Sharks with Frickin Laser Beams Attached to their Heads

Okay, the title is false advertising (sorry!).

But this post does have to do with lasers! And maybe if you squint a little, sharks too?

I just switched from the 3DP module to the laser module for the first time. Did the laser calibration and a test burn.

I have 3 questions (and I apologize if they seem rather green):

  1. Is there a way to really lighten an image printed with the laser? Some of the bits I don’t want so dark appear much darker than I anticipated even trying to control for it in Luban.

  2. Can anyone recommend if there is a different laser processing software to help control the final outcome?

  3. I 3D printed a challenge coin I designed in photoshop with the plan to silicone mold and cast in pewter. Took several tries but I got a pretty decent result at a 45 degree angle. The laser gave me the idea of also burning a copy into wood in case the layer lines are still visible in the mold. Looking at the laser side of Luban, its not clear to me how I can say I want X parts to be X deep and then cut clean through in a circle around. Is that possible?

Thanks everyone!

I haven’t played much with the laser so unfortunately I can not really answer 1, but could suggest maybe very light sanding or a little bit of soap/water? Again, I haven’t tried either so you definitely would want to try on a scrap piece first to see if it works.

For 2, a lot of users recommend Lightburn. It has a decent length free trial and buying a license isn’t prohibitively expensive as far as I understand.

For 3, laser cutting/engraving doesn’t really do “depth”. If engraving, creating areas of different heights may be a byproduct, but definitely wouldn’t be anywhere near reliable enough to purposefully do. However, you could try CNC milling the wood and with light sanding to remove toolpaths, or just sand the original coin you printed/ the cast product in order to remove layer lines.

I hope this helps!

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  1. Faster work speed and/or less power makes it lighter.
    Have to do tests because every material is different. You can always make something darker by running additional passes. Just sure you make a note of your work origin because SM doesn’t save it (I take a picture)

  2. Lightburn - but while it has a lot of features that make it easier to use and there are a lot of reasons people prefer it over Luban, it really won’t do much to change the actual finished product.

  3. While there is a specific height where the laser beam is optimally focused on the material, (smallest dot) it’s not a fixed point that you can choose a depth of cut. The power and it’s effectiveness tapers off above and below that point. To a certain extent you can do more of a char and have a slightly deeper burn, but there’s not a way to control how deep it will go.


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Thank you both for your replies! I’ll check out Lightburn and try a few of your suggestions. Much appreciated!