Is there a way to reduce the cutting time?


#1

I have a small item that a customer wants, but the print time is almost 20 minutes per item. It’s small, but there are a lot of little details on it. Does anyone know if there’s a way to significantly reduce the amount of time, so that it prints more economically?

Jamie in Vegas


#2

Without stating anythig about the type of design/file you’re trying to produce, it’s a ‘how long is a piece of string’ type question !
More details please, like is it vector/raster, and what is ‘small’ ?
John


#3

There is definitely a diminishing return with increasing the lines per inch. Go with the least resolution that gives you the detail desired. Also engraves are fastest with the long axis side to side. Watch out for the desired wood grain direction.


#4

It’s a small template sizing gauge, with various holes cut in it, some text, and rulers, for scale. About 2.5" tall, and 4" wide. Cut on proof grade maple plywood. Artwork is raster, I believe .


#5

Thanks, rpegg - that’s helpful. I’ll check that out…


#6

BTW: the long axis tip for an engrave is negated if you are dealing with multiple objects with large space between them. If the head is moving you want the laser on as much as possible avoiding wasted motion.


#7

In some cases, I find that I can use a score instead of an engrave. For example, for some text or, for line art.

Defocusing may get you wider lines in some cases.

Raster fills like hatching can be used in conjunction. See the post on pyrography linked here, for examples:

You also have some control over the direction of vector cuts by adjusting the node order in your vector graphics program. Messing with that will probably only save you a second or two here and there but, for complex jobs, it might be a significant time savings when cutting.

That’s all more work on your design but, possibly worth it to decrease cutting time for larger production runs …


#9

It also cuts time to combine all the smaller bitmaps into one large image so they engrave at the same time vs individually. Not sure how much it’ll save, but worth a shot.


#10

When you engrave, there are multiple things that can impact the time it takes to complete an engrave including the size of the engrave and the quality that you engrave at. You may find that the Draft Graphic or Draft Photo settings produce a satisfactory result in less time than the HD Photo or HD / SD Graphic settings.

If you’d like to further optimize your print, that would be outside our team’s scope. I’ve moved it to the Beyond the Manual so the discussion can continue there.