Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Foam Engraving Tests

Engraving can be tediously slow, especially when you want to do the edge of a large area but not fill in the middle. It's something I covered before when I carved the cupboard door shields. I previously drew a dozen different lines to simulate the engraving effect, it was faster than the engrave but still a little bit slow. This time I thought I would try defocusing the laser beam to get a nice wide engrave, then the groove can be cut in a single pass which would be a lot faster. 

I ran these test pieces at differing heights under the laser (the mm distance is height below the focal point. The results were quite effective and with a bit of tweaking it will do the job nicely. The first thing to note is that the corners cut a lot deeper than the straight sections. This is a known issue and Lasercut specifically has a setting for it. I found that reducing the corner power to around half of the main power solved most of these issues. 

The other issue is the start and stop point, the two ends don't quite meet up but again lasercut has us covered. There is a setting where you can adjust the amount of overlap in millimetres. If you draw a circle with a 5mm overlap the controller will actually move 5mm back around the circle before it starts cutting. It cuts the overlap first before going on to complete the rest of the circle.
This is actually a bit of a bug, if you're only cutting 3 sides of a square with an overlap of 5mm, it will cut 5mm along the imaginary side so you need to be careful about when and where you use the overlap setting.