Shouldn't engravings run top to bottom? This would avoid muck on the engraving

Engraving bottom to top means that the cut is blown all across your previous engrave - which means your lovely engrave gets sprayed with junk.

Cutting top to bottom would at least mean the junk gets burned off as you go down the engrave.


I have made that observation as have others over many issues. When engraving a vertical area you get a blast hitting the first part of the engrave turning the spot to coals. Now I would start a few mm up and come back to it after. However I have observed something more subtle and in cases where there was flame and it was making a cut back to front the flame was not blown out as much and an engrave that happened with could be serious.

A workaround for your issue could be a second pass @ 20 pews 1000 zoom and 240 lpi could burn off residue and not leave any extras, or what I do is clean lightly with alcohol hand cleaner.


Try household ammonia full strength to remove the smoke stain. It’s practically instant.

Seems like that would lead to inconsistencies in the engrave as well.

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Way Back When it did go this way.
I think the argument was people could not SEE what was happening to stop it or make corrections if needed.
But having the thickness vary because of debris is also as good an argument as any.

For My 0.02 Worth. As it stands, all non-vaporized debris like resins etc, are pushed towards the front door. Next time cleaning it all off ask yourself if it is easier there rather than on the harder to reach back wall area.


@jbmanning5 - what do you mean?

My experience with the machine has shown that the smallest things can have an impact on the overall energy delivered to the material.

I cut through a lot of printed material and have found that even when you think have the perfect settings, some colors, like greens, don’t quite make a through cut.

Yes, that’s a cut but an engrave would probably have the same difficulties. It’s just energy. So blowing top to bottom, you would have varying quantities of smoke, ash, resins etc laying across the next line of your engrave.

Envision now a “C”, or a “D”, or a “G”, or any number of things. Engraving top to bottom, the beam would be running across areas both affected and unaffected by the previous pass that would likely leave inconsistencies in the final result. I’ve seen a number of posts where people are concerned about things even like the natural variation in wood, or textures left in engraves - top to bottom would only amplify that.

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OK, that’s interesting.

I guess what I am seeing on woods is variable amounts of debris and resin spread over my engrave, which to me is not so useful as slight variations in the engrave that would be caused by cutting through it.

I have yet to try acrylic = especially the 3D engrave because the heat issue is niggling me a bit, I suspect that the area engraved still retains heat and blowing the heat from the next line over the top is getting to affect it even more.

Guess this might be another option for the “advanced user”, engrave top to bottom, bottom to top

You can clean that - you can’t clean up where the laser hasn’t been able to apply the appropriate power.

Some stuff is perfectly fine just running through the engrave process and being done it. Other stuff requires finishing to make it appear its best. The finishing details are often what takes a project from, “hey, that’s nice” to, “woah, that’s beautiful.”

Most of these, “woah, that’s beautiful” projects that we see are the result of being finished properly - not just being pulled out of the laser, photographed and displayed.

That said, some systems have a top to bottom or bottom-to-top toggle. As the software matures, I imagine we will see the option at some point. Along with things like rubber stamp mode, etc. Right now, the software is just in its infancy and has few configurable options. The more important ones seem to be in place, such as power, speed, resolution, dithering densities etc.

Thoughtful response, thank you

When doing wood there are tiny differences in how easily the laser will cut it that show up at the bottom of the engrave as a grain pattern. It is particularly strong in the case of oak but can be seen in almost any wood.

I completely agree. However, @brokendrum’s cleaning point is a great one. Matter of fact, it’s the first practical reason I’ve seen for this. So, I submit the choice should be the user’s. There’s should be a user-decided default with the ability to change the direction for any specific job as the user sees fit.

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I’m glad the community was able to provide advice on the matter, @sqw. I’ve passed along the feedback from this thread to our team!

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