We've all been there, haven’t we? The customer comes to you with something unique and special, and you only have the one attempt to achieve the perfect engraving result without any prepared parameters! In many cases, it really isn't possible to test a customer's material prior to engraving. But here, we will show you how to get that perfect result without having to test anything!
- JobControl® Material Database:
In our material database, we provide laser parameters for many different materials. There, they can be adjusted to suit your laser machine and its available power. It will also provide you with an initial reference point.
- Similar Material:
Perhaps you have processed a similar material in the past. Then, all you have to do is keep these settings stored away for future use.
Tip - DIY Projects:
If you want, have a browse through some of our DIY laser projects. Within these project instructions, we have stored lots of laser parameters for many different materials and applications. Perhaps the exact material you are looking for is there!
Instructions for the Perfect Result
Can’t rely on the above points? Don’t worry! We will explain, step by step, which parameter settings you should change in JobControl® to determine the appropriate parameters:
Choose the appropriate laser source for your material:
Decide which laser source is suitable for the material. Here you will find an overview of the processing options for the CO2 and fiber laser source:
Choose the Appropriate Lens:
The lens that you decide to use for the job will always depend on the material and the engraved graphic. The basic rule of thumb is as follows: The finer and more delicate the graphic, the smaller the focal length of the lens should be. For example, the 2" lens is an 'all-round lens' that is generally suitable for almost any application. However, if you're still unsure how to choose the right lens for your application, you can find an overview of this topic below:
Find the Perfect Resolution:
The perfect resolution always depends on the material that you are using, as well as the size of the graphic. Read here to discover how to choose the correct resolution for your job.
Adjust the Speed:
Always ensure that you adjust the engraving speed to suit the graphic! For smaller, detailed graphics, move slower (up to 30% slower). For large-scale engravings, use much higher speeds.
Adjust the Laser Power:
Adjust the power so it matches the engraving speed. For example, when processing at low speeds of up to 30%, use less laser power (up to about 20%). For higher speeds, the power can be increased accordingly.
Tip: When working with materials that you have little experience with, we would suggest keeping the laser power as low as possible and to try doing multiple passes instead of completing the job in the one, swift pass. This means you can go over the same area again and again with low power until you have your desired finish.
High speed and low laser power
For the precise alignment of your workpieces and materials, and to be able to position them in your laser machine perfectly every single time, we recommend using the positioning aids which you can find in JobControl.
It is usually best to place the workpiece inside the 'zero' point and fix it into place with magnets or blue tac. For parts that slip around very easily, we find that Lego bricks work as a great anchor.
It is extremely important that you never move or re-position the material or workpiece once you have begun working on it! As soon as you shift it, the laser will lose its original start point and ruin all your hard work.
Still a little unsure about how to determine your parameters? Our laser experts will always be happy to help you out.