Type is fuzzy when engraving on acrylic

I’m engraving lots of acrylic awards with small type and logos and I haven’t been able to get a clean engrave yet after dozens of test runs. The logo is about 2.5" wide.

My questions:

  1. Do you think the type CAN be clearer at this size?
  2. What setting do you think I should alter to clean up the test?

The last sample as at the appropriate height, 700 power and 80 speed, 450lpi. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

3 Likes

Decrease the LPI - 275 should be plenty. At 450 you’re overlapping passes of the head.

Also try following it with a scored outline of the letters to clean the edges as well.

7 Likes

I don’t want to assume - but are you engraving an actual vector (text converted to outlines – actual vector format), or have they been converted to a raster format?

3 Likes

Yes, it CAN be clearer… in fact it can be… well… laser… sharp. :slight_smile:

This text looks like it’s engraved fairly deeply compared to the letter height and that’s likely the issue.

Try faster speed, or lower LPI setting, or less power. Basically reduce the total energy going into the material and it should look cleaner.

My most recent acrylic engrave settings were actually just the Proofgrade SD Graphic settings - 1000 speed, Full Power, 270LPI. Letters were a little less than 1/8" high and the text engrave was crisp.

7 Likes

Only two suggestions.
If that is extruded instead of cast, it may be slagging a little (melting) and losing the crisp edges.

Can also shift to a thinner, more defined font, and score an outline on it after the letters are engraved.

4 Likes

Yes - it is vectored, outlined text.

1 Like

IMG_0522

Here is a sample of one of my acrylic engraves. I use 340 lpi with 700 pews and 80 zooms. 700 zooms and 80 pews. Check your focus. I would do a test piece with different LPIs to see what works best. I think 450 is too high as @jamesdhatch points out. You get some overlap and over burning with the higher settings.

Thanks for posting. This might get moved into Beyond the Manual since we aren’t discussing Proofgrade and auto settings.

Welcome fellow Missourian! I’m at the Lake.

12 Likes

Do you have a new model the rest of us don’t know about? :slight_smile:

1 Like

Look out weeds, here we come…

Speed, LPI, DPI, power, cut, burn, threshold, focus, pew, zoom, thickness, absorbance, amplitude, axis, x y z, convergence, wavelength, threshold, TEM, engrave, etch, score, divergence, duty cycle, reflection, refraction, resolution, flux, focus, frequency, polarization, output, gaussian, hertz, intensity, nanometer, modulation, intensity, joule, luminescence, Ah-OOOOO00000oooooo…

A zillion ways to say the same things. Depends on who wrote the program or paper.

OR he has a newer model.

Inquiring minds want to know, heh heh…

5 Likes

Last time I checked, mine topped out at 100 pews. 700 zooms it could do :wink:

1 Like

Hmm, hard to show the grin with just text.
Yeah I got your joke, so was not slamming you. (and he has still not answered)

Meanwhile - out of the weeds and back on the path.
Anything working for you @tisha ?

2 Likes

Or not the same things–depends on the industry & application (or even company for acronyms), and many of those terms can mean many different things–e.g. TEM to me is Transmission Electron Microscope, Flux is applied prior to soldering… and pews & zooms–makes me imagine a lot of photographers at wedding in a very large church! :wink:

1 Like

Too many deadlines unfortunately today to get back to this job. Thanks for the good info - I will try again tomorrow and report back.

Got my pews and zooms mixed up. Sorry.

5 Likes

The zoom of pews is inversely proportional as to whether you were the eater of the beans or the guy at the next table who ate them :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, I don’t have any advice about settings for materials from other sources.

If you are considering printing on materials from another source, you’ll need to determine if the material is laser compatible. This can be tricky: for example, many plastics look alike, and some plywood is made with glue that isn’t laser-compatible. You need to contact the manufacturer, inspect their safety data sheet (SDS), and/or consult an expert to determine if each material is compatible with the CO2 laser inside the Glowforge unit.

I’ll move this topic to the “Beyond the Manual” section of the community forum, so others can continue to help. Note however that advice in this section is unsupported and is not reviewed by Glowforge.

Thanks for all the advice - it worked. I’m running 80 power, 800 speed, 225lpi with “Thick Clear Acrylic” as my material setting plus a score around the thin lines and I think it turned out nice…only 175 more to go…

17 Likes

That is awesome looking. How thick is your acrylic and did you cut yourself or buy it like that. Very impressive looking. :grin:

1 Like

I bought the diamond blanks and they are .75" thick. This is my first real project so thanks for the encouragement. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Looks excellent! :grinning:

1 Like