It's Still Alive!

I decided to continue my projects on a new thread as the last one was getting huge - 996 replies and 31k views. It takes forever to go through the whole thing.

Here is the latest etching using the J-Tech 3.8W laser. I etched a notebook for a Harry Potter fan. The notebook looks much better then my photography skills portray. It is a basic 5" x 8" notebook with a faux leather cover.

EDIT: A better pic, I got rid of most of the glare…


Tried this a little differently, I etched the fills horizontally, then again in the vertical direction…so I did it twice to get a nice deep etch.


That’s a good idea Erik. I haven’t tried bamboo yet, just domestic hardwoods. I only make one pass and still have enough depth to run through my drum sander once or twice to remove char marks. I run at 40ipm full power for most of my engravings.

This one was done at 80 IPM full power. I will do a quick sand this evening after work.

I may try that speed in both directions. I can see how that might give a higher quality engrave. I haven’t engraved anything but wood so the faux leather intrigued me.

I have basically been going around looking at stuff and thinking what I can engrave on it. I have more things to try :slight_smile:

That is the type of toolpath I did, but I only went 1 direction at a time…I wasn’t sure how well it would work, or if I wanted both directions…it does do a great job.

Here is another mini cutting board (these boards are 8" x 5.5"). On this one I cut the power down to 1.5 amps to lighten up the etch.

So with this, you can cut up some snacks, or talk to the spirits in the attic :slight_smile:


The only way to use vectors is to take the time to trace it in a vector program…I’ve done a few in V-Carve, it takes a lot of time but worth it if you will be making a bunch of items to sell.

I bought PicEngrave Pro 5 + Laser today @picengravertoo. Very simple to setup and the generated g-code works great. I am trying my first raster image on the laser now.

I also ordered the PicConvert board from J-Tech Photonics so I can do a few photos as well. @JTechPhotonics.

Hmmm…what else can I add to the machine :slight_smile:


I connected the PicConvert board from J-Tech so I can do photos with the laser and Mach3. Not a bad first test, but I have to tweak some setting a bit. Not sure which ones yet… @picengravertoo @JohnChamplain any suggestions?

Original image from a trip to Kenya a few years ago.

This was done at 90 IPM.


When running the gcode file, was the blended running feedrate close to the set feedrate in the gcode?

Can you post your PicEngrave settings and your X, Y & third axis accels, velocity & step & dir pulse Motor Tuning settings from Mach3?


Here are my settings:

X and Y are the same:
Steps per: 1249.92771
Velocity: 150
Acceleration: 30
StepPulse/Dir Pulse: both 5

Steps per: 10000
Velocity: 150
Acceleration: 30
StepPulse/Dir Pulse: both 5

Just to make things interesting I am using an Ethernet Smoothstepper with Mach3 and this is from their website:

The Step Pulse and Direction Pulse fields are used for a Parallel Port connection from your computer to your hardware. Since you are using an external motion controller, a SmoothStepper, they are unused and may be ignored.

I added the Laser DRO to my mach screen and a Zero Laser button…I also setup keyboard commands to adjust the power up and down.

Ok, since you have the Steps per for the C axis set at 10000 with imperial units, the max range for the third axis is 0 (Min) to -.0255 (Max). The digital potentiometer on the board is 8bit, so it only gives you 256 .0001" positional steps. If you go out of this range, the PicConvert DAC/PWM board will loose position.

I’m not familiar with using a ESS, but I had the best results with the step & direction pulse setting of 3, but that is with a PP. Is there a way to set this with the ESS?

Try increasing your accels for all the axis’s as high as possible without loosing any steps. It looks like you have some ringing going on in your engraving from acceleration/deceleration. Try using the Extended Edge to eliminate the edge burning from reversing directions also.


And use a 45° angle setting at 0.006" Pixel Resolution. You will have to resize the image if you change the PR.

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Chipboard works good for laser engraving photos, but I like the Brown rather than the Gray.


These are great @ErikJenkins, love the Harry potter book.

How deep is the engraving on the cutting boards? Would it be a good idea to fill with some kind of epoxy?

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The cutting boards are really not deep enough to fill. Very shallow, maybe half a mm.

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I’ll try out the laser with new settings in a bit…had chores around the house today :slight_smile: