 1/8" (3mm) craft plywood. On the left, cut with the PPI turned off, you can see the edge is very charred. On the right, the PPI was turned on and set to 200. The is considerably less charring - easier to see in person but noticeable in the photo.

(Click photo for a much larger view)

PPI Test cut.png


I also ran some quick tests on heavy paper as well. I turned the PPI down to 10 and could literally see the individual perforations.

During all tests, I noticed the mA meter was registering about 1/2 when doing PPI compared to what it was with the PPI off. There was also a noticeable wiggle to the mA meter nettle.

If anyone has more experience than I (that means just about anybody who has ever used it before) can suggest some tests, I would like to know about them. I'll be doing a full blog on using the PPI (once I learn more about it).
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Re: PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

Postby bdring » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:23 am

That is pretty cool Tim, how is the cut speed affected?
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Re: PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

Postby Greolt » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:30 am

Been playing with the PPI feature.

Seems to work.

Can I respectfully say, that the Manufacturers Parameters (password protected area) is a silly place to have this setting.

PPI is a setting that will be selected on a job by job basis. It should be in the Layer Parameters dialogue box. It is an operators setting.

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Re: PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

Postby bluewave65 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:54 am

That is true !
I was surprised whet i found PPI in that area.
Every material need to be set separately ....!
Chinese thinking :(
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Re: PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

Postby Speedythinker » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:51 pm

If you guys are not respecting to Li's work, then simply don't use it. Card was sold as is. The PPI was just added in a matter of courtesy. You though it's just as easy as drawing a "PPI box" and that could make it work. Don't you know that how much effort to spend on to do PPI, in both software and OS upgradet! Plus, adding the PPI in front screen take tremdous work to do so. It's easy for you to say 'why not this and why not that... '

The PPI that was launched was merely for testing purpose and see how it works out. W're not the "user" but you guys are. So, we have no idea what's good or bad or to where it should be located. We appreciate for the input of how to improve but don't want any BS especilly bringing up the ethnical issue.

From now on, I'll be more conserative to take any advice of adding new features. It seems that "more features = more complains" as "patience" wasn't exist in that manner


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Re: PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

Postby twehr » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:46 pm

bdring wrote:That is pretty cool Tim, how is the cut speed affected?


Cut speed is definitely slower. However, given that the mA meter is roughly half when PPI is turned on, I don't think it is taking twice as long to cut.

I was concerned about this when I first started the tests. As I think about it more, I believe the PPI functionality is more about quality than speed. For instance, I can now cut paper with virtually no charring on the edges. That was basically impossible before. Cutting craft plywood, the results are much better than without it, but it does take more time or power to cut through.

I am going to be doing a longer blog with lots of tests and results and recommendations. Time for doing it is killing me right now, but hope to get it very soon. Again, I welcome any useful input from others who try it and discover what works well, what doesn't, and what doesn't really matter. Like any other tool, it will have it's place. I just want to discover and document where the place is.

#begin rant :evil:
As for the comments re: placement of the control. True, the Manufacturer's Parameters is not the ideal spot for the control. Ideally, in a future version, it will be part of the layer setup, so it can be turned on and off and set on a layer-by-layer basis.

What many may not realize is:
    1. The original request for PPI was submitted to LO on 11/09/2011 by Gadroc.
    2. At that time, Marco was not familiar with the PPI concept.
    3. Over the next 48 hours or so, I, along with Engineerable, and others provided some basic background as reference.
    4. With that, Marco went to the programmer and asked that he look into it.
    5. The programmer was also not familiar with PPI, but was willing to investigate the possibility.
    6. The programmer had to complete other more pressing requirements and requests before he could work on it.
    6. Now, in early March, we actually have a working PPI model For anyone not aware of it, that is incredibly fast for any piece of commercial software.

I have been developing software professionally for 36 years. I will tell you that no programmer knows everything about every industry for which he/she develops software. We all make assumptions - sometimes incorrectly.

In this case, the programmer is not a laser user. As such, he probably thought of the PPI as being more similar to OEM settings for tube pulse frequency or other configuration elements, rather than user-oriented production job variables.

Both Marco and the programmer have been very receptive to ideas for improving both the quality and the functionality of the controller. It is that cooperative attitude that will ensure a continued flow of "newness" that is not happening on any other controllers out there.

That cooperative attitude needs to extend to us, as well. We can cooperate by being willing to offer suggestions for new features and provide feed back on their implementation and usefulness to us. As a programmer, I always appreciated it when users provided the feedback in a three-step approach:
    1. Tell me what is correct.
    2. Tell me what can be improved (and how - not just "I don't like the way you did it.")
    3. Tell me you appreciate the current effort and encourage me to continue with that.

I find it fascinating that here, on BuildLog.net, nearly everyone employs that strategy toward Bart - for the Laser 2x and the ORD, and everything else that comes out of this site. But when it comes to the efforts of other commercial vendors, the membership seems to want to see who can complain the loudest.

I built Laser 2x #1. Was it perfect - no way. Does it work - incredibly well. Is today's version better - absolutely. Would I have liked to had everything perfect before I started - sure. But I would rather be using it, with a few imperfections, than be waiting for that day to come. I have over 1000 hours on the laser in the year since I built it. That's 1000+ hours of fun, learning, and earning that I would have missed out on.

In the end, we each have our choice of either...
    being part of the creative process, including being open the quirks that usually accompany "newness",
    or we can wait (possibly forever) for someone to magically get it perfect the first time.

For me, enjoying the benefits of the former seems so much more fun and useful than the latter.

Regardless of what future improvement the PPI sees, I will use it, in whatever state it is, when appropriate for the jobs that it provides me some advantage.

#end rant :evil:
tim
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Re: PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

Postby artwood_decor » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:02 pm

Thank you Tim for the lesson of WISDOM you gave us all.
Marco and TEAM keep up the good work.
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Re: PPI Now Available with LO DSP AWC-608 Software Update

Postby mattrsch » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Well said, Tim
I don't want to derail the thread, but it kind of reminds me of this:


Marco,
Does having the PPI enabled effect engraving, or is it ignored for engravings?
I have a lot of 1/8" ply that loves to char, so I'm really looking forward to seeing if the PPI reduces the charing. I will post some pictures here once I have had a chance to test.
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