UD5 file viewer/editor

Is there a viewer or editor available for UD5 Files? I’ve tried a Hex editor but I can’t decipher the instructions. I was hoping to see something resembling Gcode.

I have a couple of issues that I’m trying to overcome. I have a TF-6225 Trocen controller.

Firstly the laser cutter pauses frequently during the job. This seems to be before and after significant moves of the laser cutting head. I’m using a single width engraving font for some labeling and there is no pause between cutting the letters. Also if I have a number of interconnecting lines to cut there is no delay. I want to review the UD5 file to see if these pauses are being generated by lightburn or if they are coming from the controller.

The second issue I have is with file size in large jobs. My controller only has 128MB of memory. Practically the limit for the UD5 file seems to be around 50MB. I tried splitting the image (using Gimp) so that the UD5 files are small enough to download. This worked ok but left a noticeable join in the final image. I think this is due to the cutting head moving to the home position in between the jobs. The belts are tight and so on, but there will always be a tiny bit of backlash in the gears so the head will never return to the exact same position between jobs. Nothing is absolutely precise in the real world. I was hoping to be able to generate one large UD5 file and then manually split it into a number of smaller files to download (avoiding the re-positioning of the cutting head between jobs) to eliminate the join.

All comments, suggestions or workarounds are welcome.

We would need to understand how the file was constructed and the ‘Cut Optimization’ settings to further evaluate the results you are getting. Post the file here if you can or email to support at lightburnsoftware dot com with a link to this post and we can take a look.

You could cut the file up using LightBurn and the newly released ‘Cut Shapes’ tool.

We demonstrate using this tool for oversized projects but the concept is the same, cutting up a larger file into smaller components, though this does not work yet for images.

Do you have delays enabled in the cut settings?

image
If those numbers are not zero, that would explain the pauses.

UD5 files are binary, and they’re scrambled, checksummed, and contain a bunch of information about the bounds of the job, cut settings, and more. They are not remotely as easy to edit or create as GCode is, nor are they as flexible.

If you email one of the files to support@lightburnsoftware (and include a link to this thread) I can run it through my disassembler to see the commands in the file and tell you if there are pauses in the data.

Hi Rick,

I’ve e-mailed some files for you to review:

…laser cutter pauses frequently during the job.

BigBlockCore5 is an example of the pausing issue. Unfortunately I am in quarantine and will not be able to get back to my laser cutter for a few months so I cannot record a video for you. I’ll do my best to describe how my machine would behave after starting this job. It follows the order shown on the preview in lightburn.

Firstly the cutting head is moved to the location of the first cut. There is then a noticeable pause before the text “3C13” is cut. There is then another pause before the cutting head moves to the next text block. There is then another pause before the text “3C15” is cut. Another pause and then the head moves to the start of the shape outline. Another pause and then the outline is cut. Another pause and then the head moves to the next outline. Another pause and then the next outline is cut. Another pause and the head returns to the home position. When it pauses the duration of the pause seems to be consistent and not related to how far the head has travelled. I’d estimate somewhere round half a second.

The confusing part of this for me is that there are no pauses in the cutting of the lettering. There are multiple lines and moves involved in cutting this text. The layer is cut using “line” mode as I’m using a single width engraving font. Why this is treated differently to the other moves and cuts is not at all clear.

This isn’t causing me a lot of inconvenience at this point, but I’d like to understand what is going on.

…issue I have is with file size in large jobs.

I have already been able to split my image file into separate jobs. I believe the issue I have with the horizontal join being visible is down to the cutting head moving to the home position after the first job is complete and then moving back to that same position to continue. I think there is a tiny error in the repeatability of the head position. Mechanically everything looks good, belts are drum tight. The machine is fairly new so I don’t think there is any issue with wear in the gears. Any misalignment should only be due to hysteresis from backlash in the gears due to the manufacturing tolerances.

I have attached the files I created while working on this. One is the complete picture and the others are the split files. I think the starting point for the second file should be the finishing point of the first, plus the line interval from the layer properties. I’d like to be able to check this in the UD5 file to confirm I’ve split and arranged the image properly.

Is it possible to control the start and finish position? If I could request the cutting head hold its last position at the end of one job and then start from the current position for the next job that might also solve my problem. The only option I can see is “Start From: Controller setting” under the Laser menu. This might be because I am offline?

Regarding the UFile (UD5) format, is the file definition publicly available somewhere? I’d love a copy of your assembler/disassembler if that is possible. I understand that a lot of work goes into developing these kinds of tools, so if the answer is no I will not be offended.

I’ve looked through the file you sent and there are no pauses in the job itself, so I’m not sure what’s happening here. None of the settings in your file have delays enabled, so it’s possible you have a setting in the machine itself enabled for this, but I don’t know what that would be. Do you have a Z-strike enabled for metal cutting, perhaps?

What you’re looking for is in the machine settings - the controller itself decides whether it returns to the start point after a job or not. I can’t recall what they call it on the Trocen. On Ruida it’s “Return Position”.

And the UD5 format isn’t documented or public. I took what I knew about the Ruida file format and used it to reverse engineer the UD5 format over the course of a few months. It’s not a simple process (or format), and the disassembler is actually built into our internal version of LightBurn.

Thanks for looking through the file. If there are no pauses in the UD5 file then I can take that up with Trocen. My machine will cut metal, although I’ve not used it for that yet. I don’t know what z-strike is.

Thanks again for looking into this for me.