Focus step down?

When I set a cut to take multiple passes, I’m guessing the focus of the laser doesn’t change. I’m thinking there ought to be an option to make it do this. It should step down a distance equal to the original height divided by the number of passes. So if I start with a material thickness of 30mm and I specify 3 passes, the first pass focus would be 30mm, the second would be 20mm and the third would be 10mm. As the cut goes deeper in to the material, the focus follows (or approximates would be more correct) the depth of the cut instead of always staying at the top of the cut.

I think this would give me a more uniform cut from top to bottom in soft materials like foam… does this make sense? I can manually simulate this I guess. But if it’s a dumb idea, I’d rather someone say so, so I don’t waste my time.

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No, not dumb, I do it with 3D engraving sometimes. You’re generally not going to benefit much by using it with thinner materials, (and you won’t be cutting through 30mm material anyway - that’s too thick and if you do try to cut 30mm thick foam, have a fire extinguisher handy), but if you wanted to vary your focal point on subsequent passes you can. (Obviously, you have to set up one pass at a time. Just don’t shift the material between cuts.)


I was thinking about this exact concept just last week. Glad you posted about it. I think it would be good to try when you need very fine control of the kerf. I haven’t needed it yet but I’ll definitely be trying it.
If they were to implement controls to do this for us I’d hope that they would just allow us to indicate the focal change amount, rather than the dived-the-whole app arch you described. That would allow for what you described but also other variations.

So then, when you select the passes dropdown to specify multiple passes, the focal height box could change from a single box to multiple, one box for each pass. Default would have the same focal height entered in to each box for each pass, but you could manually enter different values if you wanted. So for users who don’t care about this, there’s no additional work. But for users who do care, we’d have the capability to do this without having to go through the PITA process of separating the art in to individual instances so each instance could be manually configured with different focal heights.

Seems like it ought to be a fairly simple feature to add. How about it, GFHQ?

If they do this, it will probably be a ways down the road.

If you know you are doing this with a design, it wouldn’t take but a minute to select the desired cut paths (especially if it’s all of them) in your design software, copy, and paste in place. Change the stroke color and you have a second pass. Would take under 30 seconds to do.

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Yeah, I know I can do it manually. But it’s a lousy workflow. Would rather petition GFHQ to add the feature.

I’m not sure this is what I would want as the default, but maybe a checkbox or a setting.

I know it’s a little more work to set it up one pass at a time, but one thing I’ve found to be a universal truth is that “It ain’t gonna act the same way twice…even on the same material.”

So I like the control that one pass at a time gives me. If i saw that it burned a little too deep on a pass, I can tweak it without ruining as much expensive material.

YMMV. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll make sure the team gets them.