Please help with Engraving settings

I usually use vector scoring but need to make a plaque with a lot of text, after several tests, I have it dialed pretty good but something is amiss. I will attach my test swatch and include the settings I used. The text looks great but the shadows of text does not show up at all and I cannot figure out why!
Material medium Maple, proofgrade, .13" thick
Engrave: Speed=1000, Power=40, vary power, min power=10, lpi=1355, 1 pass, focus=.13".
I’ll include the .png and the .svg that it’s imported into in case it’s relevant.
Thanks for any help!
R.L. Hamm, Pacific Great Northwest.

Do you have a photo of what it looks like after it’s engraved?

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Here’s a pic of the etching, the letters/nums are .15" high, at the highest resolution;

1355lpi, it seems that the black shadows should show.

The shadows are there. The problem is that at 0.15" high, the horizontal distance between your letters and their shadows is about 0.002". That’s smaller than the width of the laser – it can’t make your shadows look distinct from the letters at that size.


1355 definitely isn’t going to help here. You’re getting a lot of overlap with the previous pass at that high of an LPI and most material just can’t hold that resolution (not to mention the beam size, like @geek2nurse mentioned.

If you want to keep trying though, I’d probably rework the graphic a bit.

The “gray” portion is showing as 48 luminance (out of 255). The black is black - 0 luminance. Depending on the number of shades that the material can represent, a grayscale value of 48 might be just too dark to show any appreciable difference between that and black.

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If you have a minimum power of ten and a maximum power of 30 that is not very much range. If you went to 2000 and full power you should have a lot more range.

Thanks all, I will use this good info and test again. I wonder too how much extra power is needed to burn away the masking, I’m thinking about 3-5%? I have not seen hard info on that, I wonder if that means that it’s not significant or that I just have not seen it.
Thanks again,

A power of 5 at speed 1000 has been tossed around quite a few times (and I think it’s a pretty accurate guess).

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Very much depends on the masking. I use 10 at 600 on the blue stuff. Experiment and experience will tell and not much else.

You need to test it, but around 5 seems to work.

I’ve moved this to the appropriate forum (support can’t assist with custom settings.)


That’s my go to. Otherwise it may burn through at slightly lower levels but leave the sticky residue from the glue that doesn’t get burned off.

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