Guidelines for Determining Optimal Laser Parameters

Aimee McGee is the Director of Operations at Trotec Laser. She has been with the company since 2004 and holds over 20 years' experience in the laser engraving industry.

Laser parameters are a combination of the following settings:

  • Speed
  • Power
  • Passes
  • Air Assist
  • Z-Offset (controlled defocusing)
  • DPI/Resolution
  • ppi/Frequency (Hz)

Consult your user’s manual for recommended settings for each substrate. Depending on the application itself, minor adjustments to the parameters within the database may be required to achieve visually different results. An example of such variances is if you increase the power value, more energy will be introduced in the material, resulting in a darker and deeper engraving in wood. Conversely, reducing the power results in a lighter engraving. We recommend making small incremental adjustments to find the perfect parameters for your application. 

We advise changing only one parameter in a test process. For instance, start with testing power in 5-10 percent increments, and then repeat the same process but with speed. Only then should you combine both parameter settings. This allows you to isolate variables to determine how individual parameters affect results.

—Amie McGee, Trotec Laser