Multiple score vs engrave

This isn’t the first time this has been tried, after my experiment I saw there were several posts on the subject. So for what it’s worth, here’s my experience:

The typical way to create a thick line is by using engrave. Here is another method, using multiple scores instead. In my example there is virtually no visible difference but the laser time is reduced by nearly 80%! In the the photo below are three 2" squares, each about .1" thick (ignore the two thin boxes). Inside each one is the method used, the settings, and the time it took to print.

To create the score, I divided the width of the desired line (.1) by the laser kerf (.008) & got about 12. I then created 11 copies of the original square, each .008 smaller than the previous (easy to do in illustrator using offset path). As you can see, the faster score was completed in about 2 mins while the engrave took about 9.5 mins. Below are closeups:



Although you can see the individual score lines in the closeup, they are invisible to the naked eye.
If you’re interested in this method, it’s worth a search, as I said others have investigated this already.


Nice results.

I tried to do similar with text, using insets, but could never prevent overlap which was too visible when printed.


Previously related:


Inkscape has an Outset that you can set the distance in the settings. Also, there is a set of offsets that are made more transparent but that can be reset to opaque. Either case works far better, especially on curvy lines.

However, I have found the issues often a bigger problem than the extra time to engrave. Of some interest is the use of patterns that do not work directly in the GFUI but can be converted to vector with some problem in Inkscape but much easier as hatch patterns in CAD.


Also can defocus for making a fat line using Score.
What you are doing would work better for really thick lines, but if they are only 1/16 +/-, defocus will do them fast.

Thanks for sharing the tip. If I get into a large project with thicker lines than normal I will (hopefully) remember this and give it a try.

Here are some experiments I did using the defocus method (can be a large time saver once the parameters are nailed down)


you could also do a couple of normally focused scores on the edges, then defocused scores inside of them to try to speed things up. it may vary the depth a little (i haven’t tried this, but it makes sense in my brain).


I have that Neon font made into a true single line font now and your comment lit a spark. That scored single line font has lines thin enough that it almost begs for a defocus.

For everyday fast projects, life is too short to play with this too much. However, if you are into a large project or one that is going to be made 100 times or so, the time to get it nailed down will pay off.
Merge methods with a very thick line large image using multiple scores with defocus.
May have to drag out a large project, just to see if it will amaze.
So many ways to do the same thing

Best of all worlds @shop. Have to play with it a bit since score will almost always be deeper if defocus not used.

So here are results of the quick testing. Everything is scored except the Font.
Note also that overlap has diminishing returns since it is just multiples of 17 seconds.
Added advantage to both methods is none of that engrave char as happened on the Font engrave.


Unless, of course, you run the demo used scores at a slightly higher power.