Hi, I am using a Sculpfun S10 to engrave plastic coated aluminium business cards with LaserWeb4. When using the raster feature I get strange ghosting (attached image) in the direction that the scan travels (horizontal in this image).
I ran a testcard (also attached) and picked the settings from that (ignore the bottom right… I scratched it with my nail to see if the residue came off easily). It did strike me as odd that high power/slow was less effective than low power/mid speed, but I went with it anyway as I know the test card is good (running the same gcode on other materials results as expected).
Laser Power Min 0
Laser Power Max 0
Laser diameter 0.08mm
Cut rate 3000
Trim pixels Y
Join Pixels Y
Burn White Y
Can anyone point me in the right direction to solve this?
This has been typical of a mechanical problem. If the head can wobble at all, this can happen. And I think others have sometimes thought that they didn’t have that problem, but then discovered that they really did. So I’d suggest looking carefully for any looseness.
I cannot exactly tell from the pictures;
Which direction is the error, looks like x to me if that is the orientation of the sample in the machine.
If its x that is interesting because I think the x on this machine is a direct drive lead screw.
I would print two test pages; one with horizontal lines spaced apart and one with vertical lines spaced apart.
No, it’s a belt. The SculptFun is just a nicely built and anodised example of a the classic Opensource 5040 (etc) machines. My ‘cheap and cheerful’ 5040 is basically the same, but the SparkFun is a more ‘polished’ kit, and better documented
The rod + couplers you can see in pictures under the X axis is the Y axis drive rod carrying the single Y axis motor drive across the bed to the other side from the motor. Both axes are belt driven, two on the Y and one for X.
Which is a good point, there are three drive gears that need to be checked. And the coupler (to the right under the X beam) needs checking too.
Thanks for the advice everyone. @mcdanlj helped me focus on looking into mechanical problems and it turns out it was a (hidden) loose screw on the X axis. It was a screw that secured the belt to the carriage. A tiny amount of slop in it was manifesting as backlash in the engraving. Taking the Laser module off, tightening the screw and replacing the module sorted it!
@easytarget thanks for the advice on engraveable materials, useful to know.