Noob questions about laser settings

So, I just built and set up my A350 last night. I haven’t found a good way to make tool paths for what I want to make on the router, so I started with the laser module. I got it set up just fine, but as I start to work on my first project, I’ve been having issues with laser settings.

First of all, there doesn’t seem to be a differentiation between engraving and cutting. Like, there’s seemingly no option to use a lower power setting for simply burning, and a high power option for cutting. It’s all treated the same. Does it vary the power settings? I feel like it would have to, especially for engraving greyscale images (that’s not what I’m doing). There’s a setting to adjust the feed rate, is that how it works? Slower feed for cutting, and faster feed for engraving? What about different materials? Is there a guide or a cheat sheet for knowing what settings to use on what materials? According to the setup book, there will be an option to input material thickness so that the focus remains good, but that’s not about cutting through.

Secondly, and this may not be a laser specific question, but is anyone else having issues generating tool paths? When I have the setting Optimize Path on, it says Generating Tool Path 0.0% and then stays there. Forever. I set it to do it’s thing and had dinner, and half an hour later it was still on 0.0%. When I uncheck that option, it seems to work just fine, so unchecked it will remain.

Oho, I have more questions. So, even though I have my Snapmaker connected to wifi, and my computer connected to the same wifi, Luban cannot see the Snapmaker when I search for it? No matter how many times I refresh, it never ever shows up. I can put in the IP address for a manual search, but once I hit Connect on the Snapmaker, Luban goes completely white and doesn’t recover until I Force Reload in the View menu. So, USB only, I guess?

Have you updated the firmware?
V1.9 is the most stable.

What version of Luban are you running?

-S

I’m using 3.12.2 for Luban, and it looks like my SM is running 1.8.0.0

Upgrade your firmware to at least 1.9.
I’m on 1.10.0. It has a bug where it sometimes gets stuck on 3D prints at 99% even though it’s finished. Only happens occasionally so doesn’t really bother me. Just have to cycle power.
1.10.1 had a bunch of little bugs and didn’t feel like trying to figure out what they all were, so I went back to 1.10.0

-S

In order to cut you will have to set it do multi-pass…also when you have loaded your gcode there are settings there where you can set the laser strength. I have the 1600 mW laser for my original SnapMaker and I am running most of my engravings at 50% power with my speed set to 1500 for no burning and 400 for burning. I hope this make sense.

3D printing, now. I made a model in Solid works, and exported it as an STL, but when I load it into Luban, it shows up in the object list, but there’s no visual representation of it. Also the number in the bottom right corner reads 0.0 x 0.0 x 0.0 mm. And when I try to generate G-code it gets hung up on Slicing 27.6%.

Is the scaling way off? That can happen if it’s 30m instead of 30mm or something. Load your STL into https://www.viewstl.com/ and see if the model size looks right.

I will try that when I get home. I’ll also try downgrading Luban to the previous version. Failing that, I know people like to use Fusion 360 instead of Luban for CNC routing, and like to use Lightburn instead of Luban for lasers, is there a preferred software for 3D printing?

Cura is great. There’s others too.

1 Like

Cura seems to be fave.
Prusaslicer good.
Simplify3d supposed to be the best but you have to pay for it.
-S

I personally use Luban for laser and 3D printing without any issues. Once you learn the interface and the subtle nuances with it, it actually works rather well. I have had a few 3D models not slice right, but it ended up being an issue with STL file and not Luban.

Also if you’ve not seen it yet, Luban is up to 3.12.3 and that appears to have fixed some issues. Also you might want to consider looking to see if there is an update for the firmware on your A350…I’ve been hearing and seeing that the later firmware updates seem to resolve some issues.

I’ll look into it. I printed a thing yesterday, and the Luban slicing preview looked super gappy and missing chunks, but the print went off okay.

Honestly when looking at a model in Luban, I like to rotate it around to see what it looks like. Sometimes it looks like it is missing chunks when in reality it isn’t.

When I encounter this issue, I power cycle the Snapmaker, this is not always a great option, but it does reconnect to WiFi. I connect a USB cable if there is a project that I might lose.