Reply To: Laser Toolpaths

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We’re all learning, Curt! I’m just focusing on this right now because I had promised to make these awards for an upcoming livestock show.

I am also using the 2004 LCD and this afternoon found that I could change the feedrate while running a program, as you said. It just takes a couple of turns before it starts changing, which is why I thought it didn’t work when I experimentally gave it one click each direction – I didn’t want to risk messing up the burn at the time.

I did another burn using masking tape to reduce charring. It absolutely does reduce charring, but I would only do it if what you’re burning is not too detailed. Big bold letters and graphics would benefit from using tape, but if you have a lot of small text, or detailed graphics, getting the tape off is tedious, and fine lines sometimes do not burn all the way through. They end up looking like a bad rubber stamp. I guess you could slow it down – maybe I’ll give that a try another time. Here are a couple of pictures to demonstrate what I’m talking about.

The one on the left was burned without tape. I cleaned up the charring with denatured alcohol. I’m hoping that staining will cover any remaining discoloration. The one on the right was printed with tape. There’s no charring, but note the loss of detail, especially around the scrollwork.
Laser etched livestock awards

Closeup of burn without tape:
Closeup of burn without tape

Closeup of burn with tape:
Closeup of burn with tape

I re-burned the second award without tape. Came out as good as the first one. Next – staining and finishing!