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Free PicFRC Licenses Given Away

edited April 2015 in PicEngrave
At Picengrave Dot Com, we are having a promotion for the month of April. Purchase a License of PicLaser Lite & PicEdit Lite and receive a free license of PicFRC. The EmBlaser purchase backers that had there machines shipped already and included the PicLaser Lite CD disk, already have a registration License, so we will extend this offer to you also.

If you are already in our database as a Darly Labs registered PicLaser Lite user, all you need to do is purchase PicEdit Lite on our web site to receive your free license of PicFRC. Don't add PicFRC to the shopping cart as it will be automatically sent after confirmation of your PicEdit Lite purchase. Lite.htm

PicFRC adds image engraving enhancements by adding a variable feedrate (Feed Rate Change) by a set percentage to the S laser power commands in the gcode to expand the shade range. Our PicEngrave Pro 5 has this feature, so PicFRC gives the ability to add this enhancement feature to the Gcode file after generating the code in PicLaser Lite.

We also will give away free PicFRC licenses to the first 5 EmBlaser backers that posts a photo engraving done with PicLaser Lite in this thread. It can be done on any kind of material you choose, the image subject matter is your choice and the engraving should be a minimum of 5 inch by 5 inch in size. Please post the settings you used in PicLaser Lite also.

This Laser engraving was done on Poplar with a 110IPM feedrate, .006" Pixel Resolution, max 255, min 10 power, 45D angle in PicLaser Lite and in PicFRC a 25% Feed Rate Change was used. Here is the original image and the editing after downloading it was done in PicEdit Lite.

Thank you everyone.



  • edited April 2015
    Hello Jeff,

    Great offer. I'm definitely gonna engrave something tomorrow to get that free PicFRC license ;)

    (Just wanna say that I haven't engrave anything for the past few weeks. Too busy with my study!)

    Also, I just want to give a little feedback. As an amateur in laser engraving/cutting, I feel that it is very confusing when you have too many softwares, in a way that I seriously don't even know what to choose and use (well, there are indeed 5 softwares at your website).

    I guess I just want some kind of all-in-one software that works and easy to use while still can produce great results. And not to mention a preview image of what I'm going to get if using different settings.
  • edited April 2015
    Hi AFIF,

    As the inventors of varied intensity laser photo engraving process, we strive to make our software produce gcodes for excellent results with our proprietary features that no other program has to offer. It's not limited for use with grbl controllers like the EmBlaser has. It can also be used with Mach3 or 3D printer controllers as well and will generate gcode to engrave photos on round stock with machines that has a 4th axis rotary.

    No need to adjust, re-size, Dither, rotate, flip, crop, ellipse, add text to an image first, because these options are already built into our PEP5 program. Pro 5 + Laser.htm

    For amateurs just beginning, such as yourself, we offer our PicLaser Lite program. PLL will give you the great results you desire and is easy to use with very few settings needed to generate the gcode from your images.

    With PicLaser Lite, a free image editor such as Gimp or Inkscape can be used for all your editing including re-sizing of the image and saving to the bmp format required for PLL. Lite.htm

    We also offer PicLedit Lite for doing all image editing needed for using with PLL including, adjustments, auto re-sizing and 11 different Dithering Algorithms. It's the same image editor that is in our PEP5 program. Lite.htm

    PicSender was developed by John Champlain as a need for a simple, reliable grbl streamer for the fast changing, very large gcode files our image to gcode programs generate.

    Also, if the photo engraving enhancement feature "Feed Rate Change" that John Champlain developed for our PEP5 program is wanted to be used in PicLaser Lite gcode, that is why we offer PicFRC. It also has another option to divide up very gcode large files into up to 5 smaller ones to work around the Mach3 10,000,000 gcode line limit.

    PicFRC can also be used with PLL gcode for making Lithophanes or wood photo engravings using a spindle to reduce the small bit breakage risk. The deeper the cut is, the slower the feedrate will be to reduce chip load.

    Our PicLaser 3D program was developed because of the process we invented of using two technologies combined together. Spindle & Laser. This program will let you laser engrave shades onto a 3D wood spindle relief engraving so the focal point will follow the contours. This program is for the more advanced professional user with a CNC router with both a Spindle and laser attachment. 3D.htm

    When the beginner/hobbyist using PicLaser Lite is ready to move up to our full PicEngrave Pro 5 version, we offer an upgrade path for them as well.

    We do not offer just one complete raster image engraving program as our PEP5 program is. We prefer to offer image engraving solutions that fits into any beginner's or professional's budget.

    Sorry for the late reply. I was waiting for this engraving to end so I could post it also. Can't wait to see your engraving posted here using PicLaser Lite AFIF!

    Gcode was generated in PicLaser Lite with a 115IPM feedrate and min 10 max 255 at a 45D. In PicFRC, I used a 30% Feed Rate Change this time.

    Here is the original image before doing any editing in PicEdit Lite.

  • Thanks for that explanation. Definitely gonna re-read and check those softwares again.

    By the way, I have just finished trying to engrave a picture for this past 2 days. And the results are disappointing.



    Original image:
    Cliffs of Moher laser

    I used a 2900mm/min feedrate, min 10 and max 255 at 45D. In the first picture the laser head just stop at 1 position midway of the process and moved very, very slowly at that point. In second picture somehow the laser head just moved to the right during the midway process (the line that I showed with my finger).

    What did I do wrong? @@ :(
  • Hi AFIF,

    What grbl streamer are you using? If it's UGS, then that is most likely the cause. If you read through some of the other threads on this forum, others had similar issues using UGS. We have not tested the reliability of the GRBL-Panel streamer with our raster image gcode, but you could try that one if our PicSender streamer does not fit into your budget.

  • UGS is basically useless for these big picture files I haven't had any file bigger then a stamp work. I very quickly tried GRBL Panel it seemed to have a similar jerkiness to UGS and my cardboard caught fire but maybe if I fiddled with the settings more it could work. I just ended up buying PicSender and it works pretty smoothly, now I'm able to play around with some raster jobs without a random hiccup ruining an hour and a half of engraving.

    Buster card
    1 FeedRate (mm) = 3500 1
    1 Pixel Resolution (mm) = 0.1000 1
    1 Max. Laser Value 255.0000 1
    1 Min. Laser Value 1.0000 1
    1 Engraving Angle = 45 degrees 1

    took 2 hours and 2 minutes my laser is set to 2.2amps

    I kinda like how the triple-ply cardboard peeks out on his cheek and in the background but I could probably dial in the pixel resolution some more. Definitely use the 60 Shades.bmp to test your medium, it will make your life so much easier.

    Here is the original I used but I did blow out the contrast in Photoshop then separately upped the contrast of the face porthole even more because it was too dark in early tests

    Now I have a workflow that doesn't end with a failed job 95% of the time I'm excited do some more raster jobs on something a bit more exciting then cardboard.
  • Very well done, Rohan. I never thought of trying cardboard for my gray scale test engravings. Sure will save a lot of wood buying for me. Thanks for this tip, and for your purchase and success with PicSender.
  • Hah living in an apartment makes you get creative.

    The whole box that my Emblaser came in was sacrificed to the Emblaser, Darkly labs didn't scrimp either, it was good quality cardboard.

    Cardboard is great to work with because it's quick to cut and sturdy. I have a lot of it and it can go in the recycling when I'm done with it. When I have tried to engrave on odd shaped items I will scan the item in a scanner then cut the outline of the item in taped down cardboard on the cutting surface. that way I don't need to orientate at all. just put it in a slot and its held steady.

    The laser on lower settings lightens the cardboard compared to virgin surface which is a cool looking effect.

    The two finished pictures were Picsender the other triangles were UGS and the smouldering hole was GRBL Panel.

    I need to do a post on what I used the rest of this cardboard for because I think it will help all my fellow apartment laser'ers.
  • Very nice image reproduction Rohan. Thank you for posting your photo engraving and participating. Your PicFRC License is in the mail. I will have to try the EmBlaser box myself. :-)

    PicFRC is pretty straight forward. Just open your gcode file and set it just like you did in PLL with the min and max power settings, Metric units, comment token and the S command letter.

    FicFRC uses your default text editor to view or edit the files if you want to change anything like the feedrate before it adds the Feed Rate Change.

    I use a slightly higher feedrate to start with and between a 25-30% FRC, but that is when engraving on Poplar so you will need to experiment with that setting on the material your using.

  • Ohh yes I used the UGS. Guess I'm gonna need the PicSender too after reading both of your comments (also because of the extremely great supports!) :)

    I have tried downloading and opening the GRBL Panel but it's no use if it still produce jerkiness.

    Will try engraving again tomorrow if I have the time and see how it goes!
  • So I got it to work with the PicSender. Didn't notice any jerkiness, so definitely better than the UGS and might I say a money well spent! :)

    Took about 1 hour 20 minutes. Done on a cardboard, which is a brilliant idea for testing out first before making it on a wood.


    Feed rate: 2900mm/min
    Pixel resolution: 0.254mm (default)
    Max laser power: 250
    Min laser power: 10
    45D engraving angle

    Original file:
    Cliffs of Moher

    By the way as you can see, it doesn't turn out very well. Any thoughts on how should I tweak the settings..?

    And if I may add, perhaps it would be a good idea if the program can display the remaining time left. Any possibility to add this feature?
  • edited April 2015
    That's great AFIF, Thanks for posting your photo engraving and participating here.

    How to get more detail to come out in your laser photo engravings is to adjust your Laser's focal point to the smallest spot size possible and use a smaller Pixel Resolution. Also when editing the image, sharpen it some. These adjustments will bring out more detail.

    As for the remaining time left request. Adding that may cause more for PicSender to process and cause interruptions in the streaming. The best way to know what the remaining time is, look at the time when the bar gets to 25% and multiply that by 3. This will give you an estimated time remaining.

    Your PicFRC registration is in the mail, so look for it in your inbox. The PicFRC program will expand the shade range also, so give it a try.

    Thanks again.
  • Woot! Noted. Thank you very much for all that! :)

    I have opened the PicFRC. What is "Comment Token" and "Axis or Power Letter"..? What value should I set them?
  • Comment Token is the Comment Character that is used in the beginning of the gcode file so the setting notes are ignored by the CNC controller. In GRBL, it's a ( so input that in. The other settings will be the same as you used in PicLaser Lite. The power letter S, the set feedrate and the Min & Max power levels. The percentage is how much slower the feedrate will be at the Black shade areas with the Max power level in the gcode.

    PicFRC will then look at every line of the code and calculate based on the S power command value and add a variable feedrate to each of these lines. The darker the shades and higher power value, the slower it will run. The lighter the shade and less power value, the faster it will run. The percentage setting gives you more control of the expansion of the shades when the laser is burning them onto your material.

    Thanks again.
  • Noted. Thank you very much again! :)
  • edited April 2015
    AFIF The picture you are engraving needs more contrast, so the blacks are blacker and the lights are lighter. You need to blow it out a little because your medium is brownish so your white area's will be darker allready. You should also sharpen your image to get more detail to show up.
    But now your statue is all blown out and lost, so like Buster's face in my engraving you can adjust it separately.
    In my case I lightened the face, but for you I darkened the edges of the statue so they wouldn't be lost to the grass and lightened the front with the text and the details down the bottom. And then I added back the clouds in a separate layer so the top wouldn't be as boring.

    I haven't got enough experience with lasering to tell if that is the best way, But my gut says it would end up better. I only did a quick job, you could probably be a little more subtle then I was. It depends if you want an accurate representation or to get the idea across. Have a play around but if you only take away one thing from this post make sure it's "contrast is your friend" If you don't have Photoshop. GIMP is free but will do all the same stuff.
    cliff.bmp 442K
  • Thanks Rohan for posting that information. Editing of the image is very important to get your desired results.

    For those who wants to learn more about using PicFRC with PicLaser Lite generated Gcode, I wrote an instructables describing the process.
  • edited April 2015
    Vector engraving lines is a faster process then raster engraving, so we decided to do a test on how far we could push the feedrate when raster engraving a Black & White ClipArt image.

    In a previous test, we determined the Maximum feedrate the EmBlaser could run raster gcode was 171IPM (4343.4mm/min) when using a .006" (.1524mm) Pixel Resolution.

    We edited this image in PicEdit Lite for the size, saved it, then re-oped it to Dither the image with the Threshold Algorithm to ensure it was pure Black & White.

    In PicLaser Lite, we set the Feedrate at 170IPM (4318mm/min), Max power to "255" and min power to "0" and engraved at a 45D angle. The set feedrate in PicLaser Lite is not relative when using PicFRC and adding Feed Rate Change afterwards.

    By using a Dithered image, there will only be a S power value of "255" in Black areas and S power value of "0" in white areas with no other power levels in-between. This is called TTL (pulsing) laser engraving.

    We opened the file in PicFRC and set the feedrate at 170IPM (4218mm/min), Max power at "255" and Min power at "0" with a 60% Feed Rate Change. In the White areas it will run at 170IPM (4318mm/min) and Black areas it will slow to 68IPM (1727.2mm/min).

    The engraving was 6.25" (158.75mm) wide and 4.932" (125.27mm) tall and took 1 hour 20 min to complete. This process does not replace vector engraving as it's still slower, but it will give better detail & results when using a Dithered line art or ClipArt image and raster engrave it instead.

    This is the first time trying this and we could have lowered the percentage some more in PicFRC so it would have ran a little faster feedrate in the Black areas.

  • edited April 2015
    Oh thank you very much Rohan for that useful information. Guess I need to learn basic photoshop/GIMP soon!

    Seems like there's quite a learning curve and experiments to get good result! :o
  • Three more Free PicFRC licenses left for the taking. Lets see some more laser photo engravings with PLL and the EmBlaser.

    Here is the original image and all I did in PicEdit Lite, is re-size it for the Poplar we have, adjusted gamma to .8 and Sharpened it to 10.

    Same max 255 and min 10 setting in PLL, but I used a feedrate of 140IPM (3556mm/min) and a 35% Feed Rate Change in PicFRC.

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