Right resolution for laser engraving

How do I choose the correct
resolution for laser engraving?

Determining the correct resolution for engraving applications

Determining the right resolution can have a massive effect on your overall engraving result. The material used, the graphic content and the processing time all play a very important role in laser processing.


Your Chosen Material & Graphic Content

Material Impact

Materials absorb energy during laser engraving. Due to the rapidly increasing heat, the laser marked dots become larger until they overlap ('dot bleed'). This is a very important aspect of photo engraving, and needs to be carefully considered. To counter this effect, having the correct resolution is crucial.

Material Preferred Resolution
wood, glass, textile, stone lower resolutions:
125, 250, 333dpi
acrylic, TroLase materials, paper, cardboard moderate resolutions:
500 - 600dpi
stamps, metal, processing with fiber lasers higher resolutions:
600 - 1000dpi

Graphic Content

Depending on the level of detail in your chosen graphic, we suggest increasing the resolution to about 600dpi, despite the 'dot bleed' that we outlined above. This will allow even the finest of details to be perfectly and optimally engraved.

The Time Factor

The higher the resolution, the more time you'll need to complete the laser engraving job. If you choose a different resolution, you may be able to save some overall engraving time. For example, with large scale engravings, we suggest choosing a lower resolution and compensate for the resulting line spacing with a higher z-offset value instead. 

Consistent Results - ¼ of the Original Processing Time

Have a look at our example of how you can engrave the exact same graphic at 500dpi with the same results at 125dpi in just ¼ of the time:

          Speedy 360 80W - P=65%, V=50%
Resolution 125dpi 250dpi 333dpi 500dpi
Z-Offset +12mm +12mm +9mm +6mm
Time [h] 1.52 3.31 4.28 6.47

EXCEPT FOR: Laser Engraving Rubber Stamps:

In the case of rubber stamps, a higher resolution can increase the energy density during engraving. If a stamp is engraved at 500dpi, the engraving speed needs to be reduced to reach the recommended engraving depth of 1.1mm. So, engraving can be quicker at a resolution of 1,000dpi and save you some time overall, despite the high resolution.


More Information & Tips

Do you need more help with choosing the correct resolution when engraving? Do you have any more questions regarding laser processing? Our laser experts are happy to help you!

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