Rastering small details | in-depth trial-and-error

A caliper is a must have for this work. You can get a decent one on Amazon for cheap. An accurate measurement is required for setting the focus.


Thanks for all the advice. I previously could go super fast and didn’t need a caliper, but I guess the machine was just more robust/I was more lucky than today with my GF.

I will be trying at 300 speed and toying with the focus distance for now! I think I can pick up calipers when I run some errands later

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It will auto focus for you as long as you don’t override the default setting for each operation. For dual layer acrylic my settings are 350 power and 15 speed, no masking

I had some success by scaling the original image 120%, adjusting some of the vector art, going at 300 speed (lowering the power too), and focusing at 0.22" instead of 0.125"!

I forgot to pick up some calipers, but want to see if it’s actually thicker than the cast acrylic I found de-focus settings for before.

The texture is still not great, I wonder if there’s anything that can be done about that.

Here are a couple of things that might help.

When you’re working at those really small sizes, make sure you have a high resolution raster file. You can tell a lot of difference between 300, 600, and 1200 DPI. Your rasters look like 300 DPI or less.

Also, never score on the 2 tone acrylics. Score and Cut are equivalent.


Here’s an example of different input resolutions vs output resolutions:


If you meant DPI: my files are top-quality. I can zoom in and see everything super crisp in the .ai and .pdf formats. (For .svg it was distorted, so I stopped using that). For example this is 6400% zoom (still no pixelation, so I assume the PDF preserved the vector formatting)

super crisp

However, it looks like absolute crap when I load it into the GFUI. I thought that was normal. Remember this image is very small… like 0.25" tall and 1" across after I up-sized it.

If you mean LPI on the GFUI: I was under the impression higher lpi doesn’t equate to higher resolution because the burns start to overlap. I’ll try something at 600 and 1200 lpi just to check.

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Did you rotate it at all?

I recall a bug where a rotated raster graphic will go garbage in the GFUI.

But it doesn’t happen in Corel so I don’t have the details. I think it has to do with the source program maintaining the original position and modifying its attributes with a rotation value that the GFUI doesn’t handle well. I believe the solution was to copy or resample it and paste the result (& delete the original) before saving and loading into the GFUI.

Nope, didn’t rotate it. This is at like maximum zoom in (1000%), the image is really tiny. There’s not really a good feel for it in the images, but if you zoomed in 1000% on your GFUI is everything crystal clear? Maybe I should try another browser (using Chrome on Windows 10)

Right, those are vectors. Make that a high DPI bitmap then use the engrave setting on the GF and see how that comes out.

I rastered to some insanely high dpi (1355) on Illustrator, saved as PDF, loaded in, got this. The random dots remind me of the texture that I have issues with.

This makes me think there is something funky with your file. Maybe upload it here so that some of the experts can take a look at it.

vector.pdf (783.9 KB)
rastered.pdf (767.9 KB)

Here we are, thanks in advance for help!

I left it as a vector and just played around in AI a bit. Here is both the SVG and an AI file (latest CC format)

Pokemon Vector.zip (749.5 KB)


I haven’t tried it yet, but it should engrave fine. I separated the colors just because. No real need. I think the biggest change other than grouping by colors was making a compound path out of the graphic inside the box.

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Thanks for checking the file! It doesn’t seem all that different from the file I used to engrave. Here’s them side-by-side. The weird dotted thing only came in when I tried to raster and then upload as someone suggested. In all my light engravings, the texture of the engraving is the weird dotted thing.

Did it engrave OK this way?

I’m going to start my GF in a little bit and will check it out on a piece of scrap.

After a lot of fickle adjustments I got it to engrave OK. It is not near the quality of what I could produce on an Epilog.

The hardest parts to engrave:

  • the “white” section selarating the upper part of the pokeball from the line
  • the border around the logo image

The dotty texture is unattractive but gotta live with it

It’s difficult to photograph, but I think the bottom right one was the settings I settled on. The border is clear and the pokeball line is there. I wish the texture was better. I thought it was a power issue, but lowering it caused it to not burn completely through the first layer.

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Ran your vector file above using my 2ply stuff with the settings posted above and 340lpi and here is the result. Just a phone picture so… Potato but I think it turned out quite well

the dust/discoloration on the bottom is just be being lazy and not using the acrylic cleaner on it after running it.


Wow you nailed the settings on the first try! So even at 340 lpi it is crisp… Maybe I still need to focus on optimizing speed/power/defocus :confused:

well, first try on that file lol. I use the same settings for some airplane blueprint keychains I do that have very thin lines (actually run those at 450 lpi) so that took a few tries. A defocus would smooth out the background of the engraves for sure and is worth tuning in (I haven’t on this because I don’t need it for my airplanes); I would start at .020 out of focus and go from there.