Good reference for non PG materials settings to cut and engrave?

I have no doubt that this has been asked before, just wondering if there are more referances out there than I have been able to fine. Best one I have found so far is:

Glowforge Basic Power and Speed Settings

By ryandewitt

LASER CHEAT SHEET (Use at your own Risk)

Tips

  • Having fewer variables will help to find the optimum settings faster.
  • Not all metals use the same speed setting for Engraving.
  • When adjusting settings, a good rule is to adjust either the power or the speed.
  • Keep the power setting as low as possible.
  • Power settings that are too high can melt and distort many materials.
  • Use default resolution for Engraving

Below are some baseline settings for engraving and cutting various materials. Even though most modern laser cutters provide crisp, clean quality consistent cuts each laser tube output varies slightly so the settings shown may need adjustment for your system. Clean laser optics also makes a difference in the transmitted laser energy. Take the time to clean and maintain the lens on your system to obtain repeatability.

Metals that are thick will require more heat energy and a slower speed setting. Softer metals like aluminum and pewter also require more heat energy and a slower engraving speed setting.

If the engraving washes off, slow the speed setting until the engraving bonds to the metal.

Basic Laser Engraving Settings
Substrate 40 Watt System 45 Watt System*
Power Speed Power Speed
Acrylic – Cast Awards & Sheets 45 100 35 100
Acrylic – Painted & Mirrored Sheets 50 100 40 100
AlumaMark 35 70 25 100
Anodized Aluminum 70 100 60 100

Delrin 100 30 100 40
DuraBlack 75 100 85 100
Glass & Crystal 100 30 100 40
Granite 45 100 55 100
Leather 35 100 25 100
LaserFlex 70 100 60 100
Marble 75 80 55 80
Plastic Laminates (LaserLIGHTS/FlexiBrass) 35 100 25 100
Plastic Laminates (LaserMax/LASERmag) 40 100 30 100
Rubber – Low Odor 100 20 100 35
Rubber – No Odor 100 35 100 45
Klikit Silicone Bands 100 50 100 60
Wood – Alder 100 65 100 75
Laser Wood Laminates .20″ 100 65 100 75
Laser Wood Laminates 1/8″ 100 65 100 75

Basic Laser Cutting Settings
Substrate 40 Watt System 45 Watt System
Power Speed Power Speed
Acrylic (Cast/Extruded) 1/16″ 100 7 100 16
Acrylic (Cast/Extruded) 1/8″ 100 10 100 20
Acrylic (Mirror Sheets) 1/8″ 100 7 100 16
Delrin 100 10 100 15
LaserFlex 40 20 35 20
Laser Foils 5 20 3 20
Leather – 1/8″ 45 20 55 20
Polyester Stencil 20 20 10 20
Plastic Laminates (LaserLIGHTS/FlexiBrass) 30 20 22 20
Plastic Laminates (LaserMax/LASERmag) 45 20 35 20
Rubber – Low Odor 100 10 100 15
Rubber – No Odor 100 15 100 18
Shell Laminate 25 20 18 20
Wood – Alder 1/8″ 100 15 100 20
Wood – Alder 1/4″ 100 10 100 15
Wood Thins 100 10 100 15
Wood Laminates .20″ 100 10 100 15
Wood Laminates 1/8″ 100 8 100 15

Hope this helps, and I look forward to all y’alls feedback!

PS- this is not my work but something I found at https://contextc.com/glowforge-basic-power-and-speed-settings/

** Didn’t post with the frames, follow link for a version that probably makes more sense :slight_smile:

9 Likes

Nice info.

I’ve moved this to Beyond the Manual, that’s the only place the friendly lawyers allow discussion of settings for non-proofgrade material.

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Ah, got it!! Noted for future reference … :slight_smile: Appreciate the heads up!

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There’s also a huge google spreadsheet linked here, but I rarely use it because I can never find the link - because it’s not allowed in the official “tips and tricks” section (lawyers, again.)

Would be fun to add all of these settings, for someone into that kind of thing…

That is a great idea! Now, if I can find all of that other info …!

Here is the link to the existing spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sWOebDU94HwezYPbHa3YdtXjpLbEl_vEPvCb1dSByL4/edit#gid=2079951607

4 Likes

Nice, thanks!

Had a chance to dig through the sheet, and I have to say I am grateful to those who have put the time and effort into its creation :slight_smile:

I am sure this is the case, but have many people been able to test these settings on their own and confirm what is listed?

Never trust anyones settings - every machine, and every sheet of material, can be different. Even whether you have recently cleaned your optics can make a significant difference, depending on what you’ve been working on recently.

I’ve used many settings from other sources (including this one) to test for myself. I doubt anyone has verified every one in that particular spreadsheet.

They are starting points, use them to test for yourself and find the perfect settings for your material.

4 Likes

Got it! So much for the easy way … :rofl:

Still, it is really nice to have a starting point to begin testing from. I know that will save me time and effort almost immediately and especially in the long run!!

Here’s a great source for paper/cardboard. I have no idea if settings from this are in the spreadsheet, but I have used this post for several paper/card-like products.

Wow, thanks!! I have to admit the Glowforge community is very helpful, much more so than any other forum I have been part of :slight_smile:

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