In this Tips and Tricks, we will explain the perfect conditions for our Trotec laminates necessary for optimal results. We will also provide its tried and true laser settings.
Create any kind of sign
Laminates work extremely well in the application of any kind of sign. As the laser beam removes the top-coated layer, the coloured layer below is revealed. In this way, each colour heavily contrasts each other and creates an engraving that is highly visible. Stacking multiple different laminates on each other is an interesting way to make individualized effects and personalize your sign. There are no limits to your creativity! For example, you could use TroLase to make a name tag. Take a look at this video for inspiration.
Easy creation of dual-toned stickers
Dual-toned stickers are best made with TroLase Foils and Thins. This can be done with a kiss-cut, a technique where the top layer of adhesive foil is cut, but the layer beneath is left untouched. Thus, the top is "kissed" by the laser beam and not separated. This lets the sticker be cleanly pulled off, protecting the adhesive foil and letting the sticker stick to whichever surface it is applied to.
Choosing the right table
Creating the perfect conditions for an engraving material starts with selecting the best table for the job. For laminates, we recommend that you use the aluminum grid table or the acrylic cutting grid table. To get optimal vacuum suction, simply cover any free space on the work table. This will ensure that the laminate is fixed in the correct place during operation.
It is recommended that you engrave laser materials from the bottom to the top. This is because the exhaust hose is above, in the back of the machine. Engraving in this way makes sure that areas that have already been laser processed stay clear, preventing the core layer from being discoloured. This is particularly important when laser processing laminates that have a light inner layer with a dark outer layer.
Resolution from 500 dpi
It is similarly important to pick the right resolution for the best results. The image used and the processing time all play an important role in this process. When working with TroLase, it is recommended that you use a mid resolution of 500 dpi for the best results. This will allow finer details to be engraved onto your workpiece. However, it is also important to remember: the higher the resolution, the longer the processing time.
Use the 2” lens
Our experts recommend that you use the 2" lens when working with laminates. This lens will let you engrave small, intricate details into your workpiece and still engrave bigger surfaces with the best quality. The reason this is possible is because the universal lens has a wider focal length, yet it is still small enough to engrave any details. It's also possible to cut thicker laminates with this focal length.
Use the large nozzle
Use the large nozzle on your machine when processing TroLase. This will create a weaker stream of Air Assist, making sure that the freshly melted laminate won't cool off too fast. When Air Assist is too strong, a light gray effect will be produced in the engraving. However, a moderate Air Assist is still necessary to keep the smaller dirt particles from reaching the lens, shortening their lifespan.
Laser engraving for large surfaces: De-focusing recommended
When laser engraving large areas, it is typically better to de-focus the laser. For a neater end product, input a z-offset between 2 and 7 mm, depending on how powerful your machine is and the image being engraved. De-focusing is beneficial because it means that any grooves will be avoided, creating a much smoother end result. The lens used is also important; with large surfaces, it's better to use a lens with a bigger focal length. When it comes to very intricate details (e.g., 4 pt font), we recommend not using a z-offset entirely.
Cleaning the material
Usually, as long as the settings are optimized, there is only a little cleaning involved. Most of the time, all you will need is a damp cloth to wipe off residue since there is only a small amount. If there is more residue than expected, then we recommend that you clean with alcohol-free cleaner instead. Afterwards, there will be nothing stopping your excellent product.
Our experts have extensively tested and collected the best settings for laser processing various TroLase materials. Get the best results using our laminates with your laser engraver.
We suggest using a grayscale matrix to find the settings for any materials you have never used before. It is a quick and easy way to get the perfect parameters.
TroLase laminates are ideal for both interior and exterior usages. These products are very easy to customize and make personal. We provide both single- and multi-layered laser supplies, a huge variety of colours and various thicknesses. They are also available for purchase with adhesive on the reverse side and with special textured surfaces ideal for any applications in rough settings. Discover more about our diverse collection of TroLase products.