Extreme width scoring

So, under no circumstances should you do this.

OK now that we got that out of the way, @ovm.steve had an interesting idea to try scoring with the lens in upside down, to try to get a wider line. So I decided to try it at the extreme. I did three tests on white cardstock:

  • No tray, focus height set to 0.5", lens in correctly.
  • No tray, Focus height set to 0.5", lens in upside down.
  • No tray, Focus height set to 0.5", NO LENS.

Result? They were all about the same, roughly 0.08" wide. Width and line consistency is much more affected by power level than lens orientation or even lens presence. In theory you could roughly fill in an area at 12.5 LPI at that sort of pitch.

There’s something really subversive and unsafe-feeling about lasing without the lens. I wouldn’t recommend it, if for no other reason than to keep smoke out of the laser head and away from the mirror. That being said it did make me giggle like I was up to something, so there was that. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! :wink:


I’ll have to find the last project I did with that method (if I didn’t give it to someone). Looks like I’m going down another rabbit hole this weekend :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Yikes! You are a braver man than I!!!


Thanks. I think I’ll stick to my standard configuration.


Cool tests! :sunglasses:


Having had a minute to think about this: Lasing without the lens should mean that material height is irrelevant. The fat laser is the fat laser regardless of height, so that means that this should work on curved surfaces, variable surfaces, tray/no tray, etc.

I’m not sure how useful that info is, but it’s info anyway. @shop, @eflyguy etc, care to check my logic on this?


Cool tests in a “hold my beer” sort of way :roll_eyes: interesting to know,

What I have been wondering is if you could have a bunch of offsets to equal an engrave that would burn down the slight walls between them. Inkscape has a system that does a pretty good job of it, but makes the outer layers increasingly transparent or blurred, This could be fixed after.

Such a process would cut down the time of a long engrave considerably.


you’re saying width should stay consistent across a curved surface because it’s coming down straight and flat, not through the lens with a focal point?

theoretically, that sounds right. practically, there may be some variation. i would suspect there’s some dissipation over distance, although it would probably be negligible at less than 2".


Yeah, I mean no laser is 100% perfect. And the slope of the side would distribute the laser energy over larger and larger surfaces as slope increases, up to a theoretical maximum of… hmm sqrt (0.8^2+2^2)… or an oval of 2.15" x 0.08", so the effective flux would be 1/26th as strong on a fully steep slope. It’d be zero flux on a orthogonal “step”. Anyhoo.


The beam already travels ~10-30" depending on head location, so an extra inch or two isn’t likely to matter.

The logic re: tray or not makes sense to me.


You’re a very baaaaaaad man. :rofl: Not saying I’ll ever laser something w/out the lens, but…I have this idea now…


Mission accomplished :wink:


Up for another test? A score on the left side of bed and a score on the right side. Equal widths? Might be something to consider if doing a fairly large design.

I seem to remember running a test with some masking tape at one point for some reason or another, in place of the beam window on the left side of the head, and that the beam diameter/mark was a bit smaller as the head travelled to the right. If I recall this correctly, that should hold true with a bit smaller score line on the right hand side vs the left hand side. Dunno if it’s enough to make a difference.

Now I can’t remember why I did that… I think it was maybe someone having inconsistent cuts on the left vs right. And my theory from seeing the mark size was that a dirty beam window on the head would eat more power on the right vs the left due to the debris being a larger percentage of the beam diameter on the right. :man_shrugging:t2:


This is a strange technique, and I wonder if it would work on scoring through painted wood? Obviously trying it would be the best way to test, despite your warnings to never do it! Was the laser beam very strong on the paper, or did it just brown it?

You can decide that for yourself based on the settings. Top speed 100 power left a dark line. I’m pretty confident full power at slower speeds would obliterate it, but it might also cause fires. Don’t do this :wink: