Determining laser parameters without testing
Minimise your mistakes by knowing your parameters
We've all been there, haven’t we? The customer approaches you with something unique and special, and you only have the one attempt to achieve the perfect engraving result without any prepared parameters. In many cases, it really isn't possible to test a customer's material prior to engraving. But here, we will show you how to get that perfect result without any testing.
Resort to experience
- Material database:
In our material database, we provide laser parameters for a variety of materials. These are adjusted to your laser and its laser power, and provide an initial reference point.
- Similar material:
Perhaps you have processed a similar material, then you can keep these settings.
Tip - DIY sample: Take a look at our DIY laser samples, where we have stored laser parameters for many materials and applications. Perhaps the exact material you are looking for is there.
Instructions for the Perfect Result
Here, we will explain step-by-step which parameter settings you should change in JobControl® 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 source:
Choose the appropriate lens:
The lens that you decide to use for the job will always depend on the material and the engraved graphic. The basic rule of thumb is as follows: The finer and more delicate the graphic, the smaller the focal length of the lens should be. For example, the 2" lens is an 'all-round lens' that is generally suitable for almost any application. However, if you're still unsure how to choose the right lens for your application, you can find an overview of this topic below.
Find the perfect resolution:
The perfect resolution depends on the material, as well as the size of the graphic. Read here how to choose a resolution suitable for your job.
Adjust the speed:
Always adjust the engraving speed to the graphic! For small or detailed graphics, move slower (up to 30%), for large-scale engravings, use higher speeds.
Adjust the laser power:
Adjust the power so it matches the engraving speed. For example, when processing at low speeds of up to 30%, use less laser power (up to about 20%). For higher speeds, the power can be increased accordingly.
Tip: When working with materials that you have little experience with, we would suggest keeping the laser power as low as possible and to try doing multiple passes instead of completing the job in the one, swift pass. This means you can go over the same area again and again with low power until you have your desired finish.
High speed and low laser power
The right positioning
For the precise alignment of your workpieces and materials, and to be able to position them in your laser machine perfectly every single time, we recommend using the positioning aids which you can find in our laser software.
It is usually best to place the workpiece inside the 'zero' point and fix it into place with magnets or blue tac. For parts that slip around very easily, we find that Lego bricks work as a great anchor.
It is extremely important that you never move or re-position the material or workpiece once you have started working on it.
More tips and information
Still a little unsure about how to determine your parameters? Our laser experts are always happy to help.