No matter if you are a beginner or experienced with laser machines, learning how to correctly use them in order to avoid mistakes will take a lot of time and practice. From time to time, you will be facing the issues that will leave you wondering what you did wrong and what you could do to make it look better.
Just by knowing how to avoid these mistakes you will already be halfway on the road to successful engraving. With that said, today we will talk about common mistakes when it comes to laser engraving and the best ways you can take to avoid them.
Laser Burning Through the Engraving Material
The first mistake that you want to avoid is burning your engraving material with a laser engraving/cutting machine, and to do that you have to understand which materials can endure the process at what temperatures. Materials like leather and wood can endure the higher power settings during the engraving procedure, but when it gets to more sensitive materials it is crucial to set your settings at low power and high speed.
Your power level should be between 5% to 10% while the speed should be between 90 and 100%. Before starting the engraving procedure, make sure that you test the initial settings on some extra material, test and make sure that the material can endure the engraving, slowly increase the power until you get desired results. As for the DPI (Dots per Inch), you should know that the higher the DPI settings are, the more material will be removed.
Note: Most of the engravings will look perfectly fine with the DPI being set between 150 and 300.
Wood-engraving gives different results on the same setting
Without any doubt, we can say that wood is one of the best materials for your engravings. Not only that the laser can cut through it very easily, but the engravings after the procedure look really amazing. But you should know that different types of woods have different reactions to laser engraving procedures that will eventually lead to different engraving results.
For example, lighter woods (Maple or Cherry) will produce a nice contrast where the laser burns, while a thicker wood requires more laser power to cut through it in order to perform a good engraving. The density of the wood texture can change depending on the type of wood that you are working with. For example, cherry, maple, and walnuts have somewhat small veins of texture while the oak can have a medium and sometimes even large veins.
We have prepared some tips for you to remember when you are engraving the woods:
Your laser engraver doesn’t operate as fast anymore
Make sure that you always keep your machine clean. Pretty much like any other equipment in your office, a clean machine will give better results from the ones that are not being properly maintained. If a drop-in performance of your machine happens suddenly, cleaning the machine optics may be the first step that you should take in order to fix the issue.
If you want to keep your machine performance at the best possible level, then we would highly recommend you maintain and clean your engraving machine mirrors and lenses at least once on a weekly level. But, if you are working with the wood materials that produce more debris, then we would highly recommend you maintain your optics more frequently. Usually you can notice that the optics are like clear gold in colour, if they are murky or if you can see debris on them, then it is time to clean them.