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Thread: getting really really really annoyed with photovcarve

  1. #1
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    getting really really really annoyed with photovcarve

    tried to do some more stuff with this cursed software, with the usual results, all bad. tried a pic of the wife and i with mr peanut, and as usual with photovcarve, even though you tell it bottom left, it zooms to bottom right to start working its magic. no sooner than it had gotten to the corner, it zipped up and to the left, and started from there. since i hadn't tried it on real wood, i decided to use a scrap bit of walnut. needless to say, the results were less than spectacular (downright cruddy), the only way i could tell if anyone was in the pic, was to hold it at arms length, and tip it back some, and even then, it was touch and go. so i cancelled the run, and started a pic of our dad, figuring that that may work, on a bit of odd red oak. got my hopes up too high again. after 2 hours of it going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, it decided after making its run from lower left to upper right, to zoom straight down, then back to where it was, went down and to the left, then back up and to the right, then hammered the bit right into the wood, right up to the collet nut, after vacuuming the dust (wanted the image to be a surprise), and giving it a quick coat of amber shellac, the image was just plain awful. right now i'm just about at my wit's end with this software. first, it didn't have the post processor for grbl, then got the patch for it, and it wouldn't accept it, then put in patch mkII, sort of works with the program, now with this latest misadventure, i'm just about ready to demand a refund. if anyone has any ideas, i'm wide open to them. the vectric people have referred me to the forum, as they cannot tell what is going on with the software.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pop test 1.JPG   pop test 2.JPG   pop test3.JPG   pop test 4.jpg   pop test 5.jpg  

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  2. #2
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    Don't know what to tell you. There's a learning curve for sure. Been playing with my new laser toy and there's a lot more gotchas than I wanted.

    But I'm going small and just working my way through some small projects and scrap before I get to deep into things. Kind of fun to learn new things.

    I look at like learning to play an instrument or anything else. I figure it takes time to get good at it.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  3. #3
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    that's the funny thing brent, the photos work out ok right up to the point of putting them on wood, and then everything goes haywire.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  4. #4
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    Weird. I know nothing about this stuff, but I wonder if the photos need some kind of prep work to level things out before it gets processed? Just from my playing around with my little toy, I've been discovering that more time in the software helps in what comes out.

    You guys know way more than I do, but just wondering if there was some kind of off 'pixel' in the picture that caused the shapeoko to commit hari kari?

    I'm sure someone with more experience will chime in. And I'm watching. I may want to get into this someday.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  5. #5
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    PhotoVcarve was the first thing I bought back in 07. I DID do a couple of lithophanes on corian and they were pretty cool. At that time my machine was in it's original state so the finishes were not what I can do today.

    I think I tried what you are trying, but I never really went in that direction. I cannot advise.

    That is all I have done with PhotoVcarve- or PVC for short.

    I can say that since 2007 I have seen some really awesome stuff done with PVC, so I am CERTAIN is it possible. It is NOT junky software, but it DOES take some learning.

    One of the staff members recently posted to darken the v-grooved lines to get the image to pop.

    I must FULLY AGREE with the response that Vectric gave you - use the user forum. That place is by far the best support you will find. There are users there that CAN help you through the issues you are having.

  6. #6
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    I've just started making lithophanes in Corian and so far so good. I've got a few settings to get honed in still but decent results. Is there something in the gcode that's burying the bit or is it maybe some kind of interference? I don't use any post processor other than the generic gcode-inch export so I don't know about that. Hope something comes to light soon! I know wood is hard to get good PVC results in. Have you looked at HalfToner (free), it makes nice drilled or lined photos that come out pretty good in wood. PVC is so detailed that it takes quite an artist to get crisp results in natural material.

  7. #7
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    I got to see a Shapeoco 3 yesterday and the problems he is having with it all seen to go back to the control board that Shapeoco is using it seem to have a lot of glitches like you are talking about. To me and this is just my opinion junk there system and go to Mach 3 and a new driver board and you will solve a lot of your problem and be happier in the end.
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  8. #8
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    Having seen the gcode output the last time, I am certain the problem is NOT pvc -- there was nothing in there making it do that on purpose.

    I think it's somewhere else in your train but I said that last time. I don't know where, and I don't know how to advise other than the suggestions I gave last time. What does your gcode preview show? If it doesn't show those moves, it's not a CAM problem, it's a control problem.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  9. #9
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    Ditto on the comments about learning curve AND participating in the Vectric Forum. I've been a member of the Vectric Forum since buying VCarve Desktop and PVC a while back and it's been great for learning details about both.

    As to the skipping around you've seen, that has to be the way PVC is setting up toolpaths. All the control system does is use the commands from what ever software is used. I've practiced with several photos but mostly with one so far. PVC always starts at the lower right, working from there to upper left. In almost all of my projects, I used the center point as the origin; it's become a personal preference.

    With the success I see others having with the Arduino/Gshield boards as well as my own experience, there's no reason to bail on them.
    Bill Arnold
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    As to the skipping around you've seen, that has to be the way PVC is setting up toolpaths.
    I would agree if there actually were those lines in the gcode. I saw some of it the last time and there was NOTHING moving things around like that in the code.

    All the control system does is use the commands from what ever software is used.
    In theory, that's true. Assuming everything is working properly and you don't have mechanical or electromechanical issues like signal noises or bad connections/components somewhere.

    The path to solving this is to make no assumptions - trust, but verify the code is correct - trust, but verify that control software is acting properly - trust, but verify there's no signal noise or other hardware level problems going on.

    To blame this on PVC without any gcode showing problems is not going to solve this. From what I saw last time, the output was fine and the problems lie further downstream. I'm sure i sound like a broken record - but the gcode preview in mach3 tells me everything i need to know about whether it's a gcode problem or not. I would hope you have a similar preview tool available to you. If not, i'd consider it an inferior method and go to emc2 or mach3.

    At the very least, go grab NC Corrector and load up your gcode there. It's not the greatest app, but if I didn't have any other way to preview my gcode, it's what i'd use.

    All of this is under the assumption that the gcode is clean - I can only guess that it is from the last gcode I saw ... Dan, attach the gcode and some of us experienced guys can comb through it to see if anything sketchy comes up.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

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