Laser engraving leather book

How to determine laser parameters without testing the material

We’ve all been there: a customer comes with a one of a kind workpiece or material and you only have one attempt to get the perfect laser engraving result and no suitable parameters ready.
In many cases like this, it isn’t possible to test the customer’s material or workpiece to find the best parameters. This guide shows you how to get good results without pre-set parameters.


Relying on previous experience

  • JobControl® laser software material database:
    In our material database we provide laser parameters for a variety of materials, including the Trotec range. These are adjusted to your laser and its laser power and provide an initial reference point.
  • Similar material:
    If you have processed a similar material then the parameters for this will be stored. You will be able to use these as a reference.

Tip - DIY sample:

Take a look at our DIY laser samples. These use many different materials and feature different parameters. It could be that your material is used for one of the applications. 


Step by Step

Step by step guide for the perfect result

Still having problems even after the above tips? Don’t worry! In the following guide we explain, step by step, which parameter settings you should change in the JobControl® laser software to determine the appropriate parameters:

Choose the appropriate laser source for your material:

Decide which laser source is suitable for the material. Here you will find an overview of the processing options for the CO2 and fiber laser sources:

CO2

  Engrave cut Mark
Acrylic
Glass
Laminates
Leather
Metal *
Paper
Plastics
Stone
Textiles
Wood

Fiber

  Engrave cut Mark
Acrylic
Glass
Laminates
Leather
Metal *
Paper
Plastics
Stone
Textiles
Wood

Flexx

  Engrave cut Mark
Acrylic
Glass
Laminates
Leather
Metal *
Paper
Plastics
Stone
Textiles
Wood

Choose the appropriate lens:

Which lenses you use for the job always depends on the material and the graphic you will be laser engraving. The rule of thumb is: The finer and more detailed the graphic, the smaller the focal length of the lens should be. The 2" lens is an “all-round lens” that can be used for many applications.
You can find an overview of how to choose the right lens in our tips and tricks section:

How to choose the right lens


Finding the perfect resolution:

The perfect resolution is dependant on the material and the size of the graphic.

How to choose the right resolution 


Adjusting the speed:

Always adjust the laser engraving speed for each graphic! For small or detailed graphics, slower speeds up to 30% are suitable, while higher speeds are used for large-scale engravings.


Adjust the laser power:

Adjust the power to the engraving speed. For low speeds of up to 30%, use less laser power, up to approx. 20%, while for higher speeds over 30%, the power can also be increased.

Tip: Particularly when working with materials where you have minimal experience, it is advisable to keep the laser power as low as possible and to start multiple passes. This allows you to simply and safely get the perfect laser engraving result.

When determining laser parameters the basic rule is: High speed and low laser power


The right positioning

For precise alignment when positioning your workpiece in the laser machine and the laser engraving and cutting job in the software, we recommend the positioning aids in the JobControl® laser software.

It is best to place the workpiece in the zero point and fix it in place. For parts that slip easily, you can also use a jig to hold them in place. A good example of a custom jig is to use Lego bricks as these are easily adaptable to each workpiece.

To ensure accurate results you should never remove or move the workpiece after positioning it in the laser!


More tips and information

Do you need more tips for determining parameters? Our experts will be happy to help you.

Contact Us