How do I determine the optimal laser parameters for my material?

Quick and easy determination of laser parameters

Finding the right laser parameters is a must for achieving the best possible laser cutting and laser engraving results. Laser parameters are a combination of the following settings:
  • Speed
  • Power
  • Hz Passes
  • Air Assist
  • Z-Offset (controlled defocusing)
  • Resolution ppi/Frequency Hz Passes

Laser parameters in the Trotec laser software

You will find a wide selection of pre-tested laser parameters in the Trotec laser software. Save time testing for optimum parameters by choosing from 50 different materials. For each product group, we offer 2 different parameter sets: optimized for time, and optimized for quality.

"Quality" parameter sets are recommended for engraving applications with fine details, small font sizes and high contrast. Thus, the laser cut is also optimized e.g. glossy, flame-polished edges with acrylic.
"Speed" parameter sets are recommended for time-optimized applications that include simple shapes and designs with fewer finer lines and details.

We are constantly testing and adding new material parameters to the material database.

JobControl® Ruby®
Updates can either be installed via a JobControl® Software Release or downloaded here.
You can, of course, add to the material database with your materials and settings.
In Ruby® new or changed default materials are automatically provided with a software update. You can manually import them from the cloud, but also add your own materials manually.

Job Control

How can I adapt my parameters from the material database to achieve a darker or deeper engraving?

Trotec has carefully determined each and every laser parameter in the material database. Depending on the application itself, minor adjustments to the parameters within the database may be required to achieve visually different results. As an example of such variances; if you increase the power value, more energy will be introduced in the material, resulting in darker and deeper engraving in the wood. Conversely, reducing the power results in lighter engraving. We recommend making small incremental adjustments to find the perfect parameters for your application.

Additionally, you can create and manage the database with your own materials and settings.

Tip: We advise changing only one parameter in a test process. For instance, start with testing power in 5-10% increments, and then repeat the same process but with speed. Only then should you combine both parameter settings. By doing so, this will allow you to isolate variables to determine how individual parameters affect results.

My material is not in the material database. What is the easiest way to determine laser parameters?

Typically, starting with low power and high speeds when cutting and engraving new materials ensures a low laser impact on the material.
Here are 3 quick and easy ways that you can determine the material parameters with your laser system.
laser parameter test graycale matrix

Engraving template: Grayscale matrix

With laser processing, you can achieve different color intensities through various parameter settings. The desired color intensity can efficiently be established by using the grayscale matrix.

corel draw laser cutting template

Cutting template

The graphic to the left is a great reference for testing cutting parameters. The smaller rectangle with two differently rounded corners provides the advantage that more complex shapes and straight cutting lines, which is possible with the tested settings. Send the graphic to the laser, and start again with higher speed (5-10% recommended) and lower power. Then find your desired cutting quality.  

Note that engraving and cutting speeds are not comparable. Cutting is slower than engraving, and a “high” cutting speed means 10%.

What do the laser parameters actually mean?

Laser parameters such as ppi, speed, power, Hz, Air Assist, passes and Z-offset- we have defined in short the most important parameters for you:

Parameter definition

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