Can we speed this up? Engraves are ridiculously too long

8” at 450lpi is 3600 passes, which is 39,600 inches (3,300 feet) of movement across an 11” horizontal, which is 165” a minute or 3” a second. Shrug.


GOOD? This is a LASER cutter. I’ve never seen a laser cutter take that long to do ANYTHING. Perhaps I’m being unrealistic. I just thought with lasers, this kind of thing wouldn’t take this long. =(

Kinda makes it not as useful as I thought. I wouldn’t want the machine to run that long for fear that it would break. I see all these INFINITELY more complex jobs jobs people post on here, and I can’t imagine they are waiting that long for an engrave of a photo, or elaborate artwork. /shrug

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Oh… Yeah. I mean, my first photo took about an hour, I recall. And that wasn’t very big. I guess the longest ones I’ve done have been 3 hour jobs.

Default Proofgrade Engrave.

That LPI is really high, for sure. Which material is defaulting that high?

medium maple ply.

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The motors are the problem and why it takes forever. They are open loop which means they don’t where they are or when they skip a “step” (increment of rotation). This means they change direction slowly and then on the other side they dont accelerate fast enough. More expensive machines have better motors but again those are more expensive. You could easily double the cost of the machine just upgrading the motors.

There are a bunch of threads about DPI of the source image mattering to the length of the engrave. Can you elaborate on the source image size and your process for preparing it?

LPI and speed are the big variables that would seem to matter here. Maybe you should try a few test engraves at different settings until you find a custom engrave that you like. In my thread about the large money engrave, I did a 8x17" piece in about 2 hours, and that was only speed 600.

That looks, AMAZING. My image is literally just a vector image. With Block text, and a small image in the center.

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Right. The image in the center, it’s a vector or a raster? If it’s a raster, what size is the source image?

Edit: Thanks :slight_smile: But really it’s a great image, I don’t deserve that much credit.

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It’s vector. Fill, no stroke.

Yeah I’d go manual and cut the lpi/increase the speed to whatever is the highest speed/lowest lpi combo that gets you the quality you want. I haven’t seen anyone do a writeup of maple settings, maybe @mhumphrey wrote it up somewhere and I just missed it? He went deep on photo settings on wood here:

I’m just redesigning to cuts, and a second solid piece on the back painted black.

That will look awesome, as well :slight_smile: Heck you could do the lazy inlay method: cut, take the middle pieces out, paint them back and inlay then back in… lots of ways to make a sign.


I should also mention this: I had some luck designing my own vector engrave paths, especially for primitive shapes, which it sounds like yours might be:

I think @chris1 summed that thread up perfectly. LOL Great job!

Recent thread on this topic Dan said that they’re working on giving more engrave options that let you get speed over quality. My guess is that they’ll give a lower lpi PG setting. You can do it yourself manually by choosing 225 lpi which will nearly cut the time in half. Other than that, I doubt that we’re going to see it go much faster. (They may figure out some stuff on acceleration that will help long and narrow engraves maybe.)

One trick I’ve used on other lasers is that when you lower the LPI you also soften the focus so the beam is thicker. This fills in the raster lines that you might get from the lower resolution. I don’t know if you could fake out the forge to do this by setting an incorrect thickness.


Understand what you are intending. Might be safer to vary the focus setting instead of the material thickness setting. Material thickness affects the accuracy of design placement in the preview image. Using the focus setting is a better option.


Since the answer to this is “Yes, if you’d prefer to use manual settings”, I’m going to move this to Beyond the Manual where people can share settings that they’ve used (but which we can’t vouch for).

As noted, though, we’ve been working on some faster settings as a different option.

One other thing: in general, scores and cuts are much, much faster than engraves, and engraves are very sensitive to size. Making an engrave a little smaller can shorten the engrave time dramatically.