Inventables Community Forum

Laser Engraving & Cutting with Easel

For anyone else that has had issues finding software to do laser engraving when adding a laser module to your X-Carve.
Here is how I do laser engraving with my X-Carve & Easel.
See the project page: Laser Engraving with Easel

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Why not work directly with Inventables to get that hosted converter added to Easel? Once in Easel, you wouldn’t have to export, convert, re-import.

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I hope that if their is enough interest then Inventable will adopt adding the needed changes to Easel.
If you are interested in being able to do laser engraving with easel then voice it here.

For now I have refer to my project page in my fire post.

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Has anyone else done this? I tried and had issues with the GRBL. Since it wasn’t working for me, I tried the JTech Fork that has been posted in the forum. Now I am getting Easel to turn the laser on and off at the beginning and end of the engraving, but it is staying on while in transit between points. Any ideas?

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I like the thought of being able to use Easel and not just burn edges of a path, but also do fill.

Hope to get out in the shop and try this soon!

I’m all for this. A laser is an upgrade i want to do to my x carve, Adding the laser detail in Easel would be brilliant.
If it could be selected as the second tool path that would be even better! This would allow me to cut and engrave in one machine operation.

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Not a laser, but you could have a mirror at 45 degrees to the bit axis mounted on the end of a mill that you could use to redirect a laser beam to the work surface.

It may be visually unpleasing in Easel, but even to just offset all laser tasks the distance from spindle and work off one zero point. Or maybe even have a setting in Easel that when you mark something as a laser part, it’ll auto-offset those parts when running the job

Make sure your GRBL Spindle RPM/PWM are mapped correctly.
Laser Power is correlated to the GRBL Spindle RPM/PWM.

I recommend that you set your GRBL settings to the following:
$30=255 (Maximum spindle speed, RPM) $31=0 (Minimum spindle speed, RPM)

I also recomend looking into GRBL Laser Mode:
$32=1 (Laser-mode enable, boolean)

I am will working on a good method for fill, I usually get better results with scans from bitmaps.

However, good results can be produced with easle & depth-to-shades:

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I’d not thought about the multiple Zero issue, good point. I fancy a 100w CO2 laser however have to wait for some money. a lottery win would solve so many issues.

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I would be very interested in EASEL allowing the use of lasers.

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ME TOO!! I would love the addition of being able to use a laser through Easel!

+1 - I support the use of lasers in Easel.

Thanks for this post Austin! Does the gcode absolutely have to run through your depth-to-shades app? If I just carve from Easel, what would I be missing?

My first try using your setup was almost successful… I got the laser to move into place, then it turned on for a few seconds, but then it turned off. When I simulated the cut it kind of sits in that first position for an insanely long time, so I am thinking it had something to do with my initial gcode export. I’ll try again as soon as it is warmer than 10 degrees in my garage :expressionless:

Side note: You can send the GRBL commands from within Easel using the Machine Inspector, and I did have to update to 1.1, my older version didn’t have the $30 and $31 commands at all.

Also, what did you do to focus your laser? Is this just trial and error with this kind of setup?

Interesting, so then why do some people still use one?

Why are Inventables so against the use of lasers on the X-Carve? Is it because they’re so dangerous?

It is called liability.

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I was going to ask about it voiding the warranty, but then I realized that the X-Carve really doesn’t have a formal warranty per sa,

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But they will help on a case by case basis.

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My depths to shades script does a few things to the g-code to make is more laser friendly… but is some cases is might not be required… by 99% of the time its needed.

Its cold enough outside to freeze my liquor… so I cant carve either ( I do not condone drinking and carving ).

I focus my laser by sight (with safety goggles), i set it to its lowest power and focus the dot until it produces a burring glow that is uniform (about the same width and height) It can take a minute to focus. I use a ruler to measure from the laser head to my target to know the depth. Then i can (re)focus for that depth if needed. Most of the time I just have to focus the laser once. Then move my Z-axis down to the “focused depth”.