Laser Engraving low relief 3D "carving"

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Have been playing with an Epilog Laser Engraver and Corel DRAW, the
recomended by Epilog, graphics software.  the "3D mode" uses the gray
scale in the image you provide to determine "depth of burn" - white
meaning do not burn at all, black meaning burn to max depth and grays in
between determining depth of cut/burn.

Created some gray scale images in PhotoShop, imported them to Corel Draw
X3 on the PC that sends data to the laser via a "printer driver" and
have run some test samples on mainly flat pieces of redwood, maple,
poplar and what may be honey locust.  Last laser session was working on
curved surfaces on 2 intersecting arcs walnut samples.

Looks like I'll be able to use the laser to "carve" on curved pieces,
held in a chuck attached to a shop made jig.

Have put up two pages on what I've found - with pictures.

http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/Turning/LaserEngraving/LaserEngraving1.html

Comments, questions and suggestions welcomed

charlie b

Re: Laser Engraving low relief 3D "carving"

"charlie b" wrote:   (clip) Comments, questions and suggestions welcomed
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Comment:  You are really onto something.  Keep us posted on new results.

Question:  On your website, you say you posterize the gray scale, so it  
turns into a number of distinct steps.  I wonder why you can't just go from  
the continuous gray scale to the burn.  



Re: Laser Engraving low relief 3D "carving"
Leo Lichtman wrote:

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The web pages are chronological.  "Posterizing" permitted me to see
distinct gray increments/bands.  The original image I created was
subsequently copied and various PhotoShop "filters" were applied to
copies, and "filtered" copies again copied and had filters applied to
them.  The original posterized bands enable me to see the effects of
various filters more clearly than I could see in unposterized/banded
continuous gray scale gradient.  

Now that I have an idea of which filters do what with the posterized
images I can, as you suggest, keep the finer "stepping" which should
refine the laser engraved results.  Thanks for the suggestion.

I went to a Makers Faire today - a combination of Burning Man, a Techno
Weenie Convention, a Renaissance Fair and an industrial symposium - with
50,000 attendees a day.  While there I spoke with a rep from
Mathematica, a software application mainly for visualizing mathematical
equations and data in a numeric data base.  I described my desire to
convert a virtual 3D model into a point of view gray scale image I could
use with Epilog's 3D mode.  He'd not tried to do anything like that, but
came up with a method that would work for a hemisphere - in under 10
minutes.  I'm going to have to buy Mathematica and see if it'll take in
a SketchUp 3D model and, using the approach I was shown, create 3D gray
scale image file to feed to the Epilog

Like any tool, I've got a learning curve to climb.  Based on three 2
hour sessions with the Epilog,  I know the basics of what I can get the
Epilog to do.  Now I need to learn how to created 3D gray scale images
of ideas I come up with for designs.

Will post updates here as I learn more about using this (laser) tool.

charlie b

Re: Laser Engraving low relief 3D "carving"

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You have deeper pockets then I do.... $2500 for a standard license

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Re: Laser Engraving low relief 3D "carving"
They have a $249 Home Edition version and I'm told by one of their sales
reps that there's a $99 student version good while still in school and a
$149 Student Version Premiere that's good forever.  Since one of my sons
is enrolled in a Masters Program, maybe I can "borrow" his copy.

I don't need ALL the capabilities of the full blown, industrial strength
version of the software package - so maybe there's a version I can
afford to try.

Re: Laser Engraving low relief 3D "carving"

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That's still a lot of money, or why I use SciLab instead of MathLab

Have you looked at Madeline?

http://sourceforge.net/projects/madeline/

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