Layer Issues

Discussions and help on this commercial controller.

Moderator: twehr

Layer Issues

Postby iGull » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:37 pm

Hi All

I've been using the 2012 DSP for a while now, but for either cutting or engraving. Tonight, I had a pile of balsa to mark and cut so set up a blue layer as a 'cut' with a low power (marking), red as 'cut' with a higher power (cutting) and green as not output (I use green as a separate 'bounding box' which marks the real bounds of the sheet - it's a handy feature of lasercad as it still takes the green layer into account even though it doesn't actually cut it - you only need to set the origin at the top left of the sheet and make sure the sheet is orthogonal to the table - you can be sure all the data fits the sheet then).
Obviously, I want to mark the parts first (they may have fallen through the sheet if I have forgotten to put bridges on them :D ). First problem was getting the blue layer to the top of the layer list - selecting the blue layer then clicking up or top didn't. Sometimes you could move it down sometimes not. Eventually, I managed to get a combo that actually worked. Dragging the layers (which would have been an obvious method) doesn't seem to be implemented.
Eventually through much faffing about, I had blue, red, green top to bottom. Saved the file after setting the correct powers and speed.
Kicked off the file - it started cutting some red, shifted to some blue and marked it at the correct power, then back and forth as it saw fit. It didn't mark all the blue layer first then cut the red layer next which is what I assume should happen ?
Have I missed something important in the manual ??

TIA

Neil
EMOs are a sign of weakness ...
iGull
 
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Re: Layer Issues

Postby twehr » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:30 pm

iGull wrote:Hi All

I've been using the 2012 DSP for a while now, but for either cutting or engraving. Tonight, I had a pile of balsa to mark and cut so set up a blue layer as a 'cut' with a low power (marking), red as 'cut' with a higher power (cutting) and green as not output (I use green as a separate 'bounding box' which marks the real bounds of the sheet - it's a handy feature of lasercad as it still takes the green layer into account even though it doesn't actually cut it - you only need to set the origin at the top left of the sheet and make sure the sheet is orthogonal to the table - you can be sure all the data fits the sheet then).
Obviously, I want to mark the parts first (they may have fallen through the sheet if I have forgotten to put bridges on them :D ). First problem was getting the blue layer to the top of the layer list - selecting the blue layer then clicking up or top didn't. Sometimes you could move it down sometimes not. Eventually, I managed to get a combo that actually worked. Dragging the layers (which would have been an obvious method) doesn't seem to be implemented.
Eventually through much faffing about, I had blue, red, green top to bottom. Saved the file after setting the correct powers and speed.
Kicked off the file - it started cutting some red, shifted to some blue and marked it at the correct power, then back and forth as it saw fit. It didn't mark all the blue layer first then cut the red layer next which is what I assume should happen ?
Have I missed something important in the manual ??

TIA

Neil


Moving Layers ...
Moving layers works pretty much as you would suspect - Select (click on) the layer you want to move and then click the Down or Up buttons to move them. That work - mostly. The problem is that selecting the second layer and trying to move it up does not work. You can, however, select the top layer and move it down. This is the only piece that I know of that does not seem to be intuitive. Obviously, the programmer missed something in what we (programmers) call Bounds Handling. It seems confusing, but once you know how it works (or doesn't work), you can easily adjust your thinking to get exactly what you want. Just remember to not try to move the second from top up and you will get along fine.

Output Ordering...
The DSP is very powerful in optimizing the output for fastest (shortest) travel between segments, but this optimization is not necessarily useful in all situations. Therefore, you need to override it with your preferred methods. In the Download Dialog, Check the Re-Order Object checkbox, and then click the "..." button.

Document Download Dialog.png


Occasionally, people believe that the order of the layers in the power/speed settings dialog matters. It does not. Only the ordering of the layers in the Layer Options section of the main window matter - and then only if you tell the software to use that ordering (see the following part).

In the dialog that opens, UN-check the Automation Set Cut Direction checkbox.
Then check either (or both) the Order by Layer and/or Inner To Outer checkboxes.

Route Optimization.png
Route Optimization.png (9.3 KiB) Viewed 11391 times


Order by Layer does exactly what you would expect - it used the order of the layers as you have them set (after all, you went the to trouble of ordering them, you might as well use that order).
Inner To Outer also does what you would expect - it processes inner content layers first. That way a larger outer chuck is not dropped out before your get a chance to do the inner pieces.

If you want finer control, there is a way of going in and ordering the specific cuts manually, but I have never found that to be necessary.

Output options in LaserCAD are very useful and work very well. If someone is not getting what they expect, then it is likely they have missed a step someplace.
tim
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Re: Layer Issues

Postby iGull » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:19 pm

Hi Tim

As ever, the supplier of answers :D

Many thanks - I concur with the ordered layer list bug - you can get there eventually, just don't use the second layer :D

I raked about for ages trying to find a 'preference' to set that would allow me to order by layer - patently I didn't find it !

Thanks for your help, all set up and working and many balsa sheets marked and cut today.

BTW, I had previously set the 'automatic cut direction' - it works fine for me, I haven't seen any issues in that respect?

On a side note, are there any updates due for the LaserCAD software anytime soon?

Thanks again

Neil
EMOs are a sign of weakness ...
iGull
 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Re: Layer Issues

Postby Greolt » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:31 pm

First, Neil, thanks for the question.

Good idea about the green boundary. Handy way to know a precise origin when cutting odd shapes.

Second, Tim, thanks for the answer and clear explanations.

How is the manual coming along?

Greolt
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Re: Layer Issues

Postby twehr » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Greolt wrote:First, Neil, thanks for the question.

Good idea about the green boundary. Handy way to know a precise origin when cutting odd shapes.

Second, Tim, thanks for the answer and clear explanations.

How is the manual coming along?

Greolt


I have the setup and installation sections done. I am working on the cad portion, but have gotten quite behind. We have had a major Go-Live software event the past red weeks, which has had most of my attention. I hope to get back to working on the manual very soon.

The bounding box idea is what I use on virtually every job for the past two yerars. After the manual is done, I want to start a tips and tricks series and will certainly include this.

I am toying with an idea and am curious whether anybody would be interested in seeing live ustream demonstrations of various features and fundamentals related to the DSP? The chat room could be used to ask questions. Think of it as a live, interactive blog.
tim
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"The answer is usually easy and obvious once you know what it is." tw

DIYLaser Blog
SemiHomemadeTools.com
twehr
 
Posts: 439
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Re: Layer Issues

Postby TLHarrell » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:15 am

Maybe not live, but certainly a video version of your manual put up on YouTube would be beneficial. I don't have the DSP, but it would help for me to see how it works compared with my system. And since I want to build a larger laser in the future, and it'll likely run the DSP, this would be helpful for planning as well.
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Re: Layer Issues

Postby iGull » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:13 pm

That would be a useful idea Tim - maybe not live due to world timeline differences (I'm not much good at 2am :D ), but certainly either a downloadable stream/youtube or podcast.

Cheers

Neil
EMOs are a sign of weakness ...
iGull
 
Posts: 171
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


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