VLS3.50 Control Panel
The Universal Control Panel (UCP)* is the primary interface for to the laser cutter. When a file printed to the laser cutter it is actually sent to the control panel where you can preview the content, relocate the content on the cutting bed, create multiple copies, estimate time of completion, and change the material / power settings as needed. All jobs are stored in the control panel's file list where they can be recalled and run at any point in the future.
To open the control panel, click on its icon in the task bar:
NOTE: The software displays "VLS3.50 Control Panel" in the title bar as this is Trogdor's specific model number.
The remainder of this document will detail the Viewer Tab depicted in the screenshot above. Please refer to the user manual for information regarding System and Diagnostics tabs.
Laser System Control
View Tab Modes
There are a series of buttons which appear under the #Laser System Controls which provide a number of useful functions.
- The Basic View shows a preview window of the job currently selected.
- The cursor becomes a magnifying glass (Zoom Tool) if you pass it over the preview window. Leftclicking the mouse zooms in and right-clicking zooms out. (Mouse scroll wheel can be used in any mode to zoom in and out.)
- Selecting the Settings button takes you back to the printer driver interface to allow you to change most of the settings for the job selected. Keep in mind that some settings cannot be changed after printing from your graphics program such as print density and vector quality. If a setting is not adjustable after printing from your graphics program, it will be grayed out or not appear at all when you press the settings button in the UCP.
The Focus View allows you to quickly manually move the focus carriage to a desired position in the material processing field.
- To have full range of motion, verify that you are zoomed out in the preview window by rightclicking on the mouse before entering the manual focus window.
- In the focus view the cursor changes to a blue target symbol with trailing X-Y coordinates. Clicking the mouse in the preview window moves the focus carriage to the selected position. Selecting another feature from the drop down list terminates the focus feature and moves the focus carriage back to the home position.
- To move the focus carriage to a specific location, select the GO button. Type in the X and Y coordinates and press the GO TO button and the focus carriage will move to the specified location. You can also move the engraving table to a specific Z-height using the GO feature.
The Relocate feature gives you the ability to move the image in the selected job to another area of the engraving field. This feature does not permanently modify the original image location. When this feature is activated, the image is surrounded by nine small squares (anchor points) representing the center and extents of the graphic. Using these anchors you can relocate the image in one of three ways:
- You can select and hold an anchor point and drag that anchor to move the image around in the field.
- You can select an anchor point and type a new X-Y coordinate for that anchor point in the X-Y fields to the right of the preview screen.
- Using the X-Y manual motion buttons, you can move the focus carriage to a location on the processing table in the laser system using the red pointer diode as reference, then select an anchor point in your image and press the TO POINTER button to move that anchor point to the current focus carriage location. This feature is useful for aligning an image with a piece of material you plan to process with the laser system.
Note: If you print with a page size smaller than the maximum field size of the laser system, the anchors will display at the edges of the page on the image.
The Duplicate feature gives you the ability duplicate an image in a grid pattern. You can select how many rows and columns of the image as well as the spacing between the rows and columns. After you create a grid of duplicate images you can also remove any one of the copies or the original from the group by selecting that instance in the preview window. If you need to restore a copy that you removed, click in the general area of that instance and it will return.
The estimate feature approximately calculates the amount of time it will take the laser system to process the selected job. For more complex jobs, the estimate feature can take a while to estimate the job completion time. A job can be estimated while a machine is disconnected or turned off.