Here, we will show you how to get the most out of our TroLase laminates range - you will always achieve the perfect results by following these tips and tricks! Here, you will also find a list of tested laser parameters for engraving.
Our laser safe plastic laminates are particularly well suited for creating interior and exterior signage. When the top layer of plastic is removed with your laser beam, the inner colour is revealed. This creates a very eye-catching and professional two-toned effect. Both colours will stand out from one another and the engraving is clearly visible, even from long distances. Combining multiple laminates on top of one another can also help you create very special effects and really individualise your signs. The sky is your only limit with TroLase! Watch the following application video to inspire and motivate you...
Two-toned, durable, plastic stickers can also be optimally created using TroLase Thins and TroLase Lights. This is achievable by 'kiss-cutting' the material. This means the upper adhesive foil layer is cut through, but the thin layer underneath is untouched. The top layer is thus 'kissed' by the laser beam, which is why we call it 'kiss-cutting'. Once this laser process is completed, the sticker can be removed quickly and easily without damaging the material or graphic. The sticky side of the sticker will also always be protected, meaning it will adhere perfectly to almost anything!
Selecting the Correct Table
Achieving the optimal engraving result always comes down to selecting the right table configuration. For processing TroLase, we usually recommend the aluminium grid table or the acrylic cutting grid table. To optimise the vacuum and achieve the strongest suction possible, simply cover all the free space on the table with spare material (paper, acrylic, etc). This will fix the laminate to the table and prevent it from moving around during the laser process.
Engraving your laser materials from the bottom to the top is usually recommended. This is because the exhaust hose is above the working area, in the back of the machine. This will help ensure that the already laser-processed areas remain clean, with no discolouration from dust and debris. This is especially important when processing laminates with light colours, as any discolouration shows up very clearly.
Resolution = 500dpi
Selecting the correct resolution is also a crucial factor for achieving optimal results. Your material, graphic and processing time all play a very important role here. When processing TroLase, a medium resolution of 500dpi is usually recommended. This allows finer details within the workpiece and graphic to be engraved or cut perfectly, yet still reasonably quickly. Remember; the higher the resolution, the longer processing time required. So always be aware of 'quality vs quantity'.
Utilising the 2” Lens
Here at Trotec, we usually recommend the 2" lens when engraving laminates. This allows for both small, delicate details as well as larger graphics to be engraved perfectly every time. It's easy to always achieve high-quality results. This is because the universal 2" lens has a much broader focal length, but it remains small enough to engrave finer details. Thick laminates can also be cut with this focal length.
Utilising the Large Nozzle
When processing TroLase, we always suggest using the large nozzle. This makes for a weaker dose of Air Assist to ensure that the freshly melted material does not cool off too rapidly. If Air Assist is too strong, the engraving might take on a light grey effect instead of the crisp, contrasting tones that look so great. A moderate Air Assist is usually the best option, especially for the lifespan of your lens. This is because dirty particles won't reach the lens with this air flow.
Large Surface Engraving - Defocusing
For laser engraving large surfaces, intentional defocusing is sometimes better than processing the material perfectly 'in focus'. All you need to do is set the z-offset between 2 and 7mm, depending on the power of your laser machine and what kind of graphic you are using. By doing this, you will usually achieve a more even, professional-looking result. By de-focusing, grooves are avoided, and the end-result will have a smooth surface. The lens plays a very important role here too: for larger surfaces, it's best to use lenses with larger focal lengths. However, for fine details (4pt font), we would not suggest using any kind of z-offset at all.
Cleaning Your Material
If your laser parameters are optimally set, you generally shouldn't have a lot of cleaning or post-processing to complete. In most cases, a simple damp cloth is all you’ll need to wipe off the smoulder marks or minimal residue. However, if more substantial dusts or debris are created and land on your product, we would recommend using an alcohol-free cleaning product. Ensure you wipe the material down slowly and gently to avoid scratches or smudges. Apart from those minor situations, nothing else should ever stand in the way of you and your brilliant laser results!
Our team of Trotec laser experts have tested and collected all the optimal parameters for processing our TroLase materials. When the right settings are used, it is easy to achieve the perfect results with our laminates and your laser engraver.
We always recommend using the grayscale matrix when trying to determine laser parameters for new materials that you haven’t used before. It will allow you to find the best parameters every single time. All you'll need is a test piece of your material.
TroLase laminates are perfect for all interior and exterior applications. The materials can be perfectly individualised and personalised with graphics and text, and we have a huge range of colours, textures and finishes available! There are one or multi-layered materials, as well as a variety of thicknesses. They are also available with and without self-adhesive on the back, so they’re ready for all your crafting needs. Discover the diverse and flexible world of our TroLase product family!