Lines thicker engraving on Slate with Atomstack A30 than A5

Fairly new to all this so please bare with me.
I have been engraving slate coasters on an Atomstack A5 Pro and all was good.
I now have an Atomstack A30 and on slate the lines are thicker than with the A5
The image I have been using is the Harley Davidson Badge and there’s barely any space between the letters as they seem puffed up.
It’s a JPEG image and comes out perfectly with the A5. I have been using Threshold and I am happy with the settings after doing a material test for a nice light engrave. there is no puffing up of the boxes on the material test and I can get very small lines and letters when I just create a something in Lightburn for a trial.
SO I am presuming its something to do with it being a Jpeg image but as I said the A5 has no problem.
Any ideas what I am missing?

Is the focal height different and did you do an update for the A30 head or switch it in settings?

Hi, thanks for answering. I have two different tools for adjusting the focal height and both were used appropriately.
I did an update of Lightburn and swapped over the lasers in the dropdown box if that’s what you are meaning.

I can post pictures tomorrow of the different outcomes but I am not at home at present.

A couple things can cause this…

@Bruh is probably correct… the first thing to check is the focus, especially with a new laser module. I’d suggest a ramp test… there are a million youtubes about ramp tests for focus.

No mention of the power… the A5 comes in multiple power versions from what I can see.

The laser effect on slate is that it shatters… Like hitting a rock with a hammer… if you use a larger hammer, it leaves a bigger dent…

  1. check for proper focus
  2. modify the power/speed to accommodate the different power of the new laser
  3. watch this video by Laser Everything…

It’s great for finding the right dpi/lpi for any laser with any material… sound like you have a pretty good handle on it, but I’d suggest when you have some time to view it…

Good luck


Hi Jack
Thanks for the reply, I have uploaded a couple of quick iphone snaps to show the difference.
On the Atomstack A5 Pro I used 6000mm/m @60% power, 1 pass using Threshold
On the Atomstack A30 Pro I used 4470mm/m @70% power 1 pass using Threshold.
As per my material tests.

Didn’t realise you can change the focus of these things, so thanks for that I will check out the videos as soon as I get chance and I’ll get back with any success story. At the moment it is quite frustrating when your new super laser cant do a result that at least matches the 5W one lol.
Quite a learning curve all this.
Thanks again.

I assume the A5 is a 5W and the A30 is the 30W? It would be nice to label the photos… It appears to me the first is the A30 and the second is the A5, although you listed them in the opposite relative order…

If my assumptions about the A5, A30 power is correct… I’d suggest this type of logic…

If the A5 is 5W, then the A30 is 6 times more powerful.

In theory, to get the same amount of damage to the material at the same speed, the power would have to be lowered by 1/6.

The other option is to increase the speed by 6 times… You start to hit physical limits at some point… Doubt your machine will run 36000mm/m …

Using the speed of 6000mm/m for the A5, would indicate the A30 should be about 10% power for the same speed, not 70%.

You have a laser that is 6 times more powerful and you’ve lowered the speed and increased the power… exactly opposite…

If you run twice the speed and the same power, the net effect is 1/2 the damage to the material … same as keeping the speed and lowering the power by 1/2…

I’m guessing that you are blasting the slate with way to much power at too slow of a speed.

This is the same speed, albeit on a co2, but one on the right was about 20% more power… you can see the effect… it blasted the slate … Higher power was doing too much damage to the material to maintain the dpi/lpi. This was a png graphic using a dither…

Make sense?

Here is a link to the Louisiana Hobby Guy video on how to do a ramp test on an led (dpssl) type machine…

Good luck


Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too…

Is the engraving deeper on the A30?
With the engraver marking wider, it’s also likely engraving deeper.

If you can’t see it or feel the difference with your fingertips, drag the back of your fingernail across the step. An old machinist showed me that I could ‘feel’ a .0005" (a 5 ten-thousandths of an inch) deep groove in a crankshaft journal by doing this.

You could also set a straight edge over the engraved surface and take a picture under it, looking at a light-source.

Either way, you’ll know. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the replies. I dropped the power to a sixth of that used and tried it, then raised the power by 5% and it was far better so thanks for that. It makes sense and it had crossed my mind but the material test I did at the original power looked fine and wasn’t deep at all… I must have done something wrong.

Result still not as quite as fine as the A5 so I’ll now plunge into the videos that show me how to focus the laser better. Shame it didn’t arrive properly pre-focused like the A5 did.
Thanks for the help and the video links.

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