Settings are the same, different results

I am completely new to lasers and have only done a handful of projects. I thought I had the settings down but I was wrong and dont know what else to do, hopefully someone with more experience can pinpoint my mistakes and lead me in the correct direction. Material used for both is MDF wood and almost all settings are the same for the test and portrait images, the exception is power. Both are horizontal, line to line, speed 3000 mm/s, 300 DPI, 10 lines, Smin-0% Smax-1000%.

Portrait image is at 30% power, Width: 280 Height: 239.6.

Test image is at 40% power, Width: 90 Height:77

I did several test images and the example I uploaded to y’all was the only test image that came out with the grid BUT has the most detail out of all of them. Also, I downloaded the image straight from google and opened in laserGRBL. I have watched several hours of YT videos but it gets kind of confusing receiving different information from different channels. I know Im not suppose to download an image straight from web and into GRBL but here I am lol. Im trying to get the same results I got from the test image without the grid. I have Inkscape and have only messed around with it for an hour maybe less. Using an Atomstack 5A Pro that has been used for about 8 hours total, so relatively new.
So my question is. Why did the test image come out with a grid over it, yet it gave me the most detail and natural look (pencil drawing look) if the settings, aside from width and height, are the same? Additionally, how can I achieve that kind of result without the grid appearing over the image? Thank you for your time and help, I will greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for the information.

Speed of 3000 is useless without a qualifier… inches/s, inches/m, mm/s, mm/m… clue us in.

One of the most important pieces of information is the material you are engraving on.

Most natural materials lase differently if the humidity has changed and many other factors and your laser is a consumable and will not last forever… It all varies.

Give us some more info and as exact as possible of what you are looking for… then we can give you the best answer.

Take care


Is it possible you mean mm/minute?
3000 mm/min is probably still too fast.

With your engraver on and powered up and LightBurn running,
Open the Console Window and type the following:
Then hit enter.

Copy and paste the report into a reply here.

The speed settings represent a maximum speed allowed by a laser engraver but that setting may not create a quality image. Reducing engraving speed settings in the engraving project may really help.

Have you done any dot-size or dot-spacing tests?

Thank you for your answer, yes I made a mistake and it is mm/min. Unfortunately, I am not using lightburn, only using GRBL at the moment but I do have access to inkscape. I have also not made any type of dot tests, is that something I can do through GRBL? Would you suggest I lower the speed from 3000 to 1000 instead? Again, I appreciate your help. Thank you.

There’s an important distinction here that I suggest you take to heart. :slight_smile:

Grbl, when used, exists in the laser engraver controller. It will generate a welcome message with the computer it is communicating with. It will have a suffix following Grbl such as Grbl 0.9, Grbl 1.1c, Grbl 1.1f, Grbl 1.1h, etc.

LaserGRBL is a different software package for your home computer - I’ve never used it. Maybe they have a forum?

I have definitely used speeds lower than 1000 mm/ minute and gotten good results. You should create a materials test pattern and find what works for you.

Version is always visible top left of the screen, Im running v4.8.0, so Im well aware of what version Im running but probably an important part to mention on my post. Sadly, I was not able to find a dedicated forum for GRBL, I tried two other laser forums but one requires my machine serial number and the other my home address to create an account, which is weird so I didn’t do it. Hence why Im in the community laser section, maybe someone might have experience with GRBL. Thank you for your time sir :slightly_smiling_face:

This is actually a Lightburn forum, so we naturally use Lightburn and the expertise, although pretty wide, is really towards getting the most out of the machine.

Grbl is a motion control system and is use on more than just lasers, such as milling machines.

Lightburn will replace the design end (no need for Inkscape) the part that sends the code to your laser.

I highly suggest you use the free trail version and give it a test drive. Once people use it, they convert.

Good luck.

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Regardless of the software used. The larger picture will always be more pixelated the bigger it is. Try to lower the DPI to remove the lines. I use 254 with pretty good results for my machine.

I would also recommend Lightburn like the others above.

I was between Lightburn and GRBL, after watching countless YT videos I leaned towards GRBL. But watching someone say something and actually talking to members of the community made me realized I made a mistake :sweat_smile:, not to mention GRBL’s lack of user support. I will most definitely download Lightburn now, thank you all for your support guys. I will also give that 254 DPI a try and see what results I get, thank you jeff.

Lightburn generates grbl for your machine… Want a great software package, Lightburn… or a junk one?