Productive Laser Engraving:
Relief Mode

'Relief Mode' is a function that processes the laser power in correlation with the grey value of your graphic. This means it is possible to process multiple power levels, all in the one operation. This, ultimately, saves you a lot of processing time, increasing your overall productivity. Below, we will show you how all this works.

Process Type: Standard vs. Relief Mode

Standard Mode

When using standard mode, the desired power can be selected in the parameters database using various RGB colours. Then, multiple engraving colours are processed by the laser one by one.

Relief Mode

However, when using Relief Mode, multiple engraving colours as well as power levels can be processed all at the same time. The laser power depends on the grey value of your graphic. This means that white is processed completely without power, lighter areas at low power, darker areas at a higher power and black areas on full power. This all requires an 8-bit grayscale graphic (256 grayscale values). Coloured images will be automatically converted to grayscale during the print process. The processing time is reduced, and the results are high-quality.

"How much time will relief mode save me?"

Our engraved camouflage pattern is very impressive, if we do say so ourselves - you can see how effective this method of engraving is. We engraved this 15x15cm graphic using our Speedy 300, 60 Watt in a mere 38 minutes in standard mode (diagram A)

Using Relief Mode, however, we achieved the same engraving in 14 minutes using the exact same speed settings (diagram B). This reduced the processing mine by almost 2/3rds!

Even if you're only processing two different engraving settings in the one job, you will easily achieve a 50%-time improvement - how's that for productivity!?

"How do I determine if my material allows multiple engraving effects?"

The best way to determine whether your material allows for multiple engraving colours is to work out the parameters using a grayscale matrix. Once you have engraved the matrix, you can choose your desired effects. In our case, we chose boxes 22, 30 and 50.


Allow the grayscale matrix to run at the same width as your subsequent graphic. Even the smallest of differences in acceleration distance can make a huge difference, especially for sensitive materials. 

"How should I prepare my graphic?"

Editing your graphic is the second most important step when processing multiple engraving effects in the one operation. Normally, you'd assign a colour from the RGB colour pallet to each different engraving step (see diagram A). With this method, instead of an RGB colour value, you assign the grayscale values that you previously selected from the grayscale matrix. This means that three different colours would, instead, be 22% grey, 30% grey and 50% grey.

"How do I send the graphic to my Trotec laser machine?"

The 'Relief' process is a prerequisite for your Trotec laser to engrave the grayscale correctly. When you send the graphic, you just use the same settings as before, from when you sent the grayscale matrix originally. You only need to enter the size of your final graphic. Due to the three grey values that were assigned in the graphic, the laser power output will always be based on this grayscale. This means that a grayscale value of 22% will only use 22% of the power entered in the parameter database. 

"What settings do I need to set in the parameter database?"

The settings in the parameter database are very simple and easy to understand: you just need to use the same parameters from the grayscale matrix that you sent before. As stated above, it controls the power using the grayscale values in the graphic, no you won't need to adjust anything. 

"When can I use this method?"

Basically, this particular method is always suitable when you want to process multiple engraving parameters in the single job. The only requirement is that all the engraving parameters are using the same Z-Offset Value.

This time-saving process method can be used on all Trotec laser machines. Browse our range below:

Trotec Laser Machines

Further Information

Need More Help?

Contact the Trotec service hotline, where top qualified and motivated laser experts will assist you with any questions or problems you may have.

You might be also interested in

Get personal support from our laser experts.

Technical support
Proud member of troGROUP Logo