I finally had a chance to play with something I’ve been meaning to for some time: trying to laser scratchboard!
Scratchboard is a wood board – much like draftboard – with two layers of paint on top, a white under-layer, and a black top layer. You’re meant to scratch off the black layer to reveal the white. I figured I could use my to scratch with
I chose to score one piece from a series of algorithmically-generated human-like figures that I wrote in Processing.
Power: 8 (though anywhere from 3-10 works fine)
These boards were 5" x 7", and 1/8" thick, from Ampersand.
I also tried engraving, but the effect is pretty binary – it’s either white or black. Dithering worked “okay”, and you have to reverse the image since you’re removing black.
Really, I think it looks great for very graphic, thin-line vector art, or engraving bold, graphic images. There’s a slight discoloration to the white under-layer, making it yellow-ish and not as white as when I use a X-Acto blade to scratch with. I’m guessing it’s burning the white layer just a touch. Also the start and end of each line has a slightly wider round point to it (you can see in the detail pic above).