Darkly Labs Community

Engrave test pattern

Just made up a basic reference grid for running test patterns on materials to get an idea of where to make settings.

Use at own risk and judging by how dark and deep the bottom left ones are, DO NOT LEAVE MACHINE UNATTENDED.

This one was done on MDF which is 3.2mm so check material height before running it.

It goes from left to right in 100mm/min increments from 100 up to 3000mm/min and from top to bottom in 10% power steps from 10% to 100% for that given speed.

Takes around 30 min to run, wouldn’t resize it smaller but if you make it bigger of course it will take longer.

And clean your lens after running it as even with silicone nozzle (air assist is on in the file) it had quite a build-up and wouldn’t cut through the MDF after I ran the job until I cleaned lens.

Hope it helps, its quite fun having a set of these in a hands on library of different materials.





Thank you for sharing.

Cameron, Pardon my ignorance BUT is this a sample of Vector , greyscale or bitmap engraving.

I ask because of a post in Projects from Graham Cook that shows variations in the density of colour in his engravings in which he suggests that it is the type of material he is engraving that causes the variations. I also note from your post that you are using an emblaser 2 with air assist.

Hope to hear back



This is a LightBurn project file.


These are vector squares with scan option (engrave fill) applied.
Type of material can greatly affect results, particularly bamboo engraving.
See this post
At higher speeds and low power, the grain in bamboo make a huge difference

Hi Cameron and Otrhers

Following the posts heer and in projects I thought I could offer some insight into the type of material (Wood) that people are selecting to engrave.

All wood (soft and hard) has growth rings and the size of thos growth rings vary with the growing seasons. Some growth rings are dense (slow growth) and some are larger(faster growth). The growth rings also vary in colour . To show the affect of growth rings on an engraving I performed the following test.

I selected basswood (available at “balsacentral.com” in Australia) because to th naked eye it is uniform in colour and show almost no grain. 

It would be considered as being between soft and hard.

I set up a vector engraving pattern on my emblaser 1 to gauge the effects of various power settings.

I set the feed speed at 22 mm.sec (Allow the laser to effectly burn without skipping some parts but not overburn as in slower speeds)

The enclosed image shows the results of that test

Notice the banding starting to show from 4% power onwards. This banding is the result of burning two depths of growth rings. The more power and you would burn deeper and therefore expose further growth rings. As the power increases the effect is nullified by the burn being darker.

With basswood the growth rings are very close and so the surface looks very even and even in colour. Compare it to Radiata pine where growth rings are large and vary a lot in colour bass wood would be considered a good wood to image engraving. But as the test shows the closely packed growth rings can show up especially in low power settings.

So if attempting to engrave an greyscale or bitmap image in wood , you would always have variances in the overall image because of the growth rings in wood.

The conclusion I make is that whilst engraving an image in wood is novel idea the results cannot be expected to compete with a black and white image on paper.

Its not the hardware that is the problem but the nature of the material being engraved.

(I have assumed that the laser is well focussed and the height of it above the surface ensures a very fine kerf)



See the results