How do I determine the optimal laser parameters for my material?

Quick and easy determination of laser parameters

A perfect laser engraving and laser cutting result is only achievable with the right laser parameters. Laser parameters are a combination of the following settings:
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Resolution ppi/Frequency Hz
  • Passes
  • Air Assist
  • z-Offset (controlled defocusing)

Laser parameters in the Trotec laser software

You will find a wide selection of pre-tested laser parameters in the Trotec laser software. Save time testing for optimum parameters by choosing from 50 different materials. For each product group, we offer 2 different parameter sets: optimized for time, and optimized for quality.

"Quality" parameter sets are recommended for engraving applications with fine details, small font sizes and high contrast. Thus, the laser cut is also optimized e.g. glossy, flame-polished edges with acrylic.
"Speed" parameter sets are recommended for time-optimized applications that include simple shapes and designs with fewer finer lines and details.

We are constantly testing and adding new material parameters to the material database.

JobControl® Ruby®
Updates can either be installed via a JobControl® Software Release or downloaded here.
You can, of course, add to the material database with your materials and settings.
In Ruby® new or changed default materials are automatically provided with a software update. You can manually import them from the cloud, but also add your own materials manually.

How can I adapt my parameters from the material database to achieve a darker or deeper engraving?

All of the laser parameters in the material database have been carefully determined. Depending on your application, small adjustments to the parameters may be required to achieve your desired result. For example, increasing the power value introduces more energy onto the material resulting in a darker and deeper engraving on the wood wood. The reverse is also true. Reducing the laser power results in a lighter engraving. We recommend making adjustments in small increments to find your ideal parameters. 

You can also create and manage the self-determined parameters in the material database.

Tip: Always change only a single parameter during a test process. For example, start with the power by testing different values in 5-10% increments. Then repeat the same process with the speed. Only then should you combine both parameter settings. This will allow you to isolate variables and determine how individual parameters affect results.

My material is not in the material database. Is there an easy way to determine the laser parameters?

We suggest you start with high speeds and low power when engraving and cutting new materials. This ensures a low laser impact on the material.
Here are three ways to quickly and easily determine your laser parameters for new materials.
laser parameter test graycale matrix

Engraving template: Grayscale matrix

With laser processing, different colour intensities can be achieved on the material by means of various parameter settings. You can quickly and easily determine the desired colour intensity by using the grayscale matrix.

Cutting template

The following graphic is a good reference for testing cutting parameters. The rectangle with two differently rounded corners offers the advantage that both straight cutting lines and more complex shapes are possible with the tested settings. Send the graphic to the laser. Start again with lower power and a higher speed (we recommend a start speed of 5-10%) and find your desired cutting quality.

Note that cutting and engraving speeds are not comparable. Basically, cutting is slower than engraving. A "high" cutting speed means 10%.

What do the laser parameters actually mean?

Laser parameters such as power, speed, ppi, Hz, passes, Air Assist and z-offset - we briefly explaine the most important parameters for you in the following article:

Parameter definition

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