How can I reduce time it takes to laser engrave?

Hi, I am laser engraving wine glasses, they come out looking good, but current cycle time is nearly 14 minutes, and I have 16 glasses to engrave so I want to reduce that cycle time as much as possible. If I upload the file here is anybody able to take a look and suggest what I can change in order to reduce the cycle time per engraving? Thanks in advance!

The fundamental limit is how rapidly the laser can deposit enough energy to damage the glass in an attractive way, which is roughly proportional to power × time. In order to decrease the time, you must simultaneously increase the power.

When you decrease the time, you increase the scanning speed of the laser. That is “easy” along the X axis, up to the maximum speed of the axis.

If you are using a roller rotary, the fundamental speed limit comes from traction between the glass and the rubber roller: higher speed requires more traction and increases the likelihood of having the glass slip on the roller. The highest speed is likely to be much lower than you expect.

If you are using a chuck rotary, the speed limit is higher because of the mechanical grip. Unless you have gone to an unusual amount of trouble, the limit will be set by the controller’s Y axis speed and acceleration values. You can probably increase those values (after you save the existing configuration) to increase the maximum chuck rotation speed.

So, load up a spare glass and determine exactly how fast the rotary can turn before something bad happens. Knowing that, you can then go back to the design and adjust the power to match that speed: if it can scan twice as fast, double the power.

Hi I am running a rotary, I think my laser engraver is limited to 500mm/S, I tried to run at 700mm/s but it took just as much time as when I ran it at 500mm/s (controller on my laser engraver also says 500mm/s no matter what, so I am assuming that’s the max). With that being said, is there anything I can do to decrease cycle time in this case? I really appreciate your help!

That speed is one of those cute little jokes you’ll find in laser descriptions. The X and Y axes are limited to 500 mm/s (for my OMTech, anyway) by settings in the controller, but a vector at 45° can reach 700 mm/s, because 700 = sqrt(500² + 500²).

Get it? :man_shrugging:

Paradoxically, slowing the scan may somewhat reduce the time, because the laser will spend less time accelerating and decelerating in the overscan region on either side of the engraving. In this case, you also decrease the power to keep the energy deposited on the glass about the same.

If you are already at an optimum speed and the rotary isn’t slipping, then another thing you can try is to increase the engraving Line Interval until you start to see separate lines instead of a uniform area, then reduce it a bit. Spreading the lines means the laser makes fewer passes and takes less time.

For example, if the Line Interval is 0.1 mm, try doubling it to 0.2 mm, which should cut the time roughly in half. If you see separate scan lines, maybe 0.15 mm will look better.

If you already have the optimum speed and line spacing, then you’re pretty much stuck.

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