LaserCad Zero Position

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LaserCad Zero Position

Postby iGull » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:14 pm

Hi

Hopefully a small issue. I have the system mostly working - still a lot of re-learning to do since using LaserSaur (not the least of which is having to contend with a PC interface on my Mac LOL).

The problem is to do with the system zero - I have my stage zero at the top left hand side and the page zero also at the top left hand side.

I have the origin currently set at 10mm x+y away from stage zero.

Everything operates in the correct sense.

However, if I draw say a 50mm rectangle (it's own ref pos is top left) and move it to say 100mm,100mm on the lasercad 'page', download it to the dsp, it always draws it at the origin, not at it's actual position ????


Further, when the system is powered up, it drives to the home switches, then goes to it's last origin (wherever that may have been), not a preset position of (say) 10mm offset from stage zero.
I didn't understand what was happening when I first powered it up, it homed correctly, then screamed across in X at breakneck speed with me fiendishly looking for the off switch :lol: Surely this is not the normal operation ? (I'm assuming that the test technician had set this before despatch to catch the unwary :-) )

Any ideas ?

TIA

Neil
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Re: LaserCad Zero Position

Postby twehr » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:53 pm

iGull wrote:The problem is to do with the system zero - I have my stage zero at the top left hand side and the page zero also at the top left hand side.

I have the origin currently set at 10mm x+y away from stage zero.

Everything operates in the correct sense.

However, if I draw say a 50mm rectangle (it's own ref pos is top left) and move it to say 100mm,100mm on the lasercad 'page', download it to the dsp, it always draws it at the origin, not at it's actual position ????

Further, when the system is powered up, it drives to the home switches, then goes to it's last origin (wherever that may have been), not a preset position of (say) 10mm offset from stage zero.
I didn't understand what was happening when I first powered it up, it homed correctly, then screamed across in X at breakneck speed with me fiendishly looking for the off switch :lol: Surely this is not the normal operation ? (I'm assuming that the test technician had set this before despatch to catch the unwary :-) )


Neil,

In one of the control panel menus, you set whether you want the the output position controlled by the software (what you are expecting) or the control panel origin. Obviously, it is currently set to the latter. Change it to the software positioning and it will as you were expecting.

There is also a menu in the control panel that lets you set where you want the head to move to on startup. Set that according to your wishes.

Try adjusting these settings and I suspect you will be getting exactly what you want. If not, email me on the weekend when I am near my machine and I will gladly walk you through it. (BTW- I believe most of this is documented to some extent in the downloads available at LO.)
tim
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Re: LaserCad Zero Position

Postby iGull » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:53 pm

Thanks for the speedy reply Tim.

twehr wrote:In one of the control panel menus, you set whether you want the the output position controlled by the software (what you are expecting) or the control panel origin. Obviously, it is currently set to the latter. Change it to the software positioning and it will as you were expecting.


OK, setting it to 'software origin' in the LCD menu allows this, thanks. However, it causes other issues :D ...

twehr wrote:There is also a menu in the control panel that lets you set where you want the head to move to on startup. Set that according to your wishes.


I've searched, but can't find this elusive setting :oops:

I've plugged in a couple of well used origins into the origin1 and 2 settings on the LCD. It would be nice at boot up to have it choose one of them.
Maybe I need to change my operating strategy - I'm so used to knowing EXACTLY where the head will go if I reset it .
Having a 'software origin' creates a new origin issue in that it now grabs this origin as the latest and greatest - however, maybe as I said, I need to rethink the way I use this.

The important part is that at switch on, it moves to a consistent fixed position.

Cheers

Neil
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Re: LaserCad Zero Position

Postby twehr » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:15 pm

iGull wrote:Thanks for the speedy reply Tim.

twehr wrote:In one of the control panel menus, you set whether you want the the output position controlled by the software (what you are expecting) or the control panel origin. Obviously, it is currently set to the latter. Change it to the software positioning and it will as you were expecting.


OK, setting it to 'software origin' in the LCD menu allows this, thanks. However, it causes other issues :D ...

twehr wrote:There is also a menu in the control panel that lets you set where you want the head to move to on startup. Set that according to your wishes.


I've searched, but can't find this elusive setting :oops:

I've plugged in a couple of well used origins into the origin1 and 2 settings on the LCD. It would be nice at boot up to have it choose one of them.
Maybe I need to change my operating strategy - I'm so used to knowing EXACTLY where the head will go if I reset it .
Having a 'software origin' creates a new origin issue in that it now grabs this origin as the latest and greatest - however, maybe as I said, I need to rethink the way I use this.

The important part is that at switch on, it moves to a consistent fixed position.

Cheers

Neil


Neil,

I am headed out of town. Will be available tomorrow afternoon, I hope. Will look up the specifics then and pass it on. Sorry I can't get to it before that.
tim
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Re: LaserCad Zero Position

Postby iGull » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:56 pm

No problem Tim - just stay away from the beer :D
Thanks for the help.

Cheers

Neil
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Re: LaserCad Zero Position

Postby twehr » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:18 pm

Neil,

I have been playing with the various origins and resets and head positions, in general. Not sure exactly what you want, other than your statement that you want it to always return to a known position. Here is how things work, currently.

    1. When reset (or power on), the head moves to 0,0 and then to the last position the head was in that last time the control panel origin button was pressed.

    2. The actual job origin will always be either
      a) the last position at which the control panel origin was pressed, or
      b) the work-area-relative position defined by where your job element (graphic/vector object, etc) is in the software.
    The choice is determined by how you have the parameters set, to use software or panel settings.

    3. The menu (#3) for "Origins Manage" is probably misnamed - it should be thought of as nothing more than saved (or known) locations. In that menu, you can save a current position as one of the four or move to one of the four stored positions. BUT, they aren't really "origins" for a particular job until, after leaving the menu, you press the origin button on the control panel.

So how you work depends on what you want to do. Here are a couple of scenarios.

Scenario 1 -
    1 Move your head to the desired position you want when the laser resets (powers up) - 100,100 for example.

    2 Press "Origin"

    3 Use Software positioning to always run the job in the software work-area-relative position.
With this setup, powering up or hitting reset will always move the head to 0,0 and then to 100,100. If your job has an object at say 40,80 then starting the job will move the head to 40,80 and engrave/cut the object.

This way, you always get to a known position to start and then output wherever you have it located in the software.

Scenario 2 -
    1 Set up some of your 4 desired known location via the menu (3) by moving to the desired position, entering menu 3, choosing which one you want to store it it, and selecting "Current as Origin". That programs that known location for future use.

    2 Use Panel positioning to run the job at whatever you set as the current origin at the control panel.

    3 When ready run a job, use Menu 3 to select the desired position, and "Move to Origin".

    4 PRESS the Origin key on the control panel to make the current head position (it has now moved) the job origin position.

    5 Press start/pause to begin the job.

With this setup, you are able to move to a know position, set it as origin, and run the job.

The critical thing to remember for scenario 2 is that simply doing a Move To Origin in Menu 3 does NOT set that point as the job origin. Only the control panel origin key will do that.

I don't use the stored locations much. I find it easier to simply move the head to a desired location via the "Move to Pos" control in the software and hit origin. Then run the job based on the current head location (panel control in stead of software). I find it faster and easier. And I know that the head will always come back to whatever I last set as the current origin for a job when I next start up. I usually don't care where that is, as I am likely going to move to something new for the next job any.

Hope this helps a bit. Let me know if I have totally misunderstood what you are looking for.
tim
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Re: LaserCad Zero Position

Postby iGull » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:37 pm

Tim, many thanks for taking the time and effort on this - it's really appreciated.

I really want this LaserCAD software to be as good as it can be and would hope that Marco and his team wish for the same.
Your findings have concurred with what I've been doing today.
While I've been running my CNC router in what is essentially 'software positioning' for years, after much playing, I find that just using the 'set origin' method on this big table (1200x600 - 4'x2') is the way to go. I really didn't understand that the laserCAD software pushed the data to the origin no matter where it was laid on the 'page' initially, but I am comfortable with working this way now. I think having the LCD controller panel makes all the difference to setting up (as opposed to being at a remote computer).

Essentially, what I am looking for is a 'scenario 3' :lol: I just want to ensure that the head parks itself about 10mm away from mechanical stage zero when it is powered up - I don't want it flying off to some previous unknown datum that has been set. There are a few reasons for this - I use various jigs that can interfere with the mechanics of the head, and if I forget and leave them (and other stuff) lying about on the table after it is powered down, I don't want the system to go flying into them. Besides, it makes good operational sense to have the system initialise itself into a known state at power up.
I'm really quite surprised that there isn't a checkbox to tick that says 'move to nn,nn at startup' - I can't think of any of the cnc software I have that doesn't do that in some way.

Without getting Marco to ask his programmer to fix this, I 'm thinking I will have to live with it.

Regarding bugs and feature requests for LaserCAD, where is the best place to do this ? There is a forum at Lightobject of course but no-one seems to be interested in improving the software? I have a bug list that is at least ten line items - some of them quite 'serious' (under normal circumstances that is :D - stuff I would get my backside kicked for if I had written it :) ). I also have a feature list that is longer LOL. Having played with a few of the other software controllers, I think LaserCAD is well down the feature/bug list sadly. It would be nice to get it up to the top of the list - I'm sure it would be in Marco's interest ?.

Again Tim, many thanks for your help on this.

I have another topic to add tonight - 'DXF Import Woes' LOL- does anything actually work correctly/bug free in this software :lol:

Cheers

Neil
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Re: LaserCad Zero Position

Postby twehr » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:00 pm

iGull wrote:Essentially, what I am looking for is a 'scenario 3' :lol: I just want to ensure that the head parks itself about 10mm away from mechanical stage zero when it is powered up - I don't want it flying off to some previous unknown datum that has been set. There are a few reasons for this - I use various jigs that can interfere with the mechanics of the head, and if I forget and leave them (and other stuff) lying about on the table after it is powered down, I don't want the system to go flying into them. Besides, it makes good operational sense to have the system initialise itself into a known state at power up.

I'm really quite surprised that there isn't a checkbox to tick that says 'move to nn,nn at startup' - I can't think of any of the cnc software I have that doesn't do that in some way.
...
Regarding bugs and feature requests for LaserCAD, where is the best place to do this ? There is a forum at Lightobject of course but no-one seems to be interested in improving the software? I have a bug list that is at least ten line items - some of them quite 'serious' (under normal circumstances that is :D - stuff I would get my backside kicked for if I had written it :) ). I also have a feature list that is longer LOL. Having played with a few of the other software controllers, I think LaserCAD is well down the feature/bug list sadly. It would be nice to get it up to the top of the list - I'm sure it would be in Marco's interest ?.


There is a checkbox you can uncheck in User Parameters (I think). When UNchecked it will NOT reset to 0,0 and then the last place on reset/startup. The head just sits where it is. That MIGHT do what you want. The down side is that it also effectively disables the Reset button. But you could have it that way, then move to whatever x,y you want (from software) when you want. I personally like the 0,0 reset as it forces the system to verify its positioning, in case any steps were lost.

As for bugs. You are always welcome to send them along to me. I usually verify them and document a way to replicate them before I pass them on to Marco. Sometimes, it turns out to be just a misunderstanding of what is or should be happening. If it is a true bug, then armed with what I give Marco, he can usually get a reasonably fast resolution. Too often, someone states that there is a bug and it really isn't or there is insufficient information to be able to replicate it. Having 36 years of software development behind me, I can often put things in terms that other programmers can easily understand (once translated into Chinese, of course :D ).

I usually provide plenty of pictures, videos, and step-by-step instructions for recreating the issue. That really helps. Any of that you might provide to me would also be appreciated. I have, on more than one occasion, spent hours trying to find a problem only to find that what I was searching for was not what the user meant.

Of course, you can also post questions about how something is supposed to work here. I try to check it several times a day, but don't always respond until I feel I have something to contribute. Marco watches the LO board closer than I do. Everyone appreciates it when you state the situation as a question (as you did on this issue) rather than an accusation of a problem.

If there is any way I can help, I try to do so.
tim
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Re: LaserCad Zero Position

Postby iGull » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:25 pm

Great work Tim

I can't see the checkbox you are talking about, but I suspect it is 'Return to Origin after Job' - I've attached a screendump of my setting (bear in mind that I have edited the 'english' file, so some of the text will be different :lol: )

Is it OK to PM you with a list of bugs/feature requests ? Being a real Mac person, I know you will approve :-)))

Cheers

Neil

Screen shot 2012-03-26 at 21.18.37.png
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Re: LaserCad Zero Position

Postby twehr » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:32 pm

Uncheck the "X/Y Axis Home at Startup" box. That effectively turns off the Reset.

PM's are always fine - or just sent to tim dot wehr at gmail dot com.
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