Optimization of Laser Settings for CUTTING Enduramark Engravable Plastics (EEP's)
The Best Way to Optimize Your Laser Settings for CUTTING Enduramark Engravable Plastics (EEPs)
There are many factors involved in preparing laser settings for each job, but we have CUT through the morass to come up with the simplest way for you to optimize your settings no matter what the circumstances.
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(1) A sheet of Enduramark Engravable Plastics (EEP's).
(2) A graphic file prepared for color mapping and vector cutting. Color mapping allows you to run different settings for each uniquely colored circle and all in a single run. This is the ideal tool for optimizing settings. Each 1/2" circle should be prepared with hairline thickness for vector cutting and each circle hairline should be set up with a unique color code, which we will use later to set up the run. Choose a group of settings that make sense for your laser wattage, as this example is for a 50-watt laser.
What You’ll Do:
(1) The sheet can be cut with the protective film on, but this film should be removed prior to engraving or if you are engraving and cutting in a single run like in this example.
(2) Although we will be primarily vector cutting in this example, we would like the settings for each circle to be engraved within each circle, so we set up the file to engrave the settings within the circle for each cut. For a 50-watt laser, set the raster settings to a default resolution of 600dpi, Power to 25% and speed to 100%. If you are unsure what settings to use, please optimize your engraving settings prior to optimizing your cutting settings.
(3) Go to the advanced tab, enable the color-mapping function on your laser program and enter laser and color code settings as indicated below using the RGB color codes you previously assigned to each circle hairline.
(4) Set your home position and center the laser beam in the middle of your sheet of EEPs.
(5) Turn on Air Assist.
(6) Use Center-Center Engraving. Hit print in your computer program to send the job to the laser, and laser the sheet.
(7) Evaluate the cuts. In this example we are using a 50-watt laser. Our goals are to minimize residue formation, while running at the fastest possible speed and still cutting cleanly through the sheet. Excessive power can cause a significant amount of residue left on the surface and increase the size of the cutline(kerf), whereas insufficient power leads to not cutting all the way through the sheet.
In this example, speeds higher than 35% did not cut all the way through the sheet, so a speed faster than 35% speed should be used. It is always prudent, to give yourself some leeway and select the next slowest speed. Here, 30% speed should always work well and there are no advantages to going slower.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE ARE MINOR DIFFERENCES IN SETTINGS FOR DIFFERENT COLORS. AS AN EXAMPLE, LIGHT COLORS, SUCH AS WHITE, REQUIRE A SLIGHTLY SLOWER SPEED THAN DARK COLORS.