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Settings and Variables

We have spent quite a number of hours now testing the emblaser but are still not happy with the result. We have altered the variables to try and get the optimum outcome but nothing seems to work. We are trying to engrave wooden sunglasses and so far we have tried altering the power (50, 30, 20, 70, 60), the number of passes (1, 2, 3), the fill (0.1, 0.05, 0.08), the speed (1000, 800, 500, 1200), the hatch angle (72 degrees, 90 degrees), the font, the area size.

The problems that seem to occur most frequently are that the engraving comes out looking singed and burnt. There is also a thick border around the outside of the lettering. Sometimes the letters are so blurred and thick that you can't read what is written.

I was wondering whether you could let me know what settings you advise? Or whether you need any further information in order to provide a recommendation.

Thank you very much,
Tilly

Comments

  • Hi Tilly,

    It sounds like a focus issue. Have you downloaded the latest Users Manual and gone through the focus process and setting the correct laser height as shown? When correctly focused the laser spot you see through your glasses (in focus mode) should be very small. I will appear as a tiny bright dot < 1mm in size.

    If focus is correct, you should start to make sure everything is working correctly by engraving / cutting something of reasonable size onto some card or paper. Shapes or letters 20mm-50mm in size is a good start. It will let you see what is going on, better than minute detail.

    A good setting for white photocopy paper or card would be 30-50% power and 500-1000mm/min feedrate. This should cut shapes out very easily.

    For very small text on your wooden frames you should first test 'single line' for the font style. This is what we used to test your frames and achieved good results.

    Start by setting a power of 50% and feedrate of 1000mm/min. Run this engrave. If it is too burnt then start experimenting by only changing one parameter at a time. Perhaps you may want to leave the feedrate 1000mm/min and reduce the power to 30%, etc until you start to see improvements.

    Finally, can you post some pictures showing the results. It will give us a better idea as to what is happening.

    Thanks,
    Domenic
  • edited December 2014
    Domenic, what is the (safe) working range value (the minimum and maximum) of the feedrate that we can use?
  • We have settings to operate up to 8000mm/min. There is no minimum.
    This is well within the range of any laser cutting that will be happening.

    Technically you can change the settings so the machine runs faster. Nothing will be damaged but the motors will start to lose their position and may even lock up during a very fast acceleration.
  • What is the format for Min and Max laser values in PicLaser Lite?
  • In PicLaser-Lite
    Min = 0 (0% power)
    Max = 255 (100% power)

    In Cut2d-Laser
    Min = 0 (o% power)
    Max = 100 (100% power)

  • Ok so I have had plenty of success with engraving but can not figure out cutting. Currently trying the light 3mm ply mentioned as being cut in 1 pass on the KS page. But I just cant figure it out. At any power rating or speed.
  • Hi Damien,
    We used 100% power to cut the ply, and from memory quite a slow feedrate. Somewhere in the vicinity of 150-200mm/min.

    Now something to keep in mind is that back then when the tests were conducted we were running the laser at around 2.2amps of power. The default Emblaser comes with the laser power set to 1.8amps. This is since most users require laser longevity over brute cutting power.

    You can certainly experiment with increasing the laser power but please keep it absolutely under 2.2 amps. We have used it at 2.4amps (maximum) and although it works very well, you are on the verge of damaging your laser diode. The manual shows you how to chance the maximum laser power.

    Density of wood also has a big impact on cutting performance. We cut our 3mm wood easily and then had trouble with some <1mm wood because it was much denser.

    Can you describe the result you are getting? Is is not cutting all the way through, most of the way? etc.
  • Not even half way. And thats with multiple tries, different speeds, different power levels.
    As I said the engraving seems perfect and easy but cutting. I might look into powering up the laser a little.
    Is there any way to purchase another laser yet? And a cost?
    Also another of the wheels on my unit has cracked off the edge. So I've kind of left it alone until the replacements arrive. Must have been a bad run on the printer at the time.
  • Its not dense either. As an example I cut that menu into pallets and it easly engraved quite deep by mistake, But I cant get it to do any deeper on anything yet. Including the ply...
  • Or.... Is there a way to purchase a stronger laser to replace the one provided?
  • Ok so I went to 2.1 just to be safe, and ran at 300mm/min at 100% power. Seems to be cutting almost all the way through first cut and a second pass is through. So I think possibly even cutting it back to that 150mm/Min at 80-90% would probably do it in one. Will maybe have a play and let you know.
  • Actually not quite through all the way right around. But pretty much.
  • That is great news and consistent with how our test were originally run.

    Please remember when running it at this higher power that the ambient temperature is important. Try not to run it for extended periods out in a shed when the temperature is very hot. It will reduce the life of your laser diode.

    Also, focus is very critical for cutting well. The sharper the laser is focused, the more concentrated the power.

    Looking forward to your next update.
  • So here is try no 1. Lasbox
    Unfortunately my fingers are not as agile as the Emblazer but its pretty cool little job. Fits a deck of cards exactly. I will have another go later and look at something more planned. This was just a rush job to see how the laser performed.

    But I think it worked pretty will. I will definitely give it a go a little slower and a little lower power and mask it off. But this is without any masking at the numbers above.

    Being in the mountains I don't tend to worry to much about "ambient heat". And honestly the Emblazer is on my desk in my office currently which is a wonderful 16 degrees Celsius :-D

    Will update again when I get a more planned out cut done.
  • Hey Damien, looks great.
    Just a quick note for you and anyone else who might follow this discussion.
    I've found that when attempting multiple passes trying achieve a deep cut it helps to brush the ash out between passes. Especially on certain materials.
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