Multiple Pass Engraving

How deep can the laser engrave if you perform multiple passes, and does the image you’re engraving start to deteriorate after the umpteenth pass?

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I think ultimate depth via multi-pass will depend on the material. As for deterioration, I’d think you’d only be multi-passing on sections that needed it. As such, detail wouldn’t be lost.

• Tom
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The maximum focus range is 1/2", so for the image to remain sharp the maximum depth will be about 1/2". We might be able to engrave a bit deeper as it has to go a certain amount past the focal point before it stops cutting depending on the material. Also the focal point isn’t a point, it’s a rod like the centre of an hour glass.

What would be cool would be to do a bunch of light engraving one step at a time having mapped out different levels of dark to successive engravings, rotating the image a few degrees each time. Cross hatch Dürer engraving style.

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We’ve tested to 0.5"; you might be able to go a bit deeper. Detail is good all the way down, but we haven’t measured it quantitatively.

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If someone can create a jig which raises the material (scissor jack concept or 3D Z axis bedlift) perfectly in the Z axis, will the cameras (and thus the laser) be able to cut/engrave deeper?

Not necessarily in dynamic coordination with the XY, but reach a certain depth, stop the lasering, raise the material and resume the engraving.

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You could probably get some more depth out of it that way (although that axis would have to be very solid to not lose registration). But you would have to plan your design so that there was a clear view for the autofocus to the lower depths, so maybe not any full-depth cliffs. Or just go manual.

And of course make sure the total height didn’t interfere with the head…

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Thanks for the reply @dan, the purpose of this question is to try and figure out if i would be successful in inlaying a 2D image on a 3D object, in this case a staff. so for my purposes i would need to engrave into both materials about 11/16" and then remove the excess material afterwards, hopefully resulting in a flawless inlay.

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I’m not sure I quite understand your question. You want to cut out a shape, then inlay it into a second piece of material?

That’s the idea. it’s similar to making a wooden puzzle and then engraving a 3D image on that puzzle, in this case i’ll be inserting the image into a square stock of wood, and then turning that block on a lathe, ending up with an inlay on a cylindrical object.

Sorry if im using obscure mental images

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Perhaps to clarify (or perhaps not) the issue is that the size of the inlaid piece is big enough compared to the size of the square stock that you need a really thick inlaid piece to make it not get completely removed around the edges when the turning happens.

But I am having a little trouble visualizing this also. Is the piece of square stock small enough that it can fit in the GF for engraving the pocket before turning, or is there some other plan?

Trying to understand as well. I’m thinking perhaps “inlay” isn’t what you’re trying to do. To inlay sonething you’ll be removing material from an object in order to affix another in its place. If that’s what you’re after, you’ll be able to cut a piece of acrylic, let’s say a square. Then etch the same shape and size from a piece of, say, wood. And then inlay the acrylic into the perfectly-sized receptacle in the wood.

Hope that answers your question! If not, maybe draw it out for us?

• Tom
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