Laser photos takes very long

Is it normal for Photos to take 5 to 7 hours to burn? Not sure if I have settings issues. My settings are 157in/min at 20%power, DPI is 257.

It does not least depend on how big your image is. Is it calculated values or tested?

Tested although the preview said only 19 to 20 minutes

What are the dimensions of the photo? 5-7 hours is common for engravings. Whether it’s odd is largely based on overall size.

about 7.5”x 7.5”. For some reason it doesn’t seem like the inches per minute makes a difference whether I set it at 125 or 550. Seems to run at the same speed

550 inches/min would 14,000 mm/min, which is not horrible, but pretty fast for a diode. Grayscale is hard on the controller because it’s a LOT of GCode and the power is constantly changing. Double check that the controller is in Laser Mode ($32=1). You can check for that by typing $$ in the console window and pressing enter, then looking for the $32 line. If it’s not set to 1, you can just type $32=1 to change that.

It’s likely that you’re actually topping out the speed of your laser. Either the actual enforced speed limit in GRBL or the practical limit for your laser. Surprised it’s not skipping actually at those speeds.

Check top speed in $110, $111 and $112 for X, Y, Z (represented as mm/min).

As far overall time… if I’ve done my math right 7.5 x 7.5 inch at 257 DPI would be close to 15000 linear inches if you factor in 2.5% overscan. At 157 in/min that would be over 1.5 hours with no accommodation for acceleration/acceleration, Y-axis movement, communication overhead, etc. and assuming horizontal scanning. Wouldn’t surprise me if the actual burn took 2-3x that.

I just set it to $32=1. It did =0. Why was it working at all? What should I expect to be different with the new value $32=1? Sorry for all the newbie questions, brand new to all this.

What should the top speeds be? All three are set at 2000

This setting enables “laser mode”. Laser mode allows G0 movements to execute with the laser off. You don’t want this on if you’re working in CNC mode.

Not having this on typically results in burns where traversal moves are burned in. This mode is only available from GRBL 1.1f+.

Can you check that you device is configured as GRBL by clicking on the Devices button in Laser window? It will list your devices by type and name. I’m curious if it’s setup as GRBL-M3 which is what you would want if your GRBL version is 1.1e or less.

Also, check your GRBL version by typing $I into Console. Can you copy and paste the results here?

This is purely based on your equipment. Did your controller come configured as part of your overall system? If so, these are probably the manufacturer intended speeds. They can be tuned if you want to optimize your configuration or if you make modifications to the hardware.

By the way, with 2000 as max speed then the calculated numbers from earlier go to over 3 hours.

I have the FoxAlien 4040XE with a 40W laser with the control box if this means anything. the device is configured as GRBL. The version is $I
[OPT:V,15,128]. Should it be set at GBRL-M3?

Nope. You’re fine with GRBL given you are on 1.1h. Should be good to go with laser mode on.

Excellent. I sure appreciate the help. Would you mind answering questions from time to time?

Earlier I was talking about the maximum XYZ speeds be in 2000 mm/min. Given the machine that I have, how would I find out if I can increase the speed?

You could work it out empirically. Run it at a higher max incrementally until it starts skipping. Then back off with some margin to a safe level. Your max speed for lasering will likely be higher than any CNC operation since you’re not dealing with any resistance from the material you’re cutting.

You can do this also for your acceleration settings.

Suggest you take a backup of your machine settings before experimenting with settings.

Any idea what this means? “G-code locked out during alarm or jog state”. this shows on the console when I try to move the laser

It’s complaining about you trying to job when it’s in an alarm state. Did you previously hit a limit switch or otherwise cause an alarm?

Often when the engraver is in the alarm state, there will be another line in the console information stream with the word Alarm and it will have a number beside it. That’d be handy if you could capture it and post that information here in a reply.


G-code locked out during alarm or jog state. ALARM:8
Homing fail. Cycle failed to clear limit switch when pulling off. Try increasing pull-off setting or check wiring. I was able to get it running but not sure what I did. Found alarm 8 on the console shortly after the g-code locked out message

Not that I know of. I turned the unit on with it in the home position if that matters. I think you were right that it had something to do with the x or y limit.