Laser not firing on ceramic tile engrave?

Hi folks,
Today I tried my first non-PG material, a piece of white ceramic tile. The print head is scanning over the areas where it should engrave, but the laser is not firing.

It’s a greyscale raster image, mostly black-and-white with high contrast. I’ve measured the tile with calipers and it’s 0.28 in thick.

Have I botched something in the settings? I’m eyeing that “Min Power” setting with suspicion.


It looks good to me

The min power is (for instance) if you have a design with light greys but you’re cutting through masking, if you make the minimum 5 then it’ll guarantee to cut through the masking, if you leave it at 0 then light areas are likely not to cut through the masking.

Question - are you sure it’s not cutting at all? Tiles often don’t look like anything has happened, but if you run your finger over it you can feel that the glaze has been disrupted…then you colour them with paint or a marker and you can see your design.

If you can’t feel anything at all, try slowing it down.


Perfectly smooth to the touch, and not even a flicker in the tube. I’ll try slowing it down, but I don’t see any indication that the laser is firing at all, which makes me nervous.

I did cut it off fairly early, though.

If you have spare tile I’d suggest making a black square (like 1") and sending that with your same settings. You’ll know immediately since it’ll be a solid engraved box. Figure with the image you have you’re only getting tiny dots done until you’re more than an inch up from the bottom…

If you don’t have a spare tile, let it go further. If it’s not doing anything you won’t lose anything but time


For instance - the third picture here is after I did the full engrave twice - other than the big oval in the top it looks like it didn’t do anything and yet with the addition of marker…

1 Like

Wow, that’s quite a change!

I’m running a test pattern now, so we’ll see if it’s doing anything. Fingers crossed. :crossed_fingers:

1 Like

A rasterized gradient is definitely working: that’s bright!

I’m not sure why the other bitmap isn’t engraving, but I’ve included a miniature version of it on this job, so in 20 minutes or so I’ll see if I get the same issue.

Thanks for your help, @deirdrebeth!

1 Like

OK, the test pattern and miniature versions worked beautifully, and now I’m salivating over how good this looks.

I’m beginning to think I just cut it off too soon. Having read the safety warnings a little too closely, I tend to hit the panic button the minute something looks like it’s misbehaving so it doesn’t fire laser death rays through the walls and then explode in a massive fireball. :laughing:

I’ll try this again on the full-size version, with the Patience setting turned up higher.

Thanks again!


Yaay! Looking forward to seeing the final result :slight_smile:

I’d recommend “convert to dots” rather than “vary power” when engraving tiles. Vary power is more for when you want a 3D effect, which you can’t get with tile. I think they come out looking better with convert to dots. :slight_smile:


You may have cut it off too soon, or you have an image on top of an image. I don’t know what happens if you have a raster over a raster, but if you engrave a vector fill over a vector fill you get a moving laser head with no lasing.

1 Like

That will make a great tile.

1 Like

@geek2nurse: I plan to experiment with different settings. I personally dislike the halftone effect, so I’ve shied away from the “convert to dots” and “convert to pattern” settings. I see the 3D effect on the test engrave, so I get what you’re saying about it being less applicable to tiles.

@caribis2: I started a new project and it started firing right away, so I don’t think the issue was cutting it off too soon. I’m scratching my head on that, but as long as it’s working, I’m a happy camper. No stacked images on that, by the way, but that’s good information for the future!

My wife is a systems engineer in aerospace, so I thought I’d make a set of ornamental tiles from NASA diagrams and schematics for her. So far, they’re looking pretty hot.


This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.