PDA

View Full Version : Speed & Power Settings



Carol Barbero
05-14-2009, 10:18 AM
Okay, I'm gonna start a very general thread that I know could have a wide variety of responses. I'm really just looking for ballpark suggestions for speed/power setting for various materials. I have a 30 Watt Epilog and the settings they recommend just don't seem to be working for me very well. Again, I know its a wide open question, but I would like to hear any speed/power opinions for the following materials:


Acrylic
Wood (pine)
Wood (alder)
Marble
Tile (Home Depot 4.25 squares .16 each)
Mirrors
Glass (cheap bar glass)

Thanks in advance!

Tim Bateson
05-14-2009, 10:24 AM
...the settings they recommend just don't seem to be working for me very well...

What kind of results are you seeing & who is "they"?

Carol Barbero
05-14-2009, 10:38 AM
Tim:
They are whoever wrote the Epilog manual and the results I'm trying to achieve are nice crisp photos, like I see on this site. Just not getting a photo quality product.

Dee Gallo
05-14-2009, 10:46 AM
Carol,

I run Epilog and use the settings from the manual for a starting point. Most times, those settings are good, especially for wood, glass and acrylic. What kinds of problems are you seeing?

The times I have had poor results, it was usually something like bad focus, uneven table, forgot to use air assist and dirtied the lens, bad image used... in other words, ME.

I also keep a log of all settings I've used successfully as well as ones suggested here for materials not listed in the book. I've got probably 30-40 amended settings scribbled in my manual for specific things like leather or soap or HD granite tiles.

I believe you are pretty new to laser engraving, so please be patient with your tests. It is not a "just push go" simple skill, it takes experience like anything else. Sometimes the problem can be as simple as making the outlines hairline thin so they don't engrave very well but bumping them up to .5 makes them perfect. I made that mistake early on, thinking my machine was the problem, when it was my lack of knowledge instead. My rep set me straight and it's been great ever since!

If you are more specific with the problems you see, people here can help you. They are a wealth of information and willing to share but they need someplace to begin.

cheers, dee

Carol Barbero
05-14-2009, 11:00 AM
Thanks Dee. I do figure alot of the problem is me. I'm new to Corel too and bought training videos from Epilog to get me started, but I know I have a long way to go. I'm looking for a book now that I can reference for adjusting the image brightness, contrast, etc. to make my photos more engraver friendly.

The videos were a wealth of info but the Corel program has so many features, I would like to have a reference that I can turn to. I'm also keeping a log now when I have a success so I can use it for future reference. I shouldn't say they have all been bad. I did a small mirror that turned out very nice. I would just like more consistency (and I'm am admittedly impatient and want to make things that look as great as the rest of you).

This is a great site and I've already learned so much from it. I will keep forging ahead. Thanks again!

Peck Sidara
05-14-2009, 11:15 AM
Tim:
They are whoever wrote the Epilog manual and the results I'm trying to achieve are nice crisp photos, like I see on this site. Just not getting a photo quality product.

Carol,

The power/speed recommendations in the manual or downloadable from our website are good starting points. Because each laser will output differently (always higher than rated), results will vary.

The settings provided are for typical raster engraving/vector cutting of most common materials such as you have listed.

Doing photos on these materials are much different than typical raster engraving settings. For starters, you'll typically do photos between 2-4 hundred DPI, mostly 300DPI. There are factors such as the quality of photo, how the photo was processed for the material and most importantly what type of results you're looking to acheive. This will change the power/speed settings

Recommendation:

If you are unable to cut thru a certain thickness material using the recommended power/speed/dpi settings then perhaps a call to tech support is in order to assure you're machine is working/outputting properly.

Upload/download the recommended power/speed settings as you start using the listed materials, adjust the power/speed accordingly and resave. It's a learning process and does require some trial and error not only on the laser engraving side but also the graphics side.

We have a nice write up for preparing photos, send me a PM w/ your email address and I'll forward it on.

You may also consider looking into one of our educational clinics here:
http://www.epiloglaser.com/educational_clinics.htm

You could also contact your local representative for additional training that covers specific subjects such as doing photos.

Mike Null
05-14-2009, 11:17 AM
Carol

I doubt that you'll find a book that will do what you want. That's mostly trial and error. There are many very good free Corel tutorials on the web.

There are over 50 by Alex Galvez who does a very nice job. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBtpo5TfrZo

Ray Mighells
05-14-2009, 5:05 PM
Carol - where are you in NY? If you EVER get a satisfactory result on Pine please let me in on you secret.

James Stokes
05-14-2009, 6:57 PM
To get good results in pine use a low power medium speed. What you are trying to do there is just barly burn the wood to change the colors of the wood. But you need to do it slow enough to burn the wood.

Ray Mighells
05-15-2009, 12:22 AM
Carol, we've all been in your shoes. Not to worry, as you become acquainted with your machine it will become less intimidating, and you will be eager to experiment. You can learn what not to do by learning from your mistakes, and you will always find helpful advice on the Creek. Put cork and leather on your list too. Here's a couple tiles for reference. The left shows the difference between 600 DPI abd 300DPI. Both were done at 30 Speed; 100 Power on my 35W Epilog. Your machine may not provide the same results even if were an identical machine. Lots of variances in machine output.

art baylor
05-15-2009, 12:36 AM
No one mentioned using the search at the top, to find prior threads for information. The
Gold Method for adjusting photos seems to get good reviews.

Art

Brian Robison
05-15-2009, 9:09 AM
You also may want to test the focus to make sure it's on the money. I'd been running mine way off for an embarrassingly long time.

Dee Gallo
05-15-2009, 9:21 AM
Good point, Brian-

I had been using my manual focus device for a while before I actually measured... lo and behold, it was not set correctly...wasn't even straight! I loosened the screws, reset it and voila - perfection.

live and learn, dee

Carol Barbero
05-15-2009, 9:59 AM
Thank you all for the responses. I used the links and suggestions provided and this did clear up alot. One more though, Brian & Dee both suggested testing the focus. How do you do this? I normally manually focus mine because this is what my distributor suggested.

Dee Gallo
05-15-2009, 11:34 AM
Thank you all for the responses. I used the links and suggestions provided and this did clear up alot. One more though, Brian & Dee both suggested testing the focus. How do you do this? I normally manually focus mine because this is what my distributor suggested.

Epilog tech recommended this to me:

Using anodized aluminum, raster a small (like 1/2") test square and circle, one filled and one not. Look at the results and then move the design a bit so you can do it again somewhere else on the test sheet. Hit the focus button and just bump it either up or down one bump. Run the job. Repeat. Keep track of how many bumps you go. Then, go in the other direction. What I recommend is adding +1, +2, -1, etc. to the raster design so you can be sure which is which.

When you're done, look at the engravings and pick the one that is the cleanest and whitest. Go back to your "bump list" and set the focus to that number. Do one more test to be sure.

Then, loosen the screws on the focus device, place it on the pins and tighten the screws while on the pins. That should do it!

The only reason to use anodized is that you get very clear results, but you can do this test using any material like wood or matboard which will give you good contrast.

Another interesting thing to do is to set the autofocus first and set your manual focus thing in there to see if it's off. Then, after your tests, try it again and see if the factory settings were right on...that will tell you if your focus device was off in the first place.

Good luck, dee

Carol Barbero
05-15-2009, 11:45 AM
Thanks Dee - I will try that tonight.

Brian Robison
05-15-2009, 8:54 PM
I used a different technique. I had a piece of wood 2 inches wide, 12 inches long with a V groove in the middle and a part stop that sticks up about an inch and a half. I use this fixture for a TON of items.
Any hoo, I turned it upside down so that it was like a little ramp. I put some blue painters tape on it and rastered a section about 1/4" wide by 10" long focusing in the middle of the "ramp". I could tell where it went out of focus on both ends of the tape. I then adjusted my manual focus tool to the middle of the best rastered area.

Tom Bull
05-15-2009, 11:47 PM
Maybe I missed it, but I didn't hear you mention Photo Grav. I know other people do photos without it, but it is a must for me. It turns the photo into a bunch of tiny dots that make a photo look right. Also look at coreldrawpro.com and the June 2007 edition for a great article on engraving granite and July 2007 for marble tips.

Demers Sunny
11-03-2009, 2:51 AM
Hi guys I Having the same problem with our laser. VyTek they gave us a grid with some settings but it doesn't make sense because first of all they doesn't talk about the lens and also we don't have the complete list about materials. So how can we knows the power and the speed for the others materials? Where can I find those information ? Please give me a feed back anyone !! :confused::confused:

Dan Hintz
11-03-2009, 7:35 AM
Demers,

You have to learn power/speed settings for yourself. If you're lucky, the material you want to work with has already been used by someone here and they can give you their settings, but those are only guidelines and most likely will need to be adjusted for your specific machine. Create a power grid and etch it onto each new material to learn the best settings. Often you'll need to etch several grids before you narrow down the best.

James Stokes
11-03-2009, 10:38 AM
Hi guys I Having the same problem with our laser. VyTek they gave us a grid with some settings but it doesn't make sense because first of all they doesn't talk about the lens and also we don't have the complete list about materials. So how can we knows the power and the speed for the others materials? Where can I find those information ? Please give me a feed back anyone !! :confused::confused: Demers if you will post the wattage and speed in inches per second of your laser and what you are wanting to engrave I will try to help you with speed and power settings for what you want to engrave. I all so have a vytek laser.

Lee DeRaud
11-03-2009, 11:15 AM
Maybe I missed it, but I didn't hear you mention Photo Grav.A more general observation: photo work is 98% image prep and 2% settings. If you have the image prepped properly, the 'factory' speed/power suggestion is probably pretty close*. If not, nothing you do with the settings will fix it. Photograv is probably the easiest way to skin that cat...unfortunately it's also about the most expensive.

(*Except for granite, where, for no apparent reason, the factory setting is usually too high by a factor of four or so.)

Demers Sunny
11-03-2009, 4:12 PM
Demers if you will post the wattage and speed in inches per second of your laser and what you are wanting to engrave I will try to help you with speed and power settings for what you want to engrave. I all so have a vytek laser.

I wanna put a picture on glass My Laser are Model LST-4896 and the wattage is 35 WATS and actually I'm trying to reproduce the eagle from vytek so you can realize I'm still in training. I'm not unlimited about braking glass so I need to find the good setting before proceed to engrave... Ho by the way I'm using the 1.5''Lens. So if you know where I can find a list about speed and power just Basic I'll appreciate that because actually on my list they don't give me any information about 35 Wats Machine :rolleyes: :confused: I using Photoshop Elements and PhotoGrav when a want to Raster something...
Thank You
Sunny Demers

Dan Hintz
11-03-2009, 4:21 PM
Demers,

Run a power grid, as I suggested earlier. I imagine with the 1.5" lens you'll probably be around 100S/30P, so use that as a starting point and tune from there.

Demers Sunny
11-03-2009, 4:25 PM
Demers,

Run a power grid, as I suggested earlier. I imagine with the 1.5" lens you'll probably be around 100S/30P, so use that as a starting point and tune from there.

Thanks I'll try with that ... It's really appreciate

Demers Sunny
11-03-2009, 4:26 PM
Demers,

Run a power grid, as I suggested earlier. I imagine with the 1.5" lens you'll probably be around 100S/30P, so use that as a starting point and tune from there.

Thanks I'll try with that ... It's really appreciate

Mark Ross
11-04-2009, 12:09 PM
Plus make sure that your beam angle is not off, meaning that the beam is not striking the material at as close to perpendicular as possible. The straighter on the better.

It comes in to play more when you are cutting, but I noticed a slight improvement in the same file re-run on granite after I cleaned and aligned the machine.

Demers Sunny
11-05-2009, 2:36 PM
Finnally the wattage of my machine is 100 wats so maybe the power & speed settings are not the good one because i got a bad result... so someone can let me know whats happen?

Dan Hintz
11-05-2009, 2:57 PM
At 100W, you'll probably be under 10S for glass.