Intentional Underpowering

Would anyone know how to change the Vector current? I learned the term from Full spectrum laser who has the ability to limit the incoming power.
It would be really useful to be able to lower my power setting to do better quality detail rastering.
Can anyone guide me through this?

How are you setting power currently? You say, “has the ability to limit the incoming power.”, but I am not following what you are asking here.

LightBurn uses colored coded layers to provide different settings per shapes placed on a given layer. Each layer has its own set of options, depending on the type of cut you request, ‘Line’ to mark or cut, ‘Fill’ to engrave or fill shapes with scan lines, and ‘Image Modes’ for image engraving.

Here is our documentation on the subject. Cuts / Layers - LightBurn Software Documentation

Here are the details on the Cut Settings available for each cut type. Cut Settings Basics - LightBurn Software Documentation

Please review, you might benefit from reviewing the Beginner Walkthrough section, continuing through the completion of the Simple Project to become familiar with the basics. Beginner Walkthrough - LightBurn Software Documentation

You misunderstood my information request. It was not a beginners question, it was an advanced question. Vector current is a control unique to vector files. Vector current controls the pulse of the laser. 100% will create constant power for smooth cutting, while lower percentages will add increasingly more off time between pulses. (quoted from a google search)
I know that Dot mode can do this in some capacity but it moves VERY slowly. I want to be able to raster (at 600mm/sec) delicately. My 150watt will only fire above 9%power which would be too strong to control the depth of cut onto a painted tile (Norton method).

If there is no setting to do this in lightburn, may I suggest it?

I believe what you’re asking for is equivalent to PPI (pulses per inch). This would have to be implemented in the controller itself to work properly.

Ruida controllers have a setting called “Engraving Mode” that you can access through Edit > Machine Settings. The ‘Common mode’ setting doesn’t do anything special, and the ‘Special mode’ setting, from what I understand, gives the laser a stronger initial ‘kick’, then backs off, allowing you to ride the line where the tube ionizes a little easier. It takes less power to keep a laser firing than it does to get it firing, so this helps when using big tubes and trying to do delicate work, but it will consume the tube life faster.

The other thing you can do is just increase the image brightness, which, when dithering, will space the image dots further apart and give a similar end result.

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Not the first time that has happened. :man_facepalming: Thank you for the further explanation. :slight_smile:

Do you think that will work using the Norton method? I want to go through different layers of paint to get a nice effect. Having a powerful laser has been great up till this type of work. I had to pay someone with a 40watt Epilog to do an image engraving. I need to be able to do that kind of work as well.

I honestly have no idea.

PPI feels like a dated / old approach in a time before better control systems and software were available and when the cost of a 150w tube was insane. Consider the reliability of your components (such as the laser PSU) and the effect that pulsing a glass tube may have on its useful life. PPI is really geared toward extracting more power from a laser with fast switching of the laser PSU @ 5v (full power).

What is observed in the intensity spectra when a laser is switched on is a rapid rise to a very high power level (nearly double the set value) followed by an exponential decay to a set value.

Here is more info / detail about PPI.

Something else to consider that may work better for you is adding a diode to your machine (as a second laser) if your goal is:

Your ruida controller supports two lasers. And a diode is king for detail. Just look at the finished creations by @Bulldog e.g.,

After 80 watts, there is a diminishing return on trying to do raster engraving. You can try a specialized head that will give you a smaller dot but you still have to deal with the power issue. If you will be doing raster engraving in the future, a second tube of smaller wattage or a second dedicated machine would be your best investment.

I will occasionally tell people, “You’re trying to use a rocket launcher to hunt squirrels - it’s just not the right tool for the job.”


I like “using a flame thrower to light a candle”

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Love it. I think this is my answer. Now, how to attach one I buy from Amazon.

If you do this, keep in mind that any safety gear you have for your CO2 laser is not appropriate for a diode laser. This means goggles if you wear them and the window on your current laser.

This is a wild guess, but what if you added one or more masking tape layers over the engraving area? Would that attenuate the laser enough to give a better engrave? Just trying to think outside the box.

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