Uploading file from lightburn to Ruida USB

Is there any way to send a job straight to a usb drive connected to ruida instead of storing it in the controller memory ? I’m at 99 jobs on the controller and looking for a way to store more jobs so either looking at using a usb thumb drive but i don’t want to have to unhook it everytime i need to add new files etc. Also my files are pretty heavy in terms of etching and need to be stored on the controller otherwise it comes out all funky. Would a usb thumb drive work similar to that or more like streaming through usb (which causes all the issues).

Also do Trocen controllers allow for larger amount of file storage than 99 ?

No.

But… having 99 jobs in your memory is unusual, and a pain to navigate.

If you are sending a lot of jobs all the time, you can ‘start’ instead of ‘send’ and it doesn’t store it, which is the common way for production ops to run their jobs.

Your computer is a better file storage and retrieval system than your controller panel.

i run a production shop, machines are preloaded with the files we need to run so not every machine has a pc attached to it, secondly clicking start as described in my issue on very large files causes the machine to go haywire as it can’t handle the usb transfer (and yes i’ve tried both modes of usb connections) so i disagree on computer being a better file storage, sure it’s better overall but we have hundreds of jobs and multiple files per jobs, it’s easier on the machine to hit file, next and run the 2-3 files necessary for each job than having to connect a pc to the machine, opening the file, clicking send (because start wont work right) and then going on the machine to hit start. I’m not talking about 1 machine here, i’m talking about 20 machines. So my question stands, is there a controller that allows for more than 99 files or does lightburn allow saving directly on a thumb drive connected to the machine instead of having to preload thumbdrives and plug them in to each machine individually.

Thank you, I am trying to understand this workflow.

When you ask, “does lightburn allow saving directly on a thumb drive connected to the machine”, the answer would be, LightBurn can save RD files to your chosen location, as long as that location is currently seen as addressable storage by the running OS.

I will assume you mean ‘laser’ when you say “machine”, so in this case, the answer would be, not if the thumb drive is not mounted by and available to your operating system.

How do you currently connect to this “thumb drive connected to the machine”?

If you hold the Shift key when you click Send, LightBurn sends the file to completion, then starts it for you. One less step.

Most controllers have limited memory. Trocen controllers might allow a higher file count, but I honestly haven’t tested that for a long time.

The Ruida and other controllers do not allow running the job from the USB - you have to copy it to the controller memory first.

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Using USB when you have ethernet available to you seems counter-intuitive for a large production operation. And, as you have said, USB goes ‘haywire’ with large files. The USB implementation on Ruida and other DSP controllers is primitive - USB 1.1, usually. Slow (19,200bps) and with poor error-handling.

The steps needed to move a file to a stick, the stick to the machine, read from the stick and store in the controller memory compared to ‘send’, plus the kerfuffle with managing the files on the machine vs using the ‘file list’ panel would seem to be more error-prone.

In my experience of setting up and servicing large installations, the designers/operators do it in two ways:

A dedicated workstation per machine - doesn’t need to be powerful, often thin-clients or low-powered workstations that only run the control app - connected by USB or Ethernet.

Or centralised designer/operator workstations with the lasers connected by Ethernet is far more common, in laser, CNC and printing shops, and not difficult to implement.

I have a much smaller setup, but then I am only a one-man operation with an occasional helper. I have two large-format printers, two lasers and a CNC. I have two controlling computers at the design desk - a Mac and a PC. The printers have a PC each, but run ‘headless’ - all control happens at the design desk. The lasers are connected by ethernet. The CNC has a thin-client PC mounted to the worktable - an LCD screen with a VESA connector that mounts the thin-client on the back, a keyboard/trackpad and a pendant hanging off the screen mount. All the computers use a shared drive for source material, so no multiple copies hanging around. The ‘slave’ computers have read-only access.

The ethernet leads back to a commercial Cisco switch, with an attached Cisco Airwave industrial wireless AP. The whole setup cost me about NZ$250 - US$175 - plus cables. I don’t have structured cabling because I don’t need to, but depending on the size of your facility, you may need a slightly more complex and tied-down infrastructure.

Just as an FYI, cabling guys are MUCH cheaper than network guys. Most mid-sized electrical outfits are conversant in structured cabling.

A usual configuration is to give each machine an id number, corresponding to the last digits of the ethernet address, with a corresponding machine definition in the controlling app.

There is some cost of setting up distributed wiring using shielded cable, but it is something a handyman could achieve, you don’t need a network design and implementation crew to do it - it’s cabling. Once your cabling is in, the ‘design’ component is straightforward - draw up your layout, start at a convenient machine and start numbering. Replicate that at the machine - a one-time thing - and at the controlling PCs - another one-time thing, and you’re done.

Operations know the machines by the ID number, as do the designer/operator, so there’s little confusion.

Using LB, you have full control of the memory contents of the controller through the ‘file list’ panel. Select the machine using the device drop-down, load the file list, manage it.

Jobs are created and saved using either the job number or product code/revision that is matched in the operator’s worksheet. Those can be loaded and transmitted to the controller ready for work, and the operator has only to select the file corresponding to the job number on his worksheet.

But to answer your question emphatically - no, the USB storage is not exposed by the controller. That’s why you need to copy it from the USB stick to the controller.

The 99 job limit is due to the way the file system that defines the jobs is stored internally - there are only 2 digits as a designator in the controller firmware - but you can overrun the file storage limit before you hit 99 jobs, if the files are complex.

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Thanks, the ethernet option seems like the way to go with a central computer. We did try that in the past when we had only 2 machines and you have no idea how many times jobs were started on the wrong machine etc… I’ll have to figure out of a good way to organize everything, thanks for the input!

BIG numbers in vinyl on the side of the machines. A BIG table of machines in the eye line of the operator.

Referring to the machine by number only (not The Big One or The Trotec or The Red One) and using that numbering system in your documentation for operations is the key.

You have no idea how much money has been lost in Chinese semiconductor factories getting this stuff right :slight_smile:

I most recently worked in a brand-new, state-of-the-art car factory. The British architects used a matrix method of numbering - using the building construction elements - pillars - as the basis (this is very common in large open areas like warehouses, factories, hangars). The Japanese robotic/electrical engineers that came and outfitted the factory used a different numbering system, because they did their design on spec before the construction of the buildings and won the contract, and rather than change their design, they just shoehorned it in.

The company I was hired by used a third numbering system, because the Czech data engineers laying the 300km of fibre-optic cable, putting in the data cabinets and the ‘street furniture’ (big outdoor cabinets like the phone company use on the street) didn’t have factory matrix numbers when outside the building - they have some incredible tech that allows a car to self-drive itself to a park, then load itself on a train according to orders. A distribiutor in Poland orders ten cars for stock and fifty custom builds. The train arrives at the siding and the doors on the wagon opens. The stock units start themselves, and make their way from carpark B to the train, load themselves and turn off. The custom ones are JIT (Just In Time) and should arrive fresh from final QC just as the other ones are loaded, make their way to the train and load up. The train is hooked back up to a loco and heads off to Poland. All that requires cables laid in the tarmac, controllers, cameras, etc. and they used the numbering system of the controlling software.

As you can imagine, it’s a bit of a nightmare trying to find a particular component the system tells you is giving a fault. ‘Walking the wire’ was a 13km circuit. Going the wrong direction because the wrong suffix was attached to the problem log could mean half a day of not loading cars onto transports.

Get it right, at the beginning, by getting every stakeholder’s buy-in, is my recommendation.

That the car industry makes this same decision time after time is due to the very siloed nature of the car industry - everything is devolved, everything is lowest-cost, everything is run by accountants who don’t understand anything about car plants.

It’s amazing more people don’t die on the roads :slight_smile:

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Last thing - ‘Sunday morning voluble’ here :slight_smile:

Using a ‘pillar’ numbering system is really useful in open spaces like factories or production units where machines may stand isolated from walls.

Looking from the ‘front’ of the building (arbitrary side that is chosen as the datum) AA BB CC DD from left to right, 11 22 33 44 from front to back.

You don’t need to have actual, physical pillars - you can use roof joist junctions, for example.

It can be used for everything from operator/tech to electrical, HVAC, warehouse, materials storage, etc., although with 20 machines you can probably get away with anything that works.

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Dam Bo, they are some pretty complete answers. Pleasure to read and take in the thinking and experience you were good enough to share

Thank you

Gary

Thanks Gary.

I’m rarely on the planning team that decides these things, but often the poor sap that has to make it work.

It surprises me, after decades of building things of a similar nature, how business always seem to trip over the same problem and come to the same convoluted solution.

Except two - Intel and Apple - copy exactly, continuous improvement.

They are successful for more reasons than they make good stuff - they make good stuff in a planned and organised and logical manner, which saves money and time.

British car companies are the worst I’ve found. Just awful. I’ve been in a Honda plant, but only as a visitor - no idea what they, and other Japanese makers, are like under the hood.

As part of what we do, we teach teachers and educators how to teach kids the STEM, STEAM subjects. The other part of my life is spent in the institute os Mechaanics in the Bulgarian Academy of Science. The two environments could not be different :slight_smile:

With the kids and the teachers we are driving the idea that the whole teaam contributes, the designer and the ‘sap’ ( practitioner ) we can join together , for the good of all the theoretical, the practical and the fantacies that make something special, but, yes theres always a but…we need communication and a mind set that reduces the ego in the process and develops the ’ whats next’ where can we take this, continuous improvement attitude without people getting all emotional about their baby changing as the project moves on.

Yes there needs to be a cut off, to get things on the road, BUT remember and record the possibilities, keep the process alive, and lets see this thing grow.

Pleasure talking, have a good one

Gary

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