K40 Whisperer is an alternative to the the Laser Draw (LaserDRW) program that comes with the cheap Chinese laser cutters available on E-Bay and Amazon. K40 Whisperer reads SVG and DXF files, interprets the data and sends commands to the K40 controller to move the laser head and control the laser accordingly. K40 Whisperer does not require a USB key (dongle) to function.
Only boards that work with LaserDRW will work with K40 Whisperer. The boards that work with K40 Whisperer are made by Lihuiyu. (Moshi boards will not work)
To see which board you have you can go to "Properties" from the LaserDRW (or CorelDraw) Engraving Manager window and look at which board is selected for the "Mainboard" option. You can also look at the markings on the controller board. (The controller board is the circuit board the USB cable plugs into)
The best way to determine if a laser will work with K40 Whisperer before buying is to check if the laser comes with LaserDRW (Laser Draw) software. If a laser works with Laser Draw it should work with K40 Whisperer.
- Fixed problem with right mouse click motions that occurred when using "home in upper right"
Changes in Version 0.59:
- Now automatically removes zero length features from input files (caused unnecessary movements before)
- Removed redundant data sent to laser during raster engraving. Should reduce pauses for higher speed engraving.
- Added option for reduced memory use. This can be enabled to allow for larger designs to be loaded in K40 Whisperer or just increase speed. This option does reduce the resolution of the data coming from Inkscape 500dpi vs 1000dpi. This should not visibly affect the output in most cases.
Changes in Version 0.60:
- Fixed scaling problem when loading an SVG file with 'Reduced Memory Use' enabled.
The problem only occurred if the user was prompted for additional scaling information.
Linux: Setup instructions for Linux are included via the README_Linux.txt file in the "K40_Whisperer-x.xx_src.zip" file.
Mac: Setup instructions for Mac are included via the README_MacOS.md file in the "K40_Whisperer-x.xx_src.zip" file.
(I can't help with Mac specific questions. I don't have experience installing software on a Mac.)
There are alternate 3rd party Mac instructions here:
Mac Install Instructions
1. Create your design in Inkscape.
- Use RED lines to indicate cutting.
- Use BLUE lines to indicate vector engraving.
- Use BLACK and other colors to indicate raster engraving. (Raster Engraving is not supported for DXF files.)
2. Adjust the size of the document to match the area you want to export (You can use "File" - "Document Properties" - "Resize Page to Content" to make the page the same size as your design)
3. Within Inkscape select "Save" to save the design as an SVG file.
4. Open the SVG file you just saved in K40 Whisperer.
Halftone (grayscale) Images with K40 Whisperer
In addition to red, blue and black, you can also do grayscale with K40 Whisperer.
The stock boards that work with K40 Whisperer are not able to control the power output by the laser.
However, grayscale can be simulated by creating a halftone image (dithering) of the raster image.
Below is an example of an image that was engraved with the Halftone (Dither) option turned on in K40 Whisperer.
In order to generate the halftone image in K40 Whisperer the Halftone setting in the Raster settings needs to be selected.
When the Halftone option is turned on the image displayed in K40 Whisperer will be shown in grayscale.
K40 Whisperer Videos
Making a Design in Inkscape
Engraving a Picture Using K40 Whisperer
Advanced Settings in K40 Whisperer
Using G-Code with K40 Whisperer
Design Alignment Features in K40 Whisperer
K40 Whisperer requires the installation of a different driver than the one that Laser Draw and Corel Laser use. The Setting up K40 Whisperer on Windows page includes instructions for removing the libUSB-win32 driver so that you can go back to the standard programs.