A laser engraving machine has many parameters, such as engraving speed, frequency, pass parameters, etc. Choosing the right parameters helps us to get better processing results. Usually, the parameters will be changed when using a laser engraving machine for different materials. But it is not easy to get the right parameters, it usually needs to go through several tests. To set the right parameters, understanding their meaning is required. Do you know what the parameters of the laser engraving machine mean?
Meaning of common parameters
- Laser power
- Engraving speed
- PPI and Hz parameters
- Z offset parameter
- Passing parameters
The laser power controls the intensity level of the laser beam. It can be set as a percentage between 0% and 100%. In the laser engraving process, when it comes to the laser power growing, which means the laser intensity raises, the color and cut depth of the treated material become deeper. Still, too much power may cause the material's edges to be scorched. Only with sufficient laser power can we engrave clear patterns or cut materials. Therefore, keeping the laser power parameters in the right range is crucial for material processing.
Engraving speed is the speed of laser head movement during laser processing. With other parameters consistent, the faster the laser head moves, the shorter the time the laser beam stays on the material surface and the less laser energy the material absorbs. Therefore, in laser engraving, if other parameters remain the same, the faster the processing speed, the lighter the color engraved, and the less cutting-edge burns. If you use a lower processing speed, your processing time will be very long. Besides, when processing flammable materials such as thin paper at low speeds, it may cause the material to catch fire! Therefore, the choice of engraving speed is also important.
PPI represents the number of laser pulses received per inch of material during the laser engraving process. In the application of laser cutting processing, the frequency setting is very important. Frequency is generally expressed in Hz, indicating the number of pulses released by the laser per second.
Before using a laser engraver, the focus is usually adjusted so that the laser operates at optimal performance. If the z-offset is set to zero, the laser is focused. Sometimes you may also need to process the material after defocusing, such as when processing large areas of the material.
The transmission parameters are also important parameters for laser processing materials, which determine the number of passes for engraving or cutting. For example, for some flammable materials, it is safer to engrave at lower power and higher speed, but you will need to repeat the process several times to achieve your needs.
How to set the right parameters
Setting the right processing parameters usually requires several tests. After several tests, Lunyee has summarized some methods of setting parameters for your reference.
- If cutting or engraving hard and thick materials, you can set a larger percentage of laser intensity. If you are working with thinner materials, set the intensity to 10% at the beginning and then slowly increase it according to the material being processed.
- If you are cutting or engraving thick or hard materials, we recommend running at a low speed. To cut thin paper material, you can start at a high speed.
- To achieve perfect laser engraving results, the PPI is generally the same as or a multiple of the resolution set in the print setup panel.
- Offset parameters are generally used when machining large areas.
- If you mainly do relief processing, you can use low power and high speed for multiple repetition processing. After many iterations, you can get great results.
I believe that after reading this article you already have a certain understanding of the parameters of the laser engraving machine, and have your own insights on how to set the parameters. If you mainly use one machine and one material, it is not difficult to choose the parameters. But if you often need to deal with new materials, then determine the parameters will take you a lot of time. I hope these parameter selection tips can help you save time.