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Gecko tests

o I wasn’t trying to laser on a gecko! To get some E2 testing I decided to make things a little more interesting and use MC Escher’s gecko tessellation for my test sample.  The cardboard was 0.6mm thick cereal box and the acrylic was 3mm thick black.  For the markings I defocused the laser so I could get a wide mark in one pass. Messed with a medium blue 3mm and a 2mm translucent red, neither cut, though the translucent red engraved beautifully.

The 3mm black acrylic was 150mm/min, 100% power, 4 passes, air assist. It cut almost completely in 3 passes, but needed a knife in a couple of spots to finish the job, so going to 4 passes next time or a slower feed. For the engraved parts I told laserweb it was 10mm thicker then it was, 1 pass at 75% power.

0.6mm cardboard would not cut if the air assist was on.  1000mm/min, 100% power, 1 pass. For the engrave I added 5mm to the height and bumped the power to 40%.

I plan on using the gecko for all my testing, could make for an interesting pile to play with.

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Nice one Wayne.

Interesting that you are starting to experiment with tweaking the laser height for widening the spot size. We have been experimenting with using this technique to create a ‘draft’ engraving much more quickly than with smaller spot sizes. Sometimes engravings don’t need to be viewed up very close and increasing the laser spot size like you have is completely acceptable.

For your 3mm materials, try a test where you set the material height to 1.5mm instead of 3mm. This in effect places the laser in the middle of the material. Our recent testing has shown a noticeable improvement in cutting this way. This technique relies on your calibration value being correct.


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Even though I work with lasers and optics for a living, changing the laser height to give wider detail lines in a single pass instead was something I saw online. I was surprised to see how effective it was. I kept the speed the same as the cutting speed and went as high as an extra 10mm at  40% power and still got some really nice marking.  I was going to go more, but then the scale of the detail wasn’t matching the size of the test sample. I didn’t measure but the lines were around 1mm wide at that point.