Laser Cutter Material Settings
Unfortunately you can't just calculate the perfect settings based on the power ("Watts") of a laser cutter because the actually delivered energy is always based on a combination of power and speed, which is different for each brand or model of laser cutter. To make things more complicated, 100 % power in a cutting profile is not the same as 100 % power in an engraving profile...
As there is always some trial and error involved, please share your experience with the others! You can often use experience from other machines as a rough starting point.
In general, cutting is usually done at 100 % power and the highest speed that will still result in a reliable cut. If 100 % speed still gets you through (e.g. paper or cardboard), you should reduce the power until you find the sweet spot. Besides the power setting, you can influence the invested energy by altering the pulse frequency - you may want to go lower on flammable materials like wood, where edges might otherwise become black, and higher on plastics like acrylic glass where you are aiming for a "flame-polished" edge. page 46
The width of the kerf (Schnittfuge) also depends on the laser settings and the material you're using and could be important for certain designs - here's how to determine this parameter!
Once we have a permanent machine, we should also work on a github repository with VisiCut settings again.
Epilog Zing (30 W)
Here's what we've tried so far - please add your own experiences!
|Poplar Plywood||4 mm||cut||80||100||500||center (-2 mm)|
|Poplar Plywood||4 mm - any||3D engrave||100||75||250||surface||simple black & white design - works for QR Codes!|
|Poplar Plywood||4 mm||engrave||100||100||250||surface||simple black & white design - nice brown color as result|
|Poplar Plywood||9 mm||cut||100||27||250||5000||3mm|
|Beech Plywood||4 mm||cut||100||60||500||center (-2 mm)|
|Beech Plywood||4 mm - any||mark||10||100||500||surface|
|Beech Plywood||4 mm - any||engrave 3D||100||100||500||surface|
|MDF||3 mm||cut||100||60||200||2500||center (-1.5 mm)|
|Corrugated Fiberboard||2 mm||cut||25||100||surface|
|Silver anodised aluminium||engrave||50||100||500||surface||black & white design|
|XPS (extruded polystyrene)||20 mm||cut||45||100||center (-10 mm)||very wide kerf (~ 2 mm)!|
|Acrylic Glass||3 mm||cut||100||30||500||5000 (default)||center (-1.5 mm)|
|Acrylic Glass||3 mm - any||mark||20||100||500||5000 (default)||surface||about 0.5 mm deep|
|masking tape on metal||0.1 mm||engrave (let disappear)||100||100||500||surface||experiment to prepare an abrasive blasting mask - not successful, was blasted away...should work well for painting though|
|thin cardbord (frozen pizza box)||0.55 mm||cut||20||100||500||2500 (default)||surface|
|thin cardbord (frozen pizza box)||0.55 mm||mark||8||100||500||2500 (default)||surface|
|cellulose acetate (overhead slides)||<1 mm||cut||6-7||100||500||5000 (default)||surface||Power 7 cuts completely, Power 6 makes cutout adhere to template, but is easy to remove manually. Keep the printer clean ;)|
|blockboard (surface = birch veneer?)||18 mm - any||engrave 3D||20||100||500||2500 (default)||surface||visible, but still letting the grain show through - more powerful settings (e.g. 100/100) go noticeably deeper but only a bit darker|
|vulcanized fiber||0.8 mm||cut||100||100||200||5000 (default)||center (-0.4 mm)||lower power not tested yet|
|vulcanized fiber||1.5 mm||cut||100||80||200||5000 (default)||center (-0.75 mm)||higher speed not tested yet|