For years Prolase Laser Marking Software has supported cylindrical distortion correction to correct for the distortion that occurs when marking around cylindrical surfaces. This distortion is obvious when marking something like a circle on a cylinder. That circle distorts into an oval shape as the marking wraps around the cylinder.
Although Prolase corrects for the distortion in the cylindrical axis, distortion also occurs in the opposite axis because, as the laser beam wraps around the cylinder, the beam must travel further before it comes in contact with the part surface. The distortion caused by the additional path length becomes more prominent as the mark gets further away from the center of the marking field. The photo below is a line of text marked on the left hand end of the marking field on a 2.5 inch diameter cylinder. Note the pincushion distortion that occurred in the axis opposite of the cylindrical axis.
This line of text was 2 inches away from the center of the marking field of a 4.4” field size lens. Even though Cylindrical Distortion Correction in the cylindrical axis was enabled, pincushion distortion in the opposite axis occurred. This type of distortion occurs throughout the long axis of the part but becomes more severe as the mark gets further away from the center of the marking field.
The new Beta release of Prolase 10 Plus/DCA has an added feature named End of Curve Correction and that feature can be found in the Layer properties of the layer in which the marking object resides. A small positive number in that field will cause the vectors at the end of the curve to be flattened out. The next photo is the same part as shown in the first photo but with End of Curve Correction enabled.
A small positive number in the End of Curve Correction field compensates for distortion caused by a longer beam path throughout the marking field. In this example the cylinder was 2.5 inches in diameter and a value of .183 in the End of Curve Correction field flattened out the mark. That same value should be correct for any 2.5 inch diameter cylinder.
The new End of Curve Correction field is found in the layer properties of the object being marked.
This new feature can be found in the BETA version of Prolase 10 software and can be downloaded from www.laserware.com. Please keep in mind that although Jimani has done some preliminary testing, this version of Prolase has not been fully tested. If anyone decides to use it before it becomes a released version then my suggestion is that, before installing it, make a copy of the Prolase 10 folder from the marker computer in the unlikely event that there are undiscovered bugs in the BETA version. On the marker computer Prolase 10 should reside in the C:\Program Data\American Laserware\Prolase 10 folder.
Please feel free to contact Jim Earman at Jimani for installation help or questions about this.