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What is the easiest way to determine laser parameters if a material isn’t in your machine’s material database?

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Typically, starting with low power and high speeds when cutting and engraving new materials ensures a low laser impact on the material. There are three quick and easy ways that you can determine the material parameters with your laser system:

  • Draw a black rectangle without contour in CorelDRAW. The size of the material impacts the size of the field; as a standard size we recommend 1.97 X 1.97 inches. Send the field at low power (about 10-20 percent), maximum speed, and 500 DPI to the laser. Adjust the speed or power in your laser’s software as needed. As a first step, we recommend doubling the power. Reduce or increase the power level until you find your desired settings.
  • With laser processing, you can achieve different color intensities through various parameter settings. The desired color intensity can efficiently be established by using a grayscale matrix.
  • The below graphicis a great reference for testing cutting parameters. The smaller rectangle with two differently rounded corners provides the advantage of more complex shapes and straight cutting lines, which is possible with the tested settings. Send the graphic to the laser and start with higher speed (5-10 percent) 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 percent.
    trotec
    Image courtesy Trotec Laser

-Amie McGee, Trotec Laser

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Amie McGee

Amie McGee is the Director of Operations at Trotec Laser. She has been with the company since 2004 and holds over 20 years' experience in the laser engraving industry.

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