What formats can Light object's laser cad import?

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What formats can Light object's laser cad import?

Postby gavztheouch » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:27 pm

I have the latest laser cad and dsp firmware installed. Importing any file type apart from jpegs and bitmaps seems to be a bit of a hit or miss. DXF for example almost never import they look ok in the preview but when they come into the workarea all lines seen on the preview are missing? Laser cad and the dsp manage to get me pissed off within about 5 mins of turning on my laser, wether it be importing issues, usb comunication issue or otherwise. Importing .dxf files should be the bread and butter of any laser controller, so what do I need to do to make it happen every time I want to import. Is there a checklist of dxf settings I should abide by.
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Re: What formats can Light object's laser cad import?

Postby Techgraphix » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:17 pm

A few things that can be wrong during import in DXF that make it visible in preview but not in the actual workarea:
Double vectors while in engraving. Select all (ctrl-A), select one color and make that color "Cut" .. Still no vectors visible?
When vectors in DXF are exported as Group, you won't see them too.. First go back to the exporting software, ungroup the vectors and save them again..
Some vectors need to be closed.. There is a button for that on the top bar.
Some programs export DXF as a kind of loops.. something like you folded an 8 to a o.. When yo select the node-editing and pick one point. When you drag that and see another vectorpart coming underneath it, you know what is wrong..
AI does that often, even in Coraldraw i see it often especially when i downloaded vectors from someone else.. Some software, like Artcam10 is capable of detecting this double loops and isolate the problems..
DXF is also not supporting Beziers all the time.. Making a curve to a series of dots..
You just have to play around with programs like corel. Import a DXF or EPS and export to PLT, for instance..

Trial and error.. but soon you will learn to recognize the symptoms, narrow down the problems and know how to solve these..

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Re: What formats can Light object's laser cad import?

Postby iGull » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:36 pm

Hi Gav

I picked up on this issue a while back, there are a few posts on it, but I'll re-iterate my current working process here.

OK, depends on what application you are using, but I tend to use adobe illustrator on Mac and occasionally Sketchup (again on Mac) for anything to be cut/rastered - I have used many tens of cad applications in my life, but these are my weapons of choice today :D

This is what I have found to be a workable process with the awful lasercad 'vector' importers ...

Before you do __anything__ else...
In LaserCAD, draw a few objects - anything, doesn't matter. Object 1, set to red (this will be RGB(255,0,0)), next object to green (RGB(0,255,0)), next object to blue (RGB(0,0,255) and last object to black (RGB(0,0,0)).
The red object, set to cut and apply some parameters to it - say 50/50/50 and maybe 200PPI
Ditto the Green and Blue objects.
Set the black object to raster and set it to say 300 speed and 70% power.
The above values don't really matter for now, it just sets the colours RGB to be cut and Black to be rastered - you can change them later of course.
On the 'Layer Options' panel on the right, switch the green layer off and the Red, Blue and Black layers on.
On the Options menuitem, goto system options and click 'simulate engraving' (assuming that's what it says - that's what mine says because I edited the chinglish lan
guage file) - that will ensure that any rastering you do will show up as black.
Next, save it as some gash file - anything, doesn't matter - what matters to you is that LaserCAD will REMEMBER those colours and values and settings until you next change them !

The above colours are set for the following, Red - vector cutting, Blue - vector marking (low power version of red - NOT rastering), Green - switched off, but used as a boundary for your data - it may be the confines of the sheet of ply you are cutting or whatever - what's good is that lasercad includes this when you ask it to run a box around the data - it chooses the max data - which in this case is the green box you drew around your data - but doesn't cut it - REALLY handy.
Black is for rastering only - if you have the menuitem selected, it will show as a black fill in the data on the screen.

I've only ever needed to use the above number of colours - YMMV as they say.
Right, we're nearly ready to import.

In your application, choose from the above set of RGB colours, and mark your drawing data accordingly.
Select all your data and ungroup it until there are no groupings left (BTW, it helps if you save your file beforehand otherwise you might have a problem !) - if you don't, it will surely crash on import.
Again, select all your data and release any compounds paths or masks. If you have needed any item with an inverse raster, use white on black. Make sure all your text has been outlined and filled if you are rastering - we're going to export as dxf and dxf is (I want to use the eff word here but cant) 'not very good' with text.
Choose 'autocad 2004/2005/2006' as the flavour, set the raster format as jpeg 256 colours - if you are using illustrator, you can set 'outline text' on the export panel and it'll do it for you - just remember that you have done it. Finally, set 'Preserve Appearance' - no idea what it does, but it may keep the elephants away :D

All you need to do is then use import in LaserCAD and all will be well :lol: :lol: :lol:

You wish ! There are a few gotchas, if you have used a CAD application, as opposed to the nice illustrator or sketchup, you may have found that it exported the splines and arcs as millions of little lines that are totally disconnected from their neighbours - and to make it worse, they don't even run in the same direction - so the laser has to keep going back to the start of the next line - that's a problem you'll need to address with your priest.

The above process has worked for me for ages - it's a bit anal, but it works.

I currently have one major problem at present - if my file has a section of bit image data in it, then when exported to dxf, either lasercad doesn't import the bit image - only the vector stuff (or illustrator doesn't export it) - I haven't looked at the resultant file yet, I only found this issue a wee while ago. The current workaround is to import the vector data then import the bit image data and line it all up in lasercad - the second-worst cad application in the world.

If anyone has any good magic spelles that work with any of the importers in lasercad, let's have them! Most of the bit image stuff works ok, but nearly everything I do involves some vector work.

Apologies for any ranting, swearing and misinformation.


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