PG Light Basswood not engraving well on SD Graphic

I have some icons for work and I used a piece of medium PG basswood engraved SD graphic and they were perfect. (Left image)

Same file in Light PG basswood/SD and the engraving is too light. (Middle image)

I had to do them in HD which took so much longer. (Right image)

The PG was brand new still with the QR code. Happened the first time and I thought it was me so I turned the machine off/on. Why is the same file with the same settings not producing similarly with the Light PG?

Please help because I just order several pieces of light PG and I don’t want to have to do all of these in HD, it will take way too long.

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The settings for medium basswood plywood for sd graphic are 535/70/270. The sd graphic settings for light basswood plywood are 950/95/270. I suggest doing a bit of testing with the light product to see if you can achieve the look you desire. Perhaps a speed inbetween the sd and hd settings which would be close to the Proofgrade setting for the plywood. I suggest trying 535/70/270 on the light and see how it looks. You could also leave the speed the original and increase the power and see if you get a better result. Although both products have a basswood shell, they are entirely different. The basswood plywood has an mdf fill and the light basswood has a natural hardwood core. They are also a different thickness so it is important that you use the set focus tool.


Thanks. I’ll give that a try.

Then again isn’t the point of PG materials that we pay so much so we don’t have to experiment and it’s supposed to work with standard settings. I’ll experiment but I hate wasting material to do so…

Engraving preferences vary from person to person. The PG settings worked fine, but didn’t give you the look you wanted. The hd gives you what you want, but you don’t like the time trade off, so you will need to test and adjust or accept one of the PG settings.


I was also not happy with the hd settings as they take unnecessarily long. In such engraving there are 3 factors that create the image: Speed (Slower is darker), Power (more power is darker), and LPI (higher LPI is darker, and higher resolution).

Darker is somewhat misleading as it is really just more power per square millimeter(sqm), and the effect of that is different in different woods and the nuances of increased power per sqm can be a little different depending on speed vs power but they can be taken as equal.

All that said 450 LPI is not super high but 70 power is pretty low and slowing the speed to accommodate the lower power particularly at a higher LPI is not my favorite way to go, in part because it takes so much longer.

If you want to experiment, try first full power and top speed first as that will be the lightest (and safest) it will be and then try backing down the speed till you get the look you want. I routinely use 670 and 1355 LPI at full power and appropriate speed for larger engraves, and there is a time cost to higher LPI but I know that much more time will be spent looking at it than waiting for it and prefer to not wish I had spent more time waiting as I am looking. But that is just my perspective.


You don’t have to waste much material when you can make a small piece the size of like half an inch or something just to make sure you get what you like. :slight_smile:

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You don’t have to trade speed for darkness!

The time it takes to make the engraving is a function of two settings: speed and LPI. Speed dictates how fast the print head moves back and forth, and LPI is how many times it will have to go back and forth for each vertical inch of the design.

Darkness, on the other hand, is a function of how much heat you deposit on each spot of the wood. You can deposit more heat by slowing down, making more passes over the same area, or by using more power.

So you’re able to make the engraving darker without adding a single second to the job time, by taking the SD Graphic preset you wanted to use, and then increasing only the power setting.

You also don’t have to waste any material to try different power levels to find the darkness you want. Just engrave a single letter or shape on the unengraved area of the “specialist” thing you already made and didn’t like the color of.


Thank you all so much for your help. I tried several settings, the quality of the graphic is not my favorite but like it said it’s for work. I ended up going with 535/FP/225 - it’s a good balance between quality and speed. Thanks again!


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