We have read that running a laser at higher temperatures or over driving the tube shortens its life, and that as temperature increases tube power diminishes.
I attempted this engrave before I had figured out the exhaust grill behind the fan was face loaded and preventing the machine from venting properly, and so I was getting pauses in the middle of a job. Cutting is not so much a problem except the wait, however for engraving - particularly for a photo engrave, a pause will ruin the job.
Here is a visual example of tube power ramping down, and recovering after cooling down.
The engrave running from his chin upwards, the pause produced the banding. Notice the shade before the stop is lighter, and darker after it resumed. The power had been diminishing as the temp went up, and after cooling the beam power returned.
I had fun experimenting with additional passes. More material is removed with each pass, more from dark areas and less from lighter ones so you get a sculpting effect. This is 4 passes.
Thing is, the work gets a little darker. The white specs you see in the first picture is a result of me scrubbing with a toothbrush and alcohol (another ).
So the coloration is like a patina, and is somewhat fragile. I have been meaning to try another pass at low power on engraves to clean them instead.
Did I mention how much fun this is for an old dog like me?
Yes, Winter is Here.