The correct resolution for laser engraving

How to Choose the Right Resolution for your Engraving

Choosing the right resolution has a huge impact on the final laser engraving result. Other important factors include the material being processed, the graphic content and the processing time.


Material and graphics

Material impact

Materials absorb energy during laser engraving. Due to the strong heating, the dots become larger and can overlap (= “dot bleed”). This is an important property for photo engraving. In order to counter this effect, the right resolution is crucial.

Material Preferred resolutions
wood, glass, textile, stone lower resolutions:
125, 250 und 333 dpi
acrylic, TroLase materials, paper, cardboard moderate resolutions:
von 500 bis 600 dpi
stamps, metal, processing with fiber laser higher resolutions:
von 600 bis 1000 dpi

Graphic

The level of detail in the graphic determines the resolution. It is recommended to increase the resolution to 600 dpi despite the “dot bleed” described above. This allows even very fine details to be optimally engraved.

The time factor

Higher resolutions increase the time that is needed for laser engraving.
A different resolution can save engraving time. For large-scale engravings, for example, choose a lower resolution and compensate for the resulting line spacing with a higher Z offset value.

Consistent laser engraving result - 1/4 of the original processing time

Our following example shows how you can engrave the same graphic at 500dpi with the same result at 125 dpi in just 1/4 of the time:

  Laser engraving machine: Speedy 360, 80 Watt, P=65%, v=50%
Resolution 125 dpi 250 dpi 333 dpi 500 dpi
z-Offset +12 mm +12 mm +9 mm +6 mm
time [h] 1.52 3.31 4.28 6.47

Exception: Laser engraving rubber stamps:

For this application a higher resolution will increase the energy density when laser engraving. If the stamp is engraved at 500 dpi, the laser engraving speed must be reduced in order to reach the recommended engraving depth of 1.1 mm. In contrast, engraving can be faster at a resolution of 1,000 dpi and thus saving time despite the higher resolution.


More information and tips

Have more questions about laser engraving or choosing the right resolution? Our laser support team are happy to help.

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