Instructables

A few months back, I wrote about how I used a 3D printer to transform any mp3 into a physical record.  Though all the documentation for that project is available here, and the 3D models could potentially be printed through an online fabrication service, I knew that the barrier to entry for normal people interested in trying out the process themselves was prohibitively high.  With this project I wanted to try to extend the idea of digitally fabricated records to use relatively common and affordable machines and materials so that (hopefully) more people can participate, experiment, and actually use all this documentation I've been writing.

These records were cut on an Epilog 120 Watt Legend EXT to a theoretical precision of 1200dpi (the kerf of the cut and some tricks I used to avoid crashing the laser cutter dropped the actual precision down by ~1/6).  The audio on the records has a bit depth between 4-5 (typical mp3 audio is 16 bit) and a sampling rate up to about 4.5kHz (mp3 is 44.1kHz).  So far I've successfully cut audio on wood (figs 1-2), acrylic (figs 3-4), and paper (figs 5-6), and I'm sure there are many more materials that would work.  I wrote the Processing sketch that generates the record cutting paths so that it can be modified for any song, material, cutting machine, record size, and turntable speed (skip ahead to download the code and learn how to make your own records).

You should also note that in this Instructable I'll demonstrate specifically how I used a laser cutter for this process, but the cutting files I'm using are standard vector graphics in a PDF format, so they can be extended to many other digital fabrication tools. For example, I'm curious to see if it's possible to use a CNC mill or a CNC razor blade paper cutter with my cutting files (a group of people were able to cut out some sine waves on paper using a Cameo in this Instructable).

Below are some of my final results, read on to see how they were made and how you can make your own.

Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart on clear acrylic (download vector files):


Radiohead - Idioteque on wood (download vector files):


The Velvet Underground and Nico - Femme Fatale on maple (download vector files):

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: How Does a Record Work?

Picture of How Does a Record Work?
I've explained a bit about how a record works and the scale of vinyl microgrooves in my 3d printed record project.  The main difference between these laser cut records and my 3d printed records is the axis that the grooves are cut on.  Since I can't control the power of the laser while it is cutting a vector path, the laser cut records are cut laterally on the surface of the material.  This means that the needle only vibrates in the plane parallel to platter of the turntable.  The 3d printed records are "cut" vertically, meaning the needle vibrates in the plane perpendicular to the platter.  I chose to modulate the grooves vertically for the 3d printed records because the vertical axis is the most precise axis on the machine (resolution of 16 microns).

Stereo (2 channel) vinyl records are cut both vertically and laterally, this way it's possible for two isolated channels of audio to fit into one groove.  Mono vinyls are cut laterally only, this is because the vertical cuts can become distorted, especially if you try to increase the amplitude of your waveform to increase the dynamic range of the sound.  Although I didn't really have a choice in the matter, it's better to to cut a mono groove laterally.

To give you an idea of the size of the grooves on a modern record, check out the image above from Chris Supranowitz, a researcher at The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester.  This is a close up image of a vinyl record, taken with an electron microscope.  The dark objects in the grooves are tiny particles of dust.  The laser cutter cannot make such precise cuts because the width of the beam is too large, so the grooves on my records are about 1-2 orders of magnitude larger in every dimension than these grooves.

Step 2: Laser Cutter Specs

Picture of Laser Cutter Specs
Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 10.21.03 PM.png
Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 10.19.50 PM.png
Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 10.17.45 PM.png
The lasers in our office are Epilog 120 Watt Legend 36EXT.  They have a 36"x24" cutting bed, big enough to cut several 12" records at a time.  They have a max resolution of 1200dpi in the x and y axes and 100 power and speed settings to control cutting depth.

Before I started cutting anything, I used these numbers to calculate the resolution I'd be able to achieve.  First I wanted to make sure that I would be able to get a good sampling rate on my audio.  Sampling rate is the amount of samples per second in a song.  Usually the sampling rate is 44.1kHz (or 44,100 samples a second).  When the sampling rate drops below about 40kHz the higher frequencies of a song start losing their detail, but depending on the song you can go down to 20 or even 10kHz sampling rate without too much of a problem.

To calculate the sampling rate, I used the following relationship:

sampling frequency = (resolution per inch)*(inches per revolution)*(revolutions per second)
(in order to maximize the sampling frequency, we want all of these numbers (res/inch, inch/rev, rev/sec) to be as high as possible)
also notice how the sampling rate will decrease as the needle moves towards the center of the record (smaller inches/revolution)

First I'll start with revolutions per second.  Record players typically play at two different speeds: 33.3 and 45rpm.  (Some record players also have a 78rpm speed, but this is less common and only used for very old records).  If I use the higher, 45rpm speed I can calculate revolutions per second as follows:

revolutions per second = (revolutions per minute)/(seconds per minute)
revolutions per second = 45/60 = 0.75


Next is inches per revolution, this number depends on the circumference of the disk where the needle is hitting it. The largest sized records are 12" in diameter (30cm).  According to the RIAA standards, the outermost groove of a 12" record falls at a radius of 5.75" and the innermost groove falls at about 2.25".  I'll use these numbers to determine the range of sampling rates I can achieve at 33 and 45rpm.  The circumference (the distance in inches traveled by the needle during one revolution of the record) is calculated as follows:

inches per revolution = 2*pi*(radius of needle)
max inches per revolution = 2*pi*5.75 =~ 36
min inches per revolution = 2*pi*2.35 =~ 15


We already know that the resolution per inch of the laser cutter is 1200 (1200 dpi  in the x and y axes).  So combining this all we get:

sampling frequency = (resolution per inch)*(inches per revolution)*(revolutions per second)
max sampling frequency at 45 rpm = 1200*36*0.75 =~ 32400 = 32.4kHz

min sampling frequency at 45 rpm = 1200*15*0.75 =~ 13500 = 13.5kHz

This is a pretty good starting point.  If I scale this to 33.3rpm instead of 45 (this will allow me to fit more music on the record) the sampling rate becomes:

max sampling frequency at 33 rpm = 1200*36*0.5 =~ 21600 = 21.6kHz
min sampling frequency at 33 rpm = 1200*15*0.5 =~ 9000 = 9kHz


This is still easily enough to reproduce a recognizable song.

The next thing that I needed to think about was the bit depth.  Bit depth is the resolution of the audio data.  Most audio these days in 16 bit, meaning each sample can have one of 65536 (2^16) possible values.  8 bit audio has only 256 (2^8) steps of resolution and still sounds pretty close to the original.  (Music that is commonly referred to as "8-bit" like the music in early Nintendo games is actually 1 bit resolution, this low resolution is what gives it its unique and instantly recognizable sound, but I'm aiming for something that sounds a little more organic).

As I said in the last step, the grooves on these records are cut laterally.  The following equation calculates the horizontal distance that the needle will move as it traces the a wave of a given bit depth:

horizontal displacement of needle = (2^bit depth)*(precision of x/y axes)
where the precision of the x and y axes is 1200dpi or about 21 microns.  I used this to calculate the following table:

bit depth          horizontal displacement                steps of resolution

     2                             84um                                          4
     3                            168um                                         8
     4                            336um                                        16

     5                            672um                                        32
     6                          1.344mm                                      64
     7                          2.688mm                                     128
     8                          5.376mm                                     256

The bolded rows in the table are the numbers that I wanted to shoot for with this project.  Although a horizontal displacement of about 0.5mm is quite large compared to a normal record, I think somewhere in that range will work.

Step 3: Sine Tests

Picture of Sine Tests
Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 10.56.21 AM.png
Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 10.56.38 AM.png
As with my 3d printed records, I started off by printed out some sine wave tests to get an idea of what kind of frequency range I can achieve and to test out some parameters (laser power, cutting speed, material, wave amplitude).  I used Processing to generate sinusoidal paths and cut these first tests on white 3mm acrylic.

Here's the Processing code I used:

and here's a video of the results:


(the 139hz sine wave may be too low to hear with laptop speakers)
I was really happy with these first tests.  These is some noise in the background, but it's very consistent and the signal to noise ratio is pretty good.  Amplitudes of 4 and 6 sounds good across the frequencies tested here, as the frequency gets higher, you can hear a good amount of distortion on the amplitude 8 wave.

Different lasers and brands of laser cutter will respond differently, but this record was cut at 5000 freq with 100 speed (although the cutting head was moving very slowly due to the density of points on my vector path) and 12 power (enough to etch the surface but not to cut all the way through).

Step 4: Audio Tests on Acrylic

Picture of Audio Tests on Acrylic
I did a ton of sine tests for my 3D printed record, but I was anxious to launch into the audio for this much sooner so I just went for it.  Even though on some level I knew this would be a bit of a disaster, here's my first attempt with audio:


The song is Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division.  My favorite of all the records I 3d printed was definitely the Joy Division one (the song Disorder), I like the creepy vibe the distortion gives it.

This laser cut joy division track is not quite there yet (though decently recognizable).  You can hear a lot of crunchiness on the drum beats, if you could look closely at the record, you would see that these areas of high frequencies were melted into oblivion by the cutter.  In this attempt I didn't make any effort to set a max frequency of the cuts, and the tighter cuts required by these sections apparently caused the laser to linger too long on the material.

I learned some things about the laser cutter from this attempt.  The first couple of tries I made on this cut caused the laser to freeze up almost immediately.  At first I thought I was overloading the machine with data, but then I realized that the machine does not like to receive extremely dense vector paths.  In fact, I found that if two points on a vector path are within about 6 pixels of each other, the laser will quit.  I had to amend my code to account for this.  Here is the Processing code I used:

As with the 3d printed record, I pulled the raw audio data from the original wav file using Python before sending it to Processing, that code can be found here.  And again, if someone knows a way to bypass this step, please feel free to leave a comment, I would much rather keep everything in Processing.

In my next test I set a limit on the angular distance between consecutive points, hoping to minimize melting of the material.  Here's the code:

   if(((xValLast-xVal)*(xValLast-xVal)+(yValLast-yVal)*(yValLast-yVal))>(minDist*minDist) && radCalc*abs(thetaLast-theta)>minAngDist){
        vertex(xVal,yVal);
        //store last coordinates in vector path
        xValLast = xVal;
        yValLast = yVal;
        thetaLast = theta;
        numpoints++;
    }


...and the video:


The cut came out much cleaner, and you can hear significantly less distortion on the audio, but I thought I could still make it better.  In the next test I set the samples per revolution to a constant number (6000) and removed the minimum angular distance logic from my code.

At 6000 samples per cycle the sampling frequency of the audio is:

samples/sec  = samples/rev * rev/min * min/sec
samples/sec  = 6000 * 45 * 1/60 = 4.5kHz


Here's the code:

and the video:


Though it's a little hard to hear because of all the skipping, the cut came out much cleaner on this test.  You can also hear that the audio sounds slowed down, this was a rounding issue in my code that I dealt with later.  In my next test I decreased the amplitude of the wave to 12px to see if I could get the needle to stay in the groove.

    float amplitude = 12;


There are still a few issues.  Most notably, the record is warped from the cutting process.  Also the speed of the audio is still screwed up.  In my final version I fixed the speed issue (it was a rounding problem) and tried taping the acrylic down to the bed to see if that would help with the warping.  The settings I used on the laser cutter are:

laser settings (epilog 120W)
100 speed
5000freq
12 power


In this cut I actually applied the proper RIAA equalization as well and used an anti-aliasing low pass filter of samplingRate/2 = 2.25kHz.

Here is the final code:

and the final product:


There was still some warping, but the tempo issues are completely resolved.  It's interesting to hear how much the audio quality degrades from the outside of the disk to the middle of the disk - this is due to lowered surface speed of the record as you move toward the center (explained in step 2).

Step 5: Audio Tests on Paper

Picture of Audio Tests on Paper
Next I tried this out with paper, first I used a sheet of thicker black (almost cardstock) paper.  I used the song rebel rebel as my test.

The settings on the laser were as follows:
speed 100
power 4
frequency 500


The resulting records looked great (see image above), and you can even hear the song coming through, but it had a lot of trouble with skipping:


So I picked up some new paper, this time it was much thicker, almost like thin cardboard.  I did some sine tests and found that setting the laser power to 7 was the deepest I could cut without going through the paper.  Then I did another test of rebel rebel, this time cut at 7 power and with the amplitude of the wave lowered to 10 (from 12).  The needle still will not stay in the groove by itself:


I also tried defocusing the laser from the paper to widen the cut (still at amp 12).  The inner cut is more defocused than the outer, notice how the needle is more stable, but the audio quality is lower.


Since the defocusing seemed to be the only way to keep the needle in the grooves, I tried defocusing the laser by reproducible distances to find the perfect balance between needle stability and low noise.  To do this I placed anywhere from 4 to 16 pieces of white printer paper on top of the cardstock while I ran the laser's autofocus.  This meant that the focal point of the laser would actually be a fraction of an inch above the surface of the cardstock.  That test is shown below, the outer rings are defocused by 4 sheets, the next 7, 10, 13, and 16 sheets.



I concluded that about 10-12 sheets defocused was the absolute minimum needed to keep the needle stabilized in the groove.

Step 6: Audio Tests on Wood

Picture of Audio Tests on Wood
Finally, I cut some records on wood.  Eventually I'd like to cut a record on a 12" wood round with a raw edge, kind of like this, you could cut the grooves right onto the rings of the tree.  For now I have some nice maple sheet to cut, but I did my firsts tests on ply.  I started by using similar settings that I used on the acrylic:

power = 12
speed = 100
freq = 500
amp = 12




This cut looked great, but the needle skipped a lot, I had to hold it in place to shoot this video.  I went back and did some sine wave tests and found that 15 power was more stable, so I ran another audio test at 15 power:


This cut was much more stable, but skipping was still an issue, you can also hear the same tempo issues I was having with the acrylic (I was cutting all these records at the same time).  Next I tested lowering the amplitude of the cut to 10:


I also tried defocusing the laser to widen the groove, keeping the amplitude at 12.  The outer groove is slightly defocused, the inner grove is more heavily defocused:


Both defocusing and lowering the amplitude of the cut helped to minimize skipping, but the defocusing introduced more noise into the audio.  For my final plywood test I lowered the amplitude to 10 and kept the laser focused, I also fixed the tempo issue in my code.  Here is the result:


Unfortunately at this point I was using the last of our plywood stock, so I couldn't be too picky about how flat the ply was, but it still (surprisingly) plays fine(ish).  Here's the code I used:

Next I used the maple.  Fortunately, noahw helped me track down a 13" wide curly maple board and cut it into a two flat sheets: one was about the thickness of a real vinyl record at about 1/16" and other a little thicker at 1/8".  I sanded the maple sheets to about 1500grit and finished them before cutting.  I did a few tests on a piece of scrap and found that the power setting I was using on the ply was cutting so deeply into the maple that I would not be able to cut both sides.  I did a few more experiments with defocusing and actually did a full attempt using the song sunday morning by the velvet underground:


In this test I defocused the laser by the width of 11 sheets of normal printer paper.  I used the following laser settings:

power = 4
speed = 100
freq = 500
amp = 10


This cut came out a little noiser than I was hoping.  Since the needle wasn't having any issues staying in the groove, I defocused by only 9 sheets of paper and kept the same power settings.  On the other side of the sunday morning disc, I cut femme fatale:


While I was adjusting some tape to try to keep the wood lying flat in the middle of the cut, I accidentally bumped it to the side slightly.  If you look closely at the video, you'll see where the error is, it caused the needle to skip a groove, but other than that the cut came out great.

This song helped me pin down an error in my code, if you listen closely during the chorus, you'll notice that the backing vocals are missing.  When I looked back at the song, I noticed that the vocals are only found in the left channel of the track, so it seems that I was not combining the two channels before converting to a vector file.  I think I've fixed the problem in my python script, but I'll have to run a test to know for sure.  In the meantime, you can work around this problem by importing your stereo audio into Audacity, right clicking on the track and selecting "split stereo to mono", saving the file as a wav, opening that saved file in Audacity again, copying the track, and right clicking on each of the duplicate tracks to set one to left channel and one to right channel.

Step 7: Make Your Own

Picture of Make Your Own
You can convert your own audio files into vector cutting paths in ten easy steps:

1.  Download Processing.

2.  Download Python 2.5.4.

3.  Download Audacity.

4.  Download the code from GitHub (you can download the zip file by clicking on the cloud button).  Unzip and open the folder called LaserCutRecord.

5.  Open an audio file of your choice with Audacity.  Go to Effect>Equalization and select RIAA.  Hit inverse and apply, you should now hear the higher frequencies of your track boosted.

6.  Go to Effect>Low Pass Filter... and apply an anti-aliasing filter (a fancy word for a low pass filter) to your audio.  You will have to choose the cutoff frequency according to the max sampling rate that you can get with your cutter.  For example, my laser cutter melts anything above 2.5kHz at 45rpm, so I set my anti-aliasing filter cutoff to this same frequency.  Set the drop off as high as possible, for me this was 48dB/octave, that way the filter will have a hard cutoff.

7.  Use Effect>Amplify to amplify the signal as much as you can without noticeable effects of clipping (you will be able to get away with some clipping, and remember this is not crystal clear audio anyway). You may also want to mess around with Effect>>Compressor.

8.  Make sure there are 2 sec of blank audio at the end of the track so that nothing gets clipped and keep the audio under 3:10.  File>Export this file and save it in the "LaserCutRecord" folder as a wav file. 

9.  Open the Python file called "wavtotxt".  Copy the file name of the file you just saved in the line:

             fileName = "your_file_name_here.wav"

Hit Run>RunModule, after a minute or two you will have a .txt file saved in the Record Generator folder.

10.  Open the Processing sketch.  Change the name of the import file in the Processing sketch to your txt file name:

             String filename = "your_file_name_here.txt";

Run the Processing sketch Sketch>Run.  The Processing sketch will output several files, none larger than 700KB (I found that larger files were crashing the laser cutter).  The last file will also contain the cut paths for the inner hole and outer edge of the record, you will need to set your laser cutter to cut these lines at a higher power, so that it cuts all the way through the material.  Another very important note about cutting these files - the reason I had to split each song up into five parts is because I found that files larger than 800KB would crash my laser.  When you are cutting out the sequential files, you MUST shut down the laser for a second to clear it's memory and then turn it back on before sending it a new 700KB file to cut, you will have problems if you forget this.

Once you've made cutting files, post them!  You can upload files in the comments by clicking on "Rich Editor."  Enjoy, and let me know if you have questions or need help getting this to work.  I've tested this process Mac OS using the latest version of Processing.  If you actually end up cutting your own record, please post the results in the comments, I'm really curious to see where this code ends up!

In case you are stuck trying to find a machine to cut your files, check this list of worldwide hackerspaces, these are places where anyone can go for little to no money and use tools in a collaborative work environment.  If you are in school, you might ask the engineering or art departments if they have a machine than can cut vector files.  Otherwise, I'd recommend checking out an online fabrication service such as Ponoko.  Some people even build their own laser cutters, there are many builds documented right here on Instructables, we're even giving one away in our Epilog Challenge.
1-40 of 153Next »
rmd6502yesterday

Just wondering - how long do needles/cartridges last playing these sorts of records - I want to try this out, but not sure how expensive equipment to use it with!

rolandjays6 days ago

when you say " hit run, run module" where is that?

amandaghassaei (author)  rolandjays6 days ago
At the top of the processing window it says run
peigan18 days ago

im getting an error on python:

Traceback (most recent call last):

File "/Users/eidtecnico/Downloads/LASER RECORDS/LaserCutRecord-master/LaserCutRecord/wavtotext.py", line 26, in <module>

frameOneChannel[i] = frameInt[4*i+1]*2**8+frameInt[4*i]#separate channels and store one channel in new list

TypeError: 'map' object is not subscriptable

>>>

amandaghassaei (author)  peigan16 days ago

did you put the audio file in the same folder as the python script?

mslee made it!3 months ago

Hi Everyone!

I also love this project :) Worked on it with my friend @kamielynn but our first attempt wasn't too hot due to the same problem of missing audio waves when I opened the PDF in Illustrator. Plan to try again cutting straight from Acrobat. Keeping the settings I used, power 12 and speed 100, since they seemed to have a good grip when it did play those parts. I'm using the Trotec Speedy 300 with max resolution 1000.

Here's the video for attempting to play ...


photo 1.JPGphoto 2.JPG
amandaghassaei (author)  mslee3 months ago

cool! let me know if you need help getting those files to cut properly, you can also try lowering the numGroovesPerFile variable to pull all the data into illustrator.

hiraeth3 months ago

Hi amandaghassaei, this is just incredible! Thank you so much for sharing all this with us :) I'm a student at the Albert College of Art and Design in Canada and I'm currently working on making a glass record of the English national anthem 'God Save The Queen' (which i've attached!). I haven't tried glass yet but I made a couple of 1/4 inch acrylic prototypes a few days ago. Unfortunately it didn't work exactly as I had hoped-they made a sound but nothing remotely recognisable!

The only laser cutter that's available to me is a 50 watt epilog minihelix but i know that you have been using a 120 watt-will that have caused problems?

The software that the laser cutter uses is corel draw but it didn't really seem to like my PDF files very much-is there a step I'm missing?

The first try, I used the recommended manufacturer settings for raster engraving on 1/4 " acrylic which were 600 DPI 100/35 which created a very shallow engraving that was barely distinguishable, even by touch. The second go I tried to use the vector cutting setting instead (30/100/5000) but for some reason the laser cutter didn't like that very much and only cut the outline of the record-it seemed that the grooves didn't register somehow? So, for the grooves I then tried 80/35. I'm not sure if the grooves were just too shallow because when i tried playing it, the stylus seemed to be unable to catch the grooves and just skimmed right over them making a 2 second sound.

Just wondering if you have any suggestions or advice for me??

Georgie :)

amandaghassaei (author)  hiraeth3 months ago

cool! I've actually made this work on a minihelix before, though I don't remember the exact settings. You will definitely need to cut in vector mode, not raster. I had a lot of trouble with corel draw, for some reason it doesn't like the vector paths, you need to set up adobe reader on your computer and print from there. If you have the epilog drivers set up for corel, you should have no problem, just open the file in reader and press print, you should see the same advanced print menu for the laser. The only thing about adobe reader is that you cannot edit the paths, so make sure to edit the script for the correct bed size (12"X24" right?) before you generate the files. does that make sense? let me know if that works!

Hi again, thanks for the advice! I've also tried increasing the spacing between the grooves to 100 and cutting the file in half in rhino so that there is less information for the laser cutter to deal with and this seems to be working! I'll let you know what the finished product is like!

amandaghassaei (author)  hiraeth3 months ago

you can also lower the number of grooves per file (numGroovesPerFile), and run each file through the laser one at a time.

spenhoo3 months ago

I'm getting this error, not sure what to do about it. Any suggestions?

Traceback (most recent call last):

File "/Users/....(directory)........../wavtotext.py", line 21, in <module>

frameInt = map(ord, list(frame))#turn into array

MemoryError


Is it just that my file is too big to do this way?

amandaghassaei (author)  spenhoo3 months ago

haven't seen that one before. how many min is your song?

It's 30 minutes - I know that exceeds vinyl limit I think for one side
But maybe I'll try it again.. Could've been a glitch in my process...
amandaghassaei (author)  spenhoo3 months ago

Try 5-6 min and see if that works.

This is awesome, Amanda. I'm using this project as inspiration for a series of rapid prototyping workshops I'm doing at Makerhaus in Seattle. Thanks for the inspiration AND the excellent documentation. Seriously.

Quick question for you: were there any possible extensions for this project, e.g. future explorations you considered? I'm more than happy to take a pass at one of them in my classes.

Thanks again. I'll repost whenever I finish the results.

.jeremy

amandaghassaei (author)  wunderkidchaos4 months ago

very cool, I'm actually from Seattle. Some ideas i have (but will never have time to try) are working with different materials, I never really got the paper records working great, but I liked the idea a lot. If you want to get into the code more, I think it would be cool to try to do some interesting things with the vector paths - "non-linear" records, records whose groove splits into two parallel paths with different songs depending on which direction the needle falls, maybe using this technique to recreate a recording on a cylinder, for an edison player, or maybe scaling this up and using something other than a record player to "read" off the sound....

let me know how your workshops go! sounds really cool

Seattle? Whoa, no way. Small world.

Different materials? Non-linear, random records? Edison-player? Yes! (Mind explodes).

All great ideas. :) I'll get through your original work and try to extend it in one of these directions. I'm starting first with the sine wave tests to understand the type of output I can expect. Will definitely keep you updates. Thanks for the inspiration.

Oh and one other interesting thing I stumbled upon: a paper record player. Could you imagine your paper record playing on something like this?!

amandaghassaei (author)  wunderkidchaos3 months ago

very cool!

phillipppp1 year ago
First off, I'm very excited to try this! I will be making one within the next week or so.

I seem to be having the same problem, when I create the .pdf files, import them to illustrator and try to combine them to one, there is a huge gap between the 3 sections. Should I try scaling the lines to match up?

On our laser cutter, we import Illustrator files to CorelDraw and print from CorelDraw. I've never had any problem with file size, I have run some very large jobs, mostly etching, that run for hours. 

Thanks for the project! I look forward to some feedback. 
amandaghassaei (author)  phillipppp1 year ago
hey,
there seems to be an issue with importing these files into illustrator. try opening them up in preview or in adobe reader, you will see that there is actually much more information there. can you try this and let me know. there should be five sections and each of them is much thicker than the sections shown in this file. they will line up with each other
I do not have CorelDraw on my personal computer, only the workstations at work. I opened them in photoshop and they seemed to line up properly but they are no longer vector art. Any idea whats going on? I only got 3 PDF files when it was generated as well.
amandaghassaei (author)  phillipppp1 year ago
yeah, that's the problem with photoshop. I'd say try opening them in corel and see if the import works ok. did you use a short piece of audio? that might be why you only have three files. If you use the full 3min you will end up with five files. let me know how it works
amandaghassaei (author)  amandaghassaei4 months ago

did you get it to work? another strategy is to grab the most recent code off github and change the line:

int numGroovesPerFile = 20;

to 10 or something. This will break the record up into many, smaller files, and I believe you will be able to import this into illustrator. As long as you see no gaps, you are good. If you still see gaps, try 5.

Opened the files in CorelDraw, same as Illustrator. Weird! Any ideas?
amandaghassaei (author)  phillipppp1 year ago
that's strange, can you just print from adobe reader? that's what I've been doing.

Did you ever have any luck with the gap problem, I have come across a similar problem and no matter what file I convert it too or which program I put it in it doesn't work

amandaghassaei (author)  phillipppp1 year ago
have you tried opening them in corel draw?
jamesburkill5 months ago

Hi, When I go to open the Python wavtotext file it flashes up for a second then disappears, do you know why this would happen?

amandaghassaei (author)  jamesburkill4 months ago

did you figure it out? what version of python are you using?

garyaourt7 months ago
hello,
I've got a problem when using the file wavtotext.py
TypeError: 'map' object is not subscriptable

what should I do?
Thank you for this tuto, I really like this way of using a laser cutter :)
suisan garyaourt4 months ago
hey garyaourt, same problem here.. could you find what went wrong?
amandaghassaei (author)  suisan4 months ago

what version of python are you using?

amandaghassaei (author)  garyaourt6 months ago

huh, did you resolve this? did you put the .wav file in the same folder as wavtotext.py?

25thFloor5 months ago

Dear Amanda, thanks for the great tutorial. I was trying these days to engrave one record. But I found some problems. First I'm using a Trotec Speedy 300 (http://www.troteclaser.com/en-US/Laser-Machines/Mid-Size/Pages/Speedy300.aspx) laser cutter. Have tried with different machines? I tried to slow down the speed of the laser, but it's simply not engraving. I'm not a great expert in laser cutters. Any idea or suggestions? Thanks again.

amandaghassaei (author)  25thFloor5 months ago

I haven't tried it on anything other than epilog. what do you mean it's not engraving? will the job not start? or is the laser not turning on?

Thanks for the answer. Basically, the laser is on, moving but it's not engraving. I think because of the frequency, or the thickness of the laser. We didn't try to change the depth of the engraving. Do you have any suggestions? If you said that the Epilog has a theoretical resolution of 1200 dpi, the Trotec is around 900. Actually the laser cutter was also crashing a lot of time, after some minutes. I don't know at this point if I need to find a machine similar to the one that you were using, or there is something in the file. I tried different files with different patterns, but the result was the same.

amandaghassaei (author)  25thFloor5 months ago

increase the power and lower the speed until the laser starts engraving, maybe change the frequency too? also try running a smaller file to test.

Thanks again. I will try. If I succeed I will let you know.

1-40 of 153Next »