View Full Version : Initial Rowmark Settings?

Mike Audleman
08-15-2014, 9:09 PM
First, I want to thank Wes for sending such a great care package! He sent me a nice selection of various rowmark products as well as some of the other items Johnson Plastics carries. I can see I will be doing business with his company every chance I get if this is the way they treat some amateur hobbyist. If he doesn't work for the PR department, they sure need to takes some notes from him! He has been friendly, offered advice and correct information and sent me samples as though I was some serious business. He definitely made a friend of me.

So, in reading the PDF on Rowmark's site, I see they have a PPI setting recommended at 400 to 600 depending on laser and product. Thing is, i have no idea where to set PPI unless its called "Interval(mm)" in RDCAM.

See the attached image for the layer options panel. Normally the Interval is set to 0.10. I found that setting it to 0.01, I get more detail in image scans. Dunno if thats the right thing to do or not.

If thats the "PPI" (assuming Pulses Per Inch). Um..how do I convert 500ppi to Interval(mm)?

Of the lasers listed (Epilog 60, Trotec 60 and Universal 40) which would be closest to mine as a starting point for settings?

Kev Williams
08-15-2014, 10:05 PM
Acutally, your Chinese laser don't do "pulses per inch" since DC lasers simply fire, they don't pulse. But what ALL lasers do is raster at LINES per inch, which is also wrongly called (IMO anyway) "dots" per inch, or as my Chinese engraving program call it: "gap", or yours, "interval", both of which make more sense than DPI..

That all said, yes, 400 to 500 lines per inch is typical. For lettering from 1/8" high to about 1/2" I use 500 LPI. As it gets larger I'll go to 400. But I don't like 300 because the edge detail starts to suffer. If lettering gets smaller, I'll go to 600 and 800 LPI for nice detail...

But in measuring "gap" or "interval", that's strictly means the space between lines. So at 500 lines per inch, we take 1/500, which = .002". 400 LPI = 1/400, which= .0025", 300 LPI comes to .0033". Now, to convert this to the mm spacing our Chinese software uses, I just cheat and google a mm-to-inch converter, and start punching in numbers.

The most common conversions, to wit:

.03mm = .00118", which = 847 LPI
.04mm = .00157" which = 637 LPI
.05mm = .0019", which = 526 LPI
.06mm = .00236", which = 424 LPI
.07mm = .00275", which = 364 LPI
.08mm = .00314", which = 318 LPI
.09mm = .00354", which = 282 LPI
.10mm = .00394", which = 254 LPI

-- I typically run at .05mm, get great results on small text, .08mm works well on larger text, or more forgiving materials like wood or leather..

Hope this helps! :)

Mike Audleman
08-16-2014, 12:17 AM
Hope this helps! :)

That it does Kev! That it does! Thank you so much. Great info there that was making my brain swim trying to figure out DPI when there isn't any!

So for instance the PDF says a Universal 40 working LaserMark product 60p, 80s, 500ppi

Closest match from your chart would be .05mm.
60% of 40 is 24w so working with a 50w laser, 24w comes out to 48% power.

Good so far?

Speed is where I stumble most of the time. I don't know the max speed of the universal, I could find no spec on their site. So I don't know what 80% is in real world speed. Mine max of 500mm/s according to the specs. Trotec Soeedy 100 states 180cm/s (1800mm/s). Thats already more than 3x my max. How do I run 100% speed (from the Rowmark PDF) if I can only muster 33% of that. Do I up the power and run at max scan and see what sticks to the wall? I only have small (maybe 2.5x2.5" samples) to work with so I really gotta get close on the first run or I don't stand a chance of actually testing with actual text.

Mike Audleman
08-16-2014, 12:42 AM
Tested 160mm/s through 300mm/s and even down to 15% power and it still seems to melt the edges and curl them up a bit on test squares.

Ross Moshinsky
08-16-2014, 11:31 AM
Again, laser engraving is not a black art. It's a speed to power ratio to get the base settings and then you probably have to tweak from there.

So Rowmark engraves at 15-20W and ~80ips . So do the math using a raster speed of 500mm/sec and that should give you a ball park power figure.

Kev Williams
08-16-2014, 11:44 AM
I've owned my Triumph for 9 months, and just a week ago I finally HAD to figure out my settings for Rowmark (and other laminates)-

What works for my machine, .05mm gap--

Black/white (surface/core), 500mm/s ('factory' full speed on mine), and 12.5% power. I can set my power in 1/10's, which is good I guess because even 13% is almost too much. 15% IS too much. With your 50w tube you should have a little more wiggle room.

White/black- For some reason Rowmark's white takes nearly double the power to get thru. It's been like that on my 2 US machines, and no different on the Triumph, which I found out just last night when making a batch of these legend plates...
What worked well was 450mm/second and 23% power. The 450 speed was simply because I was engraving .06" high characters and thought the detail would be better. Pretty sure 500 would've been okay, I'm quite impressed with the good detail in those smaller letters. My first try was at 15%, and it barely etched the white. Oh yeah, just remembered, also because of the smaller letters, I set the gap at .04mm...

Other colors are usually similar to black/white. Some, red especially, leave a nasty soot behind that's hard to get off-- actually, it's easy to get off, if you don't mind pink engraving. I've found the best solution for red is to engrave once, clean it with some DNA, then run a second pass to make the engraving white again.

Mike Null
08-16-2014, 12:33 PM

Are you buying white with a thicker cap?