--- T2Laser Manual for v1.4d ---


What is T2Laser?

--      A replacement software controller for Benbox style laser engraving systems and other laser or CNC systems using Grbl firmware or requiring G-Code

Key Features

--      Image to G-Code Conversion

-  Supports JPEG, BMP, PNG and GIF import

-  Greyscale (S-value) and 1-Bit (dithered or threshold) conversion

-  Velocity mode uses variable feed rates to produce greyscale

-  CNC mode for 3D milling (Z-axis) or Laser Z-axis focusing

-  Advanced raster-to-vector conversion with optional automatic hatch fill

-  Resolution is user configurable

-  Horizontal or diagonal engraving (45 degree engraving makes lines less visible)

-  Skip "blank" lines (improves engraving speed by eliminating unnecessary moves)

-  Image resize (uses an optimized algorithm to improve quality)

-  Provides image adjustments (brightness, contrast, flip and rotation)

-  G-Code can be saved (registered users only)

-  Profiles are available to store and recall common settings

--      DXF and PLT Import

-  Supports DXF/PLT import with colors translated to laser power or feed rates

-  Multi-pass cutting for thicker materials (with optional cool down between repeats)

-  Path optimization to reduce time and improve efficiency

-  Adjust power or feed rate in each axis independently

-  Vector resize, rotate and flip

-  Use DXF colors to determine cutting sequence

-  Output each color individually or sequentially with tool changes as needed (swap CNC bit or pen)

-  Optional PDF conversion using an open source 3rd party utility

--      Gerber Import

-  Load Standard (RS-274-D) and Extended (RS-274-X) Gerber files

-  Aperture, Region and Drill Files are supported

--      Sketch and Trace (Raster to Vector)

-  Create quick sketches using basic tools and text (includes arc text)

-  Output as vector, hatch or raster (filled)

-  Combine Sketch with image (add raster text or a vector path)

-  Combine Trace vector (contour cut) with image

--      Laser Control

-  Supports Grbl or Benbox firmware (S, L or P values can be used for laser power)

-  PWM available with Grbl 0.9 or higher firmware and compatible hardware

-  Upload firmware and default settings (no additional files or programs required)

-  Load and edit G-Code files - supports raster and vector formats (registered users only)

-  User interface for jogging (8-way) with step distance and set / return home

-  Homing is supported with appropriate hardware

-  Machine and workpiece position readouts, position presets for loading or jig positions

-  Estimated time is displayed and progress bar / buffer state is shown when sending

-  Laser on, off and pulse (using user configured power and time)

-  Real-time laser and feed rate overrides available in Grbl 1.1 and higher

-  Supports Dynamic Laser Power to prevent over burning due to acceleration

-  Debug and Check modes are supported to verify G-Code before sending

-  Emergency stop and fail safe error handling

-  G-Code sender is optimized for small segments and constant power / feed adjustment

-  Tested with files containing -7,000,000 lines of G-Code (trial is limited to 10,000 lines)

--      G-Code Viewer

-  Supports laser power and variable feed rates for true representation of result

-  Identify problems before sending to the laser

-  Shows home and frame positions

-  Run the G-code in the simulation to check cutting sequence


--      Download the latest T2Laser_Installer zip file

-  If you are upgrading a version pre-1.4d, first uninstall using control panel (if registered, this will not affect your license key)

-  Version 1.4d and later use web deployment and you will be notified of upgrades automatically (if connected to the internet)

--      Open the zip and review the end user license agreement (EULA)

-  After acceptance of the license agreement, run setup.exe

-  If needed, T2Laser can be uninstalled using the control panel

Laser Safety

-      Always wear protective eyeglasses that are rated for the correct wavelength when the machine is powered on (the laser may energize unexpectedly)

-      Do not leave the machine unattended while operating, if communications are interrupted the machine could stop with the laser on causing damage or fire

-  Disable power saving modes (BIOS and/or OS), anti-virus and backup software that could affect normal operation

-      Verify that materials being engraved or cut are "laser safe" and do not produce harmful vapors and also maintain adequate ventilation

Main Window (Design Screen)


--      Open Image

-  Load a raster image (JPG, BMP, PNG or GIF)

-  Right click to import a vector in AutoCAD DXF or HPGL PLT format (see Vector Import section)

--      Save G-Code

-  Processes the image and saves the G-Code file

--      Control Laser

-  Switches to the laser control screen

--     Sketch

-  Create a raster or vector drawing (see Sketch section)

-  Right click to load a Sketch or Sketch Template file

--      Trace Image

-  Raster-to-Vector conversion of the loaded image (see Trace section)

-  Auto Trace can be used to convert the entire image

--      Edit Image

-  Brightness, contrast and gamma adjustment

-  Rotate image clockwise or counter-clockwise

-  Flip the image (useful for back engraving mirrors)

-  Invert the image (produce a negative image)

--      Auto Zoom

-  z key toggles on/off

-  100% (actual view)

-  Zoom to fit window

--      Show Image Information

-  i key toggles on/off

-  Displays the image size in pixels and millimeters

-  Shows DXF extents, count of line segments and shapes

--      Image to G-Code Conversion Mode

-  1-bit black and white (best for text or drawings)

-  Dithered (Floyd Steinberg diffusion method), pixels are black or white (min or max power)

-  Greyscale (Laser power changes based on pixel value, black represents maximum power)

-  Click on image to show original (color if applicable)

--      Engraving Mode

-  Horizontal (lines are scanned along the X-axis)

-  Diagonal (scans using X and Y simultaneously, eliminates "screen door effect")

--      Feed Rate

-  Sets the default engraving speed

-  Right click to set the rapid feed rate (speed when laser is off)

--      Laser Power

-  Sets the minimum and maximum laser power values

-  Default 0-255 but can be changed for different configurations

--      Resolution

-  Sets the output line resolution for image conversion

-  0.1 mm line resolution = 10 lines per mm or 254 DPI

-  Lower values will have a higher resolution but take longer to process

-  Determines the auto-join gap for DXF segments

--      Output Size

-  Sets the output dimensions for raster images

-  Can also be used to re-scale vector data (it is recommended to set the correct size in your CAD program before exporting)

-  Image is resized (uses an optimized algorithm to improve quality)

-  It is recommended to set resolution before output size

--      Additional Menu Items (not available on the toolbar)

-  File

-       Import GBR

o   Loads Standard (RS-274-D) or Extended (RS-274-X) Gerber files

o   Set the resolution before importing

o   The drawing is loaded as an image and can be processed using the edit image tools

o   Standard format requires an aperture file (.APT) in the same directory with either the same name or prefix as the Gerber file

o   Drill files (.DRL) with either the same name or prefix as the Gerber file in the same directory can be overlayed (negative)

-       Convert PDF

o   Converts Adobe PDF files to AutoCAD DXF format and loads the vector data in T2Laser

o   Requires installation of the optional Convert2DxfCmd application developed by Agastar on the benboxlaser.us forum

-       Sketch Template

o   Loads a T2Laser Sketch Template

-       Clear

o   Image, Sketch and/or Vector data is deleted

-  Edit

-       Auto Trace...

o   Converts the entire image from Raster-to-Vector

-       Crop Image

o   Select a portion of the loaded image

-  Mode

-       Photo Mode

o   Uses a pixel shifting algorithm (similar to anti-aliasing) to blend the grey levels for a more natural look.

o   Produces a "softer" image (not recommended for clip art)

o   This algorithm will be used if a suitable image is detected and does not normally need to be manually selected

-       Velocity Mode

o   Uses variable feed rate to produce a greyscale result

o   Rapid and standard feed rates must be set correctly

-       Sketch (Filled)

o   Sketch is created as a raster image (text or shapes will be filled)

o   See the Sketch section for examples and additional details of use

-       Sketch (Hatch)

o   Sketch is created as a vector with pseudo fill using lines

o   See the Sketch Hatch section for examples and additional details of use

-       Sketch Plus (Overlay)

o   Combines raster or vector Sketch with the loaded raster image

o   Allows contour cutting or adding text to an image

o   See the Sketch section for examples and additional details of use

-  Settings

-       Multi-Pass (Vector)

o   Repeats the vector path multiple times to enable cutting of thicker materials

o   Pre-defined or custom repeats (unlimited)

-       Cool Down Delay

o   Used with above option to dwell after each pass for laser to cool down

-       Matrix Copy (Sketch)

o   Generates Step and Repeats for Sketch drawings

o   Set parameters for columns (X), rows (Y) and gap (spacing in mm)

o   Note: You must disable multi-pass and select lower left start position

-       Center (Start Point)

o   Position the laser (and set home) in the center of the job (between extents) before starting

o   Absolute option uses the entire drawing from 0,0 to maximum extents for center position

-       Corner (Start Point)

o   Lower left start is the default location, lower right, upper left and upper right are options

o   Position the laser (and set home) at the corner of the job before starting

o   This option can be used with Gerber files to enable back side alignment

-       Use Extents for Frame

o   Force the frame to use drawing extents (instead of including 0,0)

-       Skip Blank Lines (default)

o   Speeds up engraving by skipping blank areas within the job

-       Laser (Z-Axis Focus)

o   Use S values for laser power but enables manual Z-jog controls

-       CNC Mode (Z-Axis)

o   Use Z-Axis values

o   Enter the maximum Z-depth

o   Top of material is defined as Z0 (typically with positive values down)

o   Optionally enable depth per passes (Z-depth will be divided equally between each multi-pass)

o   Optionally set a Z-safe height (typically a negative value)

o   Set a spindle speed (max is usually 255 or 1000 depending on firmware)

o   Optionally set a spindle delay in seconds (allows the spindle to get up to speed)

-       Threshold (B/W)

o   Sets the pixel threshold for 1-bit black and white conversion

o   Transparency is converted to white (laser off)

-  Image Options

-       Bi-Directional Scanning (default)

o   Horizontal scan mode follows a serpentine pattern

o   Disabling will scan left to right only

-       Rapid Skip Blank

o   Use the rapid feed rate in blank areas (faster)

-       Skip Solid Lines

o   Used only for CNC systems or special purposes

-       Over-Scan

o   Forces laser to remain on during horizontal line transition

o   Likely to produce a darker edge to the image

-       Transparency to White

o   Used with PNG files. Any transparent region is converted to white (or black if unchecked)

-       Trace Resize (Single Mode)

o   When enabled (default) the Trace resolution is maintained when scaling for improved detail

o   Disable to reduce the path which will lose some detail but may improve engraving speed

-       Eliminate (Trace) Noise

o   Removes objects smaller than 5mm² (clean up result but may lose some fine detail)

-  DXF Options (note: options marked with * only have an effect at load)

-       Relocate Origin (works with vector files and Trace feature)

o   The origin (0,0) is set at the minimum drawing extents

-       DXF Optimizer (also works with PLT files)

o   Changes the sequence of vector segments and paths to reduce run-time

o   Options to override start point and/or allow segment reversal

o   Can also force auto-joining of open shapes (this may distort the file, check the view before using)

o   Use DXF colors to determine cutting sequence (Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange, Red and Black)

-       Override DXF Units*

o   If checked, values are used as metric and header is ignored (no conversion)

o   Option to force conversion (header is ignored, values are treated as inch units)

-       Select Output Color

o   All (default) sends all colors with their corresponding power values in the order generated

o   Sequential sends each color in series using reverse order (5=Yellow, 4=Green, 3=Blue, 2=Orange, 1=Red and 0=Black)

o   Select an individual color to send only that color

o   Sequential and Individual colors default to max laser power unless Use Power Value is selected

-       DXF Color to Feed Rate

o   Adjusts the feed rate (instead of laser power) based on DXF color, works with non-PWM laser modules

o   Black (Feed Rate), Red, Orange, Blue, Green and Yellow (Rapid Feed Rate)

-       Absolute DXF Colors

o   Uses an absolute percentage of the power or feed rate based on color (method used in earlier version)

o   Black 100%, Red 80%, Orange 60%, Blue 40%, Green 20% and Yellow 0% (increment percentage can be changed)

-       Vector Adjustment

o   Linearly increases power or feed rate based on the vector (angle) of motion

o   Swap XY changes the vector (default is lower power or higher feed rate in X-axis)

o   Set percentage value to adjust (e.g. add 20% to the feed rate or power when perpendicular to the axis)

-       Ignore Bulges*

o   When enabled the bulge parameter is ignored (converted to straight lines)

-       Reverse DXF Paths*

o   Set before import to reverse the path direction

o   Typical paths are engraved counter clockwise with this option disabled

-       Reverse DXF Segments (default)*

o   Each segment within the DXF path is reversed (necessary for some software)

-       Skip Minimum Power

o   When selected any minimum power (yellow) segments will be skipped (default)

-  Advanced Settings

-       Silent Mode

o   Does not ask to generate or save G-code (defaults to Yes and No respectively)

-       Auto-Crop Sketch

o   When selected the Sketch will automatically be cropped to extents when generating the G-code

o   Use the manual crop (Resize Canvas) option in Sketch if you want to adjust or add a border

-       Skip Sketch Template

o   When selected a Sketch Template will only output the user editable objects

-       End Program (M30)

o   Issues a G-Code end program command after the job completes

o   This is necessary on some systems to completely disable the laser

o   Workpiece home position will be lost (recommend setting machine home)

-       Gerber Options

o   Set the units and accuracy for Gerber files (only required if header information is unavailable)

o   Additional settings to ignore aperture data or use drill files

-       Hatch Options

o   Use Vertical, Diagonal lines (right click to change from / to \) or Cross Hatch (right click to change from x to +)

o   Change the spacing between lines; narrow, default, wide or custom

o   Exclude the outline so only the fill is engraved

-       Anti-Alias Display

o   Helps reduce moiré patterns on computer screen only, does not affect output

-       Keep Display On

o   Forces your display to remain on while T2Laser is running

-       Insomnia Mode

o   Prevents your computer from sleeping (can be temporarily disabled but will reset to on at startup)

-       Disable Image Adjustment

o   When selected Image Adjustments will be disabled (e.g. brightness, contrast, flip and rotation)

o   Enable when using very large images to reduce memory and resource usage

-       Splash Screen

o   When enabled a T2Laser or corporate partner logo will be displayed at start-up

o   Option 0 will load a random background, other values load the specified image

-  Profiles

-       Click to load a preset profile

o   Includes feed rate, min/max laser power, resolution, passes and cool down

-       Set parameters and then right click on the profile to edit the name and save settings

o   Previous settings will be overwritten

-       Profile Management

o   Backup or restore profiles (save to a text file)

-  Help

-       About

o   Shows version number

o   Register the trial version (see the Register section for more details)

-       Manual

o   This document

-       YouTube Channel

o   Videos explaining the basic operation of T2Laser

-       Samples

o   Built-in files which can be used to test your machine

-       Change Language

o   Used to override the automatic language selection (temporarily)

o   Deselect the "Automatic" selection to permanently use the manual selection

-       Restore Defaults

o   Resets the user settings to their default values

-       Security Dongle

o   Use a hardware security device for license verification

-       Install CH340 Driver

o   This installs the USB-to-Serial COM driver for the CH340 chipset

-       Check for Updates

o   This is for beta testers only (pre-release versions) and requires a password to install

o   You will be notified automatically when a new release is available (must be connected to the internet)

Laser Control Window (shown connected)

--      Connect Settings

-  Select Port and Baud Rate

-  Click the lightning bolt or select Connect in the Machine menu to connect

-  If no ports are shown check connection and click lightning bolt to re-scan

-       USB driver for your device must be installed

-  Once the COM port is open the status message "Connected" will be displayed

-  If the Grbl firmware begins communication the message "Grbl Ready" will be displayed (the version may also be displayed)

-  If Benbox firmware is detected the message "Benbox Ready" will be displayed

--      Firmware Upload

-  Select COM port and click Upload Firmware (x.x) from the Machine menu

            -       1.1e (default) includes support for homing on D9 and dynamic laser power [enable in the Settings / Advanced menu]

            -       0.9g J-Tech. Supports most systems, uses 7.8KHz PWM [once installed use 'Send Default Parameters' to load T2Laser default values]

            -       0.9i EleksMana. Use for EleksDraw or EleksEgg systems that require either Servo or CoreXY control (see sub menu for configuration)

            -       0.9j Woodpecker. For use with their CNC controller boards

            -       1.1e Non-PWM. Uses D12 for the laser, not officially supported [automatically enabled in the Settings / Advanced menu]

            -       1.1e Axis Swap. Same as default except X and Y axis are swapped

            -       1.1f LaserAxe. Uses custom pin outs for some of their machines (others can use the default firmware)

            -       1.1f High Frequency PWM. Uses 7.8kHz instead of the standard 1kHz PWM

-  Alternative method; Disconnect your machine (right click the stop button) or select Disconnect from the Machine menu, then select COM port and Ctrl-Click the lightning bolt to upload Grbl 0.9 laser firmware.  There should not be any G-Code loaded in the command window

--      Grbl Parameter Upload

-  Ctrl-Click the Send G-Code (envelope) or select Send Default Parameters from the Machine menu to upload the default parameters

-  Check the status messages to confirm parameters were uploaded correctly, repeat as needed

--      G-Code Commands

-  This window displays the current program

-  Double click the window or click Load G-Code from the Machine menu to load a G-Code (.nc) program file

-  When disconnected from the laser, G-Code can be edited

--      Status Messages

-  Important system messages and responses from Grbl are shown here

-  Double click to clear the status messages

--      X/Y Positions

-  After connecting the current X/Y (Z) positions are displayed

-  Double click to switch between machine and workpiece positions or select Machine Coordinates from the Settings menu

-  Machine positions are shown as *X and *Y (*Z)

-  If machine is moving the positions are displayed in red

--      Step Distance

-  Select the distance to be moved during a manual jog (mm)

--      Home (Origin)

-  Click to return to the workpiece home position (not the machine origin)

-  Right click the home icon or select Set Origin (Workpiece) from the Machine menu to set workpiece home position (a soft reset clears the workpiece home position)

-  If Machine Coordinates are displayed, right clicking will request to run the Home (Machine) procedure, if you select no the Set Origin (Workpiece) command will run

--      Home (Machine)

-  Typically used with home/limit switches (Grbl must be manually configured for your setup)

-  If home switches are not enabled this sets the persistent machine offset

-  Enable homing with the Home Switches option in the Settings menu

-  Select Home (Machine) from the Machine menu to start the homing procedure or set the machine offset

-  If Reset Workpiece Origin is selected in the Settings menu the machine offset will be set once homing is complete

--      Jog Buttons

-  Move (step distance) in the direction selected

-  If  Z-Axis Focus or CNC Mode are selected the Z jog keys will be available

-  Cursor keys (arrows) work when step is set at 20 or less, home key goes to workpiece origin

--      Laser Power

-  Select the laser power from 0-255 used for manual laser operation

--      Pulse Time

-  Select the manual laser pulse time in milliseconds

--      Manual Laser Controls

-  Switch the laser on using the power setting specified above

-  Pulse the laser using the power and pulse time specified above

-  Switch the laser off

--      Send G-Code (start the program)

-  Click the envelope or select Send G-Code from the Machine menu to begin sending the loaded G-Code to the machine

-  While running, click to pause and again to resume or restart the G-Code program

-       Commands already in the Grbl buffer will be processed before the machine halts

-  If a tool change is required, sending will pause until you confirm the change was completed (do not click OK until clear of the machine)

--      Stop Button

-  G-Code sending is halted, after a few seconds the machine will stop

-       The laser will be turned off

-       The machine will return to workpiece home

--      Emergency Stop (left click)

-  Soft reset, the machine will come to a controlled stop

-       The laser will be turned off

-       Workpiece home will be cleared

-       Current XY position will be maintained

-  ESC key performs the same function

--       Emergency Stop (right click)

-  Right click the stop button to perform an immediate (emergency) stop

-       The laser will be turned off and the connection terminated

-       XY positions may be inaccurate (if the machine is moving some steps can be lost)

--      Progress Bar

-  Shows the transfer progress as the G-Code file is processed

-  The far right block shows the Grbl buffer status

-       During transfer it should flash red (full) to orange (almost full)

--      Debug Mode

-  Click to enable or select Advanced Mode from the Settings menu

-       The manual G-Code command box is displayed

o   Enter commands and click enter to send (used to change Grbl parameters)

-       Additional messages are displayed in the status window during communication

-       This should be disabled when not required to maximize performance

--      Rotary Axis

-  Click to enable (opens the setup page) or disable

            -       Right click to change the settings without disabling

-  First time setup (settings are stored)

            -       Select the axis you are replacing

            -       If the rotary axis is opposite to your standard axis, select the reverse check box

            -       Enter the steps per rotation using the formula shown (motor steps per rev * micro-stepping * drive ratio)

            -       Your original values are automatically stored and should not need to be changed (these are used when rotary axis is disabled)

-  Enter the item diameter or circumference

            -       The calculated steps per mm will be displayed in the pending changes section, click OK to send these changes to your Nano

--      Presets

-  These user presets store the machine and workpiece coordinates

-       Click to recall the preset and move to the location specified

-       Right click to save the current positions (optionally enter a name)

-       If Use Machine Positions is selected (default) the stored machine coordinates are used

--      Advanced Features

-  Disconnect machine

-       Right click the Stop button to disconnect.

-  Sleep Mode

-       If using Grbl 1.x or later and motor are always energized you can use place the machine in a sleep mode, clicking again wakes the machine

-  Display Grbl Parameters

-       Ctrl-Click the Home button or select Display Grbl Parameters from the Machine menu to download/view Grbl parameters

-  Reset Grbl Parameters

-       Restores all $ values to the original firmware settings (these are the T2Laser defaults if using v1.x firmware)

-  Clear Grbl Positions

-       Clears all stored positions (if your coordinate display is not showing 0,0 after connecting this will clear the offset)

-  Reverse Axis Directions

-      Use the Reverse X/Y/Z-Axis Direction options in the Settings menu

-  Z Axis Jog Control

-      Enabled the Z axis jog buttons (option to reverse the jog key directions)

-  Laser Power Override

-       Right click the laser power value or select Override Laser Power from the Machine menu to override laser power in loaded G-Code file

-       The values will be rescaled using the selected value as maximum (based on 255 as maximum or 100%)

-       Right click power value and select no to cancel override and return to original values

-  Feed Rate Override

-       Right click pulse time value or select Override Feed Rate from the Machine menu to override the feed rate in the loaded G-Code file

-       Enter a new value and click OK, or select cancel to cancel the override

-  Real-Time Feed Rate and Laser Power Override (only available with Grbl 1.x or above)

-       When running the override options will be displayed

-       Click + or - to change the override percentage or click 100% to return to G-code values

-       Feed rate can be set between 10% and 200%, Power between 50% and 200%

-  Draw the frame / border (for alignment)

-       Right click the laser on button or select Engrave Frame from the Machine menu to laser the frame at the specified power level

-       Right click the laser off button or select Trace Frame from the Machine menu to trace the frame with the laser off

-  Check Mode

-       When enabled G-Code is parsed by Grbl but not sent to the laser, this is used to check the code for any errors before starting the job

-  Post Processors

-       Grbl (default), uses S values for laser power control

-       Benbox compatible G-code

-       LaserBot mode uses P values for laser power (this is experimental and still in development)

-       Laser D12 (used with the non-PWM firmware on older hardware that does not support D11 laser signals)

-  Configure EleksMana (only for use with the EleksMana firmware)

-       Click to select your machine; Laser, Draw, Egg or Mill

-       Click to change modes; Laser, Servo, Cartesian or CoreXY

-  Advanced

-       Dynamic Laser Power, adjusts laser output based on feed rate to prevent over-burning at the start and end of lines or dots at corners

-       Estimated Time Remaining, displays the ETR in the progress bar during send (this is approximate)

-       Alternate Jog Increments, use reduced (1/10th) values for jog distances (right click on jog buttons to switch mode)

-       Display Custom Buttons to run user editable G-code. Right click to enter the name and commands (use | to indicate line breaks)

-       When Jog Rapid Feed is enabled, jogging will use the rapid feed rate instead of machine maximum speed as determined by Grbl parameters

-       When Frame Rapid Feed is checked rapid feed rate will be used instead of vector feed rate for Engrave and Trace Frame

-       Hold Position keeps the motors energized to prevent accidental movement but may cause overheating and failure of the motor or driver

-       Fast Status increases the coordinate refresh rate (X5) but can overload the microprocessor

-       Reduced Acceleration, use slower ramp rates to minimize backlash and/or lost steps on systems which are not mechanically optimized

-       Machine Size uploads the default machine size set in Sketch to the Grbl parameters. This is only required if you have home or limit switches

-       If selected DTR sets the Data Terminal Ready pin (default)

-       Fail-Safe Mode (attempts to disable the laser if any errors are detected)

-       Low Buffer Mode, reduces the Grbl buffer (for diagnostic purposes only)

-       Laser Mode, should be enabled for lasers (even if they have a Z-axis) and disabled for CNC machines using a spindle

-       Clean G-Code (Aggressive), this may fix imported G-code errors (Note: Use caution as G-code may be corrupted)

--      View

-  Display a simulation of the G-Code

-  Laser power is shown from yellow to blue (max power)

-  Press ‘o’ to show laser off as yellow

-  Press ‘b’ to show laser min as red and laser off as black

-  Press ‘r’ to show laser power using DXF colors (see below)

-  Press ‘s’ to run the g-code

-       ‘q’ changes speed (4 levels)

-       Press ‘s’ again to stop the simulation

Use the 0, 1 and 2 keys to change the laser width (default is 0)

-  Press 'g' to show/hide the origin (start) point

-  Press 'f' to show/hide the frame

-  Press 'd' to show/hide the dimensions (lower left and upper right positions)

Vector Import

--     AutoCAD .DXF files in 7-bit text format

-  Supports the following objects; Line, Polyline, Circle, Arc, Ellipse, E-Arc and Spline

-       Explode blocks and text before exporting

-  Colors are mapped to power or feed rate (a custom palette for Inkscape is available)

-       Default uses the range from max to min laser power or feed rate to rapid feed rate

-       Using the Absolute DXF Colors option: Black 100%, Red 80%, Orange/Purple 60%, Blue 40%, Green 20%, Yellow 0%

-  Refer to T2Laser_DXF-Conversion for additional information

--      Corel HPGL PLT files

-  Refer to T2Laser_PLT-Conversion for additional information


--      Use the page size required for your Sketch

-  Select your machine or custom to enter the required sizes

--      Load

-  Opens a T2Laser Sketch (.t2s format)

--      Save

-  Save the current drawing as a T2Laser Sketch file

--      Select

-  Click outline or hold shift key to select inside object

-       Click and drag to move or use right mouse button to resize

--      Text

-  Click on page at insertion point and type text

-  Use pipe | symbol to add a new line between text (or enter text in parameter screen)

-  Use select tool to highlight text to change font, size or style

-  With text selected

-       Press C key to change alignment (left, center and right)

-       Press F key to mirror text (flip across vertical axis)

--      Line

-  Click start and end points

--      Multi-Line (Polyline)

-  Click to add points

-  Right click to close the shape

--      Rectangle (or Square)

-  Click to start and end rectangle (corners)

--      Ellipse (or Circle)

-  Click to start and end ellipse

--      Arc Text

-  Select an ellipse or circle first and then click the Arc Text icon

-       This is a temporary object and can be deleted later

-       It can also be used multiple times to add text to the top and bottom as needed

-  Enter text and adjust settings (a preview is displayed)

-       The parent ellipse rotation will affect the result

-       CCW text will appear correct on the bottom or upside down if moved to the top

-  Click accept to generate the arc text or cancel to abort (arc text is not generated)

--      Zoom

-  Toggle Auto-Zoom (scale to fit)

-  Right click to change zoom (1X, 2X and 5X) 

--      Grid

-  Enable or disable the grid

-  Right click to swap between 10 mm and 5 mm spacing

--      Axis Lock

-  Lock to X/Y axis or aspect ratio 1:1 for circles and squares

--      Info

-  Show or hide the overlay

-  Displays document size, magnification, grid size and count of shapes and segments

--      Resize Canvas

-  Enlarge or reduce the the Sketch drawing size

-  Click the center icon to automatically select the drawing extents

--      Resize (Rescale) Sketch

-  Sketch is rescaled to the new size (fonts and arc text may need to be manually edited after rescaling)

--      Resolution

-  Resolution used for node/point spacing in ellipses and text

--      Combine Paths

-  Automatically joins overlapping paths (use with script style fonts)

--      Erase

-  Clears the entire Sketch

--      Font Settings

-  Select the Font, Font Size and Font Style

-  If text is selected you can scroll through the list to see the result

--      Generate G-Code

-  Finish the Sketch and generate the G-Code

-  Save the Sketch before exiting (if needed)

-  You can return to the Sketch later and save or edit it as required

--      Additional Keys

-  Press Delete to erase selected object

-  Press L and R to rotate object

-  Press F to flip the object (Y-axis)

-  Press P to open the parameter entry screen (move or change object)

-  Press Ctrl to toggle axis lock

Sketch Plus

--       Modes

-  Sketch

-       No options selected

-       Output as an outline – vector

-  Sketch Filled

-       Sketch Filled selected

-       Output is solid – raster

-  Sketch Hatch

-       Sketch Filled with a selectable Hatch Pattern (pseudo fill)

-  Sketch Plus

-       Sketch Plus is selected

-       Sketch outline is added to the loaded image – raster + vector 

-  Sketch Filled Plus

-       Sketch Filled and Sketch Plus are selected

-       Solid Sketch output is added to the loaded image – raster

-       Sketch outline is added to the solid Sketch – raster + vector (no image loaded)

-  Trace

-       No options selected

-       Trace outline is output – vector

-  Trace Hatch

-       Sketch Hatch is enabled

-       Trace is output as a vector with hatch pattern

-  Trace Contour

-       Sketch Plus selected

-       Trace vector is added to the image raster – raster + vector

-  Sketch Filled + Sketch Plus

-       Text is added in Sketch and combined with image as final raster output 

-  Sketch Filled + Sketch Plus (no image)

-       The text outline is added to filled text (result in a darker crisp edge to the text)

-  Trace Contour (using Sketch Plus)

-       Vector is shown in red and added to the raster image (used for cutting out the image)

Engraving Modes

-  The default mode will auto-detect and use photo mode as needed to improve the results

-  Manually selecting photo mode is not recommended especially for clip art / logo engraving

-  Unidirectional is significantly slower but allows the laser to cool between lines and reduces "zig-zag" errors on systems with excessive backlash

-  Use diagonal mode to improve results with wood grain

-  All modes include over-scan on the trailing side to reduce dark edges caused by deceleration

Trace (Raster-to-Vector Conversion)

--       Open Image

-  Clipart style high contrast images work the best

-  Adjust image and select settings prior to conversion

-  Select Trace Image from the tool bar or edit menu

-  Click the outline(s) to trace and right click to see just the result    

-  Turn off trace when complete to generate the G-Code

-       G-Code will automatically be generated when clicking Save or Control Laser

-  Resize Trace (use the output size button)

-       Does not work if hatching is applied, resize the image before tracing if hatch is required

-       Do not increase the trace size, instead resize the image and re-trace for improved quality

-       Trace Resize (Single Mode) should be enabled for highest detail but can be disabled (see Image Options)

Change Log

--      v1.4j adds crop image feature, auto-crop sketch to extents (sketch + settings), Aussie z-jog, resize "trace" with enhanced detail, beta tester option for updates

--      v1.4k adds Russian and Korean languages, Sketch matrix copy (step and repeat), file name on G-code header, custom G-code buttons, "splash" screens
        added option for CNC Z-Safe height and depth per pass, aggressive G-code cleaner (automatically correct imported code), password for beta updates

--      v1.4m  tool (pen) change to support EleksDraw or CNC, use spindle speed and safe Z height for raster CNC mode, fixed "view" for CNC with negative values

Keyboard Shortcuts

--      Design Screen

-  Open Image, Ctrl-O

-  Import DXF, Ctrl-I

-  Import PLT, Ctrl-P

-  Save G-Code, Ctrl-S

-  New Sketch, Ctrl-N

-  Laser Control, Ctrl-L

-  About, F1

-  Manual, Shift-F1

-  Information Overlay, I

-  Zoom (Auto), Z

--      Sketch

-  Rotate, L and R

-  Text Alignment, C

-  Flip, F

-  Parameter (Edit Mode), P

-  Lock Axis, Ctrl

-  Information Overlay, I

-  Zoom (Auto), Z

--      Laser Controller

-  Emergency Stop, ESC

-  Jog (Move Axis), Cursor Keys

Home (Goto), Home Key

--      G-Code Viewer (Simulation)

-  Show Origin, G

-  Show Frame, F

-  Show Dimensions, D

-  Start / Stop Simulation, S

-  Change Speed, Q

-  Show Laser (Off), O

-  Show Laser Disabled, B

-  Use DXF Power Colors, R

Laser Width, 0, 1 and 2

Mouse Quick-Clicks

--      Design Screen

-  Open Vector, Right click Open Image icon

-  Load Sketch, Right click Sketch icon

-  Auto Trace, Right click Trace icon

-  Show Original Image, Click the Image

-  Rapid Feed Rate, Right click the Feed Rate icon

-  Relocate Origin, Right click the Relocate Origin menu item for one-time fix

-  Optimize DXF, Right click the Optimize DXF menu item for one-time fix

-  Save Profiles, Right click to Save Profile

--      Sketch

-  Zoom Setting, Right click Zoom Icon

-  Grid Size, Right click Grid icon

-  Move Object, Click drag on selected object

-  Size Object, Right click drag on selected object

--      Laser Controller

-  Disconnect, Right click the Emergency Stop button

-  Clear Status Messages, Double click the status message window

-  Machine Position, Double click the display to switch between machine and workpiece coordinates

-  Set Home (Origin), Right click the Home icon (when workpiece coordinates are displayed)

-  Home Machine, Right click the Home icon (when machine coordinates are displayed)

-  Pause G-code, Press the send envelope while running (press again to resume)

-  Save Presets, Right click to save current position as a preset location

-  Show Grbl Parameters, Hold the Ctrl-key and click the Home icon to display the Grbl parameters

-  Trace Frame, Right click the laser off button

Engrave Frame, Right click the laser on button

Troubleshooting & FAQ's

--      Why is the laser always on?

-  This is likely because of a mismatch between the firmware version (Grbl) and the hardware setting

-  Move the jumper under the Nano microprocessor board to the correct location or use the correct firmware

--      Images don't load at the size they were saved?

-  The image size is based on the number of pixels and the resolution

-  An image 1000 x 1000 px at 0.1 resolution would be 100 x 100 mm

--      How do I "outline" an image?

-  An image is a raster format, to cut or engrave it's perimeter you need to convert it to vector by tracing it

-  Use the Trace Image or Auto Trace feature in the Edit menu

--      Text isn't importing on vector (DXF) files?

-  Text must be exploded or converted to a path before exporting from your CAD program

--      Why aren't my vector (DXF) files filled?

-  Vector files are paths only, if you want to "fill" them you need to apply a hatch pattern in the CAD program and save it as a path

--      My sizes aren't coming out correctly?

-  If the on-screen size is correct, this is usually because you don't have the correct Grbl parameters loaded

-  Use the firmware provided with T2Laser that includes the defaults (currently 1.1e) or click "Send Default Parameters" from the Machine menu

--      How can I improve my grey-scale images?

-  The best results require a TTL laser but many non-TTL lasers will provide satisfactory results using the PWM method

-  If you are unable to get good results, you can use the "dithered" mode which produces excellent pseudo grey-scale

--      What "mode" should I use?

-  For images select grey-scale or dithered, for clip art or logos use black and white mode

--      My laser says "connected" but it isn't working?

-  "Connected" means you have opened the COM port, if you don't get a "Grbl Ready" or similar message your laser isn't responding

-  Disconnect and verify you have the correct port selected, if so, try uploading the Grbl firmware

--      I don't have any COM ports?

-  The COM port is actually a USB driver, check Device Manager for issues (red X) and load the correct driver for your machine

-  Most of the Nano clones require the CH34X driver, genuine Arduino Nano's use the FTDI FT232 driver

--      How much does T2Laser cost and where do I get it?

-  T2Laser is trial software, you can download it from www.t2laser.org and should test it with your machine before purchasing

-  When you are ready to purchase, a non-transferable single PC license is $39.95 and should be purchased directly from the software

--      I need T2Laser on multiple PC's, do I have to purchase a license for each?

-  Yes, we offer 2nd licenses at 20% discount or we have other licensing options available. Please contact us for details

--      How do I upgrade T2Laser?

-  T2Laser includes free minor updates for the life of the license

-  You will be notified when updates are available and installation is automatic

--      I replaced my computer and now my license key won't work?

-  The license is tied to the computer, you will need to purchase a replacement license for the new computer (50% off)

--      I reformatted my computer or replaced the hard drive and now the key isn't recognized?

-  If you had to reactivate Windows it is possible Microsoft issued your computer a new ID

-  Type "HK" (upper case, without the quotes) in the key code box and provide those hardware values

-  If they match your original computer we can generate a replacement key free of charge

Trial Limitations

--      The trial version is for evaluation purposes only, to verify your hardware and this software are compatible and that it meets your requirements

--      Limitations include but are not restricted to

-  G-Code and Sketch save is disabled

-  G-Code generation is limited to 10,000 lines for raster (1,000 lines for vector)

-  Each session is limited to 15 minutes (the program will terminate without warning)

Purchase and Registration

--      All purchases are final and non-refundable, please evaluate it using the trial before purchase

--      The provided license (registration code) is for a single computer (review the EULA for details)

-  If you plan to reformat the hard drive or re-load the operating system it is recommended to save the Hardware ID information and send to software@t2laser.org

-  Registering unlocks all features, provides free updates and unlimited e-mail support

-  To register on the computer you want to license click the PayPal "Buy Now" button

-       If you want to register another computer or transfer your license, please e-mail your User ID to sales@t2laser.org

-       After payment confirmation we will manually generate and e-mail the key code to register the software - this may take up to 48 hours (it is usually much less)

-       Copy/paste the Key Code directly to the box on the registration window

--      Alternate licensing options are available at additional cost

-  These include using a licensed Nano or a USB security "dongle" key, contact sales@t2laser.org for details

This license agreement applies to registered and evaluation versions of T2Laser software products. You should carefully read the following terms and conditions before using this software. Use of this software indicates acceptance of this agreement.

This software and the accompanying files are provided "as is", no warranty is provided whatsoever, whether express, implied, or statutory, including, but not limited to, any warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or any warranty that the contents of the item will be error-free.

In no respect shall we be liability for any damages, including, but limited to, direct, indirect, special, or consequential damages arising out of, resulting from, or any way connected to the use of this software; whether or not injury was sustained by persons or property or otherwise; and whether or not loss was sustained from, or arose out of, the results of, usage of this software.

Additional software (AVRDude, CSPotrace and compiled Grbl firmware) was included in the distribution for your convenience. These are provided "as is" and protected under their respective copyright agreements which were also included.

This program is protected by copyright laws and international treaties. Unauthorized distribution, reproduction, decompiling or otherwise reverse engineering of this program, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and/or criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.

(c) 2017 T2 Graphics LLC
All rights reserved.