Engraves Come Out “Crunchy” Looking

I’ve noticed that recently my engraves have been coming out a lot “crunchier” than normal. It looks like there’s a slight alignment issue or something along the x-axis.

The file is an SVG with bitmap embedded at 600 dpi.

I recently replaced my laser head carriage (the thing that holds the laser and moves laterally)… that’s the only thing I can think of that’s causing this issue. I’ve also had to replace the right side spindle for the laser head carriage’s belt because it snapped into pieces.

Now… while I did replace the spindle, I noticed it’s slightly larger(?) than my original one because when I tightened it in place, firmly pushing it to the right to keep the carriage’s belt tight, I can no longer remove the belt (in order to access the air assist fan) without loosening that spindle all over again. The belt simply won’t squeeze through the space between the edge and the spindle.

If that makes any sense?

Anyway… do I need another part replacement? Am I missing a step in preparing images to be engraved? The misalignment is so minor, but I do a lot of highly detailed engraves and this issue is really frustrating.

EDIT: I just checked the belt tension following the demo in the instructions… when I press on the belt, the opposite side shouldn’t move, right? It doesn’t, but there’s a SLIGHT shift sideways, but it doesn’t “wobble” towards the part of the belt I’m pushing on. Does that mean the tension is still ok? 'Cause I literally can’t tighten the tension any more than it already is.

That looks like image quality or engraving settings to me. I don’t see a shift that would indicate a movement issue, but without seeing the original artwork it is hard to tell.

Well like in the thicker dark areas of the border… vertical frame has clear lines, the dashed design in the middle… but the bottom border is all messed up.

Any tips on what to do about the image quality if that’s the issue? It’s a 600 DPI grayscale image embedded in an SVG file.

As far as engrave settings… it’s 1000 speed, full power, 340 DPI, Convert to Dots 0-85, 340 LPI, Margin is set to Max Quality (not even sure what this setting does), all on PG wood.

Try Vary Power rather than convert to dots. Again, without seeing the original image it is really hard to troubleshoot what we are looking at.

Hmmm, so I messed around with it based on your idea about image quality. By pure happen stance, I found the image size was off by about 0.018"… on both length and width. While I can’t seem to export an SVG that maintains perfect aspect ratio for the image, fixing it and then re-exporting seems to have helped a lot. The engrave is MUCH improved, though not yet perfect because of the above.

So now if I can just find a way to maintain the image’s exact dimensions as they should be, I think I can get my engrave exactly as I want it.

Is there a way to upload an SVG that uses linked images instead of embedded?

the main question here is: Are you using the SAME file and the SAME settings as before? Did it look perfect and sharp before and now it looks all “crunchy”? If not, use a file you are familiar with and you are 100% sure it used to look perfect before the fix.

To me, sounds like it is a belt tension issue

Hi @pauljima. I’m sorry to see that you’ve been running into some trouble with engraving recently. I saw some great suggestions from other community members, and will be happy to help troubleshoot this with you as well.

First, to help me review any potential cause for the unexpected print results, I wanted to see if you could post the file you’ve been working with to help us get that checked out.

Next, I’d like to gather more print result data by having you try and run our test print by doing the following:

  • Print the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade material, using Proofgrade settings.

  • When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture updates.

  • Return photos of the print result with focus on any engraving areas where you may notice any deviance from the design

Lastly, since you mentioned replacing the pulley for your carriage plate belt before, I’d like to get a better inspection of those parts since this can be related to the engraving issue you’re seeing. To help me get a better look can you take pictures using the following photos as reference?

1.The belt under your laser arm with the head pushed to the left:

  1. The pulley under the laser arm on the right side from the front:

  2. The right side pulley under the laser arm from underneath:

Once I am able to review everything, I can decide on any next best steps to help, and will look forward to your response. Thanks!

Hi @pauljima. It’s been a couple days since my response. I wanted to check in with you to see if you’re still running into any trouble with engraving prints. Feel free to attach the requested photos in a response and we’ll be happy to take a look for next steps with troubleshooting. Thank you!

Oh sorry I’ve not responded yet… things seem to be working ok now. I think the culprit was that my bitmap images embedded in SVG were getting slightly resized by 0.01" or more. I’ve found when I can get it to as near as pixel-perfect as possible, the engraver comes out nice. So now I’m trying to figure out an approach that can keep the bitmap image sized correctly after export.

Thank you so much for updating us! I’m so glad to hear that everything appears to be working correctly, and you’ve been able to identify a workaround in the future for getting your bitmap image’s sized correctly. I’ll now close this thread, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the future if you run into any more trouble. We’re here to help!