It's happened to the best of us: a customer brings in something unique and you only have one try to make a perfect engraving without any ready-made parameters.
A lot of the time, you can't test the customer's workpieces beforehand to get the ideal settings. In spite of this, here we will highlight some techniques to get good parameters.
- JobControl® material database:
Within our material database are the laser parameters for a large amount of different materials. These can be adapted for your laser and its power, providing a good starting point.
- Similar material:
If you have already worked with the same or a similar material, the same settings will work.
Tip - DIY sample:
View our DIY laser samples, where we have saved a large variety of settings for different materials and applications. It is possible that your exact material can be found there.
Step-by-step instructions for the best result
Need more guidance than the points above? Don't worry! We will show, step by step, which parameters should be changed in the JobControl® laser software to figure out the correct settings.
Choose the appropriate lens:
The lens you pick for the job will depend on the material and image you are engraving. The rule of thumb: The smaller and more intricate the image, the smaller the lens' focal length should be. The 2" lens is a general purpose lens that can work for many applications.
A summary on choosing the correct lens can be found below within our tips and tricks section:
Find the perfect resolution:
The ideal resolution will depend on your material, as well as how big the engraving image is. Read below on how to pick the correct resolution for your job.
Adjust the speed:
Always adapt the engraving speed to fit the image! For small or intricate graphics, make the speed lower (up to 30%). For larger engravings, make it higher.
Adjust the laser power:
Change the power to match the engraving speed. In other words, when using a lower speed of up to 30%, use less laser power (up to roughly 20%). For higher speeds, use a higher power.
Tip: Particularly when dealing with materials that you have little experience with, we suggest that you keep the laser power as low as possible and instead engrave in multiple passes. This way, you can easily and carefully get the best result.
The simple rule to find out settings is:
High speed and low laser power
Choose the appropriate laser source for your material:
Determine the laser source that best fits your material. Below you can see a summary of the different processing options that the CO2 and fiber laser source give:
To precisely position your workpiece inside the laser machine for an engraving and/or cutting job, we recommend you use the positioning aids available within JobControl®.
For the best results, put the workpiece on the origin point and then fix it in place. To keep slippery parts in place, you could use Lego bricks, changeable for each individual workpiece.
After placing it in the laser, never move or take out the workpiece!
Need more help to figure out the necessary settings for a job? Our team of experts would be happy to assist.