I’m trying the grayscale settings for photos and I noticed in youtube video “lesson three” at the 20.50 mark you talk about Lightburn varying the power to the laser to create the shades. Will my Gen 5 Boss 3655 do this? I didn’t think the controller would allow different power variations on the same layer.
What’s the tube wattage of your machine? CO2 systems more than about 40w have really poor power control on the low end, and tend to vaporize material quickly, so you get more depth variation than shading. Your machine is capable of it, but it might not give you the result you’re hoping for.
The Power Scale feature in LightBurn uses the grayscale commands when sending to the laser:
RDWorks doesn’t expose this the way LightBurn does, but the controller is capable of it.
I have a 150w. I’ll watch the video you just sent me. Thank you.
With a 150w glass tube you’re going to struggle with photo engraving - you have a wide beam, which means your dot size will be large, so you’ll have to stay around 120 to 150 DPI, and that power level means your tube won’t even fire until it hits around 20w of output. I’d guess your min power setting is around 15% - sound right?
If you stick to dithering, the lowest power you can reliably fire, and not too fast, you should be able to do some decent work, but your machine isn’t made for photo engraving. It’s a bit like trying to drive a formula one car at a jogging pace.
On my 150w I have discovered I can take the power down to 7% if I slow the head speed down to around 70mm/s on scanning. Now, I recently replaced my power supply and tube so I’ll recheck and see if the new setup will fire at the same level. This still puts me around 10-11 watts of power.
This might help with understanding how your laser is tuned so you can test the capabilities. This was done for a 100W system, so you will need to adjust the Min and Max power settings for your 150W setup.
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