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Universal Control Panel for the Piranha Fx

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  • Universal Control Panel for the Piranha Fx

    Joseph Poirier thanks for posting the Universal Control Panel For the Piranha Fx on the Shark Forum. I have not seen it for download on the Next Wave site.

    For everyone that needs the Universal control panel here is the link:

    This should allow you to convert digitized .DNW files to .stl files for use with your VCarve software.
    This should allow you to import raster images and output .tap files for you laser. This is not the same a laser engraving vector files, this is for photos.

    Like I say it should but I have not had a chance to check it out.

  • #2
    The link worked for the download and I was able to install it with no problems on my computer. I did have to attach the computer to the controller to gain access to the software but I expected that after the 3D printer software. The bad news was the application seemed a little buggy locking up on e-stops which required use of the task manager to kill the app and a few other glitches mostly minor and likely not really glitches but just lack of documentation to explain how things work. I also noticed that the tap files made from images for laser rasters are not compatible with the pendent which was odd.

    The good news is with it we can run tap files including the oddly formatted raster tap files and the control panel has a number of features that seem to improve on the capabilities of the pendent I really like the preview of the tap file it shows when you loaded it, nice.

    I am not sure if we are supposed to use the Control Panel App with the pendent attached so that might be a source of issue, but all in all I was happy to be able to play with laser rasters feature finally.


    • #3
      I'll have to try it out when I get the chance. I just ran a test on 2 small v-carvings and 2 small 3d carvings and was planning to test the laser for engraving vector files next but I think I will do 2 special projects first.

      My first blood grandson was born in February and my first great granddaughter was born in March so I want to make first year ornaments for them. I am planning on using the Piranha for the projects. They will be two sided carvings, 3d and flat bottom v-carved, working on the files now.


      • #4
        Next Wave finally posted the Piranha Control Panel software on their site. Here is the link

        It may be an updated version so I would download and install this version. Remember to run the firmware updates so the computer will properly run your Piranha, if you don't you will probably have major headaches.


        • #5
          What cable is used to connect to the controller? Do you go to the serial port or the usb port?


          • #6
            You need a USB 2.0 Cable A-Male to B-Male.


            • #7
              OK, I hate it when my ignorance is hanging out all over the place, but I have no clue what a DNW file is, nor where I would obtain one. One of the big selling points for me about the Piranha is how it would (1) not require a computer to be connected to work, and (2) allow me to create and carve 3D images. What I'm gathering here is that both (1) and (2) are not correct. I mean, it looks like I have to have my computer connected to the Piranha for this, and that I will have to use some third party software that I don't own, in order to create the DNW files (whatever they are.)

              Am I wrong?


              • #8
                Tony the DNW file is created when you use the probe to digitize an item. The Universial control panel allows you to convert that file into a .STL 3d model file that can be used in your VCarve software to run toolpaths to cut the model. You do not have to use the computer to run your Piranha. This is the only way you can create 3d models but you can import them into VCarve if you have ready made 3d models.

                The universal control panel software will convert a raster image into a .tap file to laser the photo. Again you do not have to use the computer to run the Piranha.
                Last edited by meb; 01-07-2016, 12:07 PM.


                • #9
                  Meb, thanks for the information. So, in essence, either I have to have a 3D object that will fit within the workspace and then use the digitizer to copy it, then take that file and run it through the Universal control panel in order to have something that I can engrave in 3D, OR, I have to purchase a 3D model file from someone who creates them (since I have no clue how to do it on my own.)

                  Again, thanks.


                  • #10
                    Files made with the probe usually require some cleanup and you can't do it in VCarve. After they are transformed into a .stl model they can be imported into many of the 3d graphics programs and cleaned up and repaired. There are a lot of 3d graphics programs that are free or have a free version that will help you do the cleanup of the stl model.

                    Then you import the .stl model into VCarve and run roughing and finish toolpaths on the model to get your .tap file for the CNC.


                    • #11
                      MEB, What are some names of some of those free 3D graphics programs that might be useful for this purpose? I started googling, and was overwhelmed with things that create 3d cartoons, video, etc. Tony


                      • #12
                        You need to google 3d modeling software. I like the Auto Desk 123D set of programs but there are others that are free that are good.


                        • #13
                          MeshMixer is real good for cleanup and repair.