Metallic leatherette - opacity of artwork

I have been struggling with getting the metallic leatherette from JDS lasered correctly with my Thunder Laser Nova 24 (60 watt). Someone suggested that I change the opacity of my artwork to 80% and that should help. However, they are not using lightburn. Is it a safe assumption that changing the opacity of the artwork in Corel Draw, then sending it to Lightburn and assigning the speed/power/etc settings would “override” the lowered opacity? What if I wanted to create text in LB - there’s really not a way to adjust the opacity at that point. Any suggestions are appreciated. I have tried and wasted so much material trying to get my settings dialed in. Two guys with the same equipment are getting results that I am not and I do not think they adjusted the artwork, but I am putting this question out there as a last resort. I have turned orders away as a result of not being able to get it dialed in. Thanks in advance!

This is more for non-glass tube lasers (like Epilog,Trotec, and ULS), but might work for your Thunderlaser.

  1. Take it 1/8" out of focus
  2. Set the DPI to 400

See this video

Yes. They will be using one of the ULS/Trotec/Epilog machines that uses a printer driver and Corel - LB doesn’t work that way.

The vector lines will come through from Corel as lines and the layer/colour settings will determine how they are handled.

You haven’t given any indication of the problem you are having - what’s going wrong? Any pics? What settings are you using - can you post a sample file as an example?

JDS recommendations are always based on RF lasers, not DC lasers (glass lasers) so their recommended settings are not always suitable. RF lasers have a much smaller beam size, therefore a much higher light pressure/mm - which is why a 60W epilog is equivalent to a 100-120W DC laser.

There’s no option but to make a power/speed matrix

I would start off with fixing your LPI at 254/inch or 0.1mm line interval.

Epilog typical ‘100 speed’ is at 70ips, or ~1800mm/sec. So way out of the league of your machine. A more typical speed on your TL is 300-500mm/sec at maximum. For the purposes of dialling in, set it to 300-500mm/sec.

Create a speed/power matrix from 90% down to 30% in 10% decrements, from 300-500mm/sec in 50mm/sec increments and run it 3mm out of focus away from the material.

Being out of focus does two things: it makes the beam wider at the point of contact, which ‘smooths’ out the ablation; it reduces the power of the beam at the point of contact so it is just ablating the coating and leaving the underlying layer untouched.

There is no substitution to performing a speed/power matrix. You should only need to do it once - there’s no reason to burn through material in guessing.

Here’s a file with all those settings already enabled, with the shape properties already set.

The engrave is set to 100%, but don’t worry about that as the individual shapes are set to 90, 80, 70%, etc - you won’t be putting any object out at 100%.

The power level is set to 100% upper, 0% lower, to give you true percentages. Once you’ve worked out what the best result is using the matrix, a bit of maths will allow you to work out what operating power is best.

speed power matrix 90 to 30 percent 300 to 500 mm per sec.lbrn (32.5 KB)

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