Reply To: Laser Toolpaths

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I’ve learned one thing so far: if you want easy, consistent burns, use the rasterized approach, which burns the image a line at a time, never burning the same spot twice, or spending too much time in one area. I might be able to get decent results eventually, after much tweaking of speed, stepover, and power, but I was surprised and disappointed at my first attempts at burning a non-rasterized image. The main problem is that, unlike a router, which can zip back and forth over an area to clear out a pocket and only removes material as it encounters it, the laser continues to burn and re-burn as it moves, so ideally, the laser should never pass over the same spot twice, at least not while it’s on.

That’s my observation after just a couple of attempts using ESTLCAM. I used full power, 800 mm/min, and 80% stepover. I have the tool size set to .1 mm. The laser spends too much time filling in lines, and just chars the whole area. If anyone has any experience and suggestions, please let me know. I’ll be giving it another try tonight, but for my next real project, I think I’ll need to stick with the rasterized images.