Settings for image engraving - help

since I can’t find the appropriate settings for engraving the attached photo, please help. I have a Sculfuna SF-A9 laser and I would like to make the attached photo of us tied to a beech or poplar board. I am asking for rough settings, which I will adjust at the end.

Thank you and best regards! Vinko

Hey Vinko,

I’d encourage you to experiment on scrape, don’t use your one precious bit of board! I’d encourage you to play around with the “adjust image” tools.

and remember to use preview! There is so much you can play around with before committing to sending your engrave.

There are so many factors which make your situation and conditions a little different to anyone else. How well the machine is setup for instance as well as environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. As a suggested start point try:

Speed - 1000-2000 mm/min
Power - 20 – 60%
1 pass

Here is a very thorough guide to laser diode settings. It’s amazing!

Good luck and be sure to show us how you get on.

1 Like

Thanks, I was working with the preview but the result is far from the preview. We will continue to educate ourselves!

Greetings! Vinko

1 Like

You need to realize that for a new laser user, a photo is one of the most difficult items to do well on a laser. I’ve been doing this a number of years and photos are still a lot of work to get the results I want.

A photograph has an infinite number of gray steps, this is generally not possible with a laser. You are extremely lucky to get 128 shades of gray and that would be fantastic, but I’m sure it’s less than that from the material you’re using.

As a general rule, most natural products don’t have much of a possible range of gray, many times they either get burnt or not, it’s just how much burnt.

These really operate more like a printing press, they mark or don’t mark. Grayscale is a handful in itself, my suggestion is to pick a suitable dither instead. It will run faster and likely give you more pleasing results.

Interval is important and I’d suggest you watch this video on photo engraving by Laser Everything.

Although done with a fiber laser, the idea and procedure work with any laser using any material.

Looking at the preview, you have to understand what you are looking at. Otherwise it never looks correct.

The preview shows you where it will lase… it has no idea of what material, if you have a 1kW or a 500mW laser, what operation it’s doing or anything else. Different materials will give different results, so preview cannot show you what the resulting image will appear as on your material.

Always use the preview, as you use it it will become more obvious on how you can see what you’re going to get using preview. It takes time and using it to get the most out of it.

Good luck



Follow the above guidance.
As a start check the following and adjust accordingly.
rojstnidan.lbrn2 (431.3 KB)
And check if this settings work for you.

I doubt he’s going to be able to accomplish a 400 dpi resolution with the materials he’s using…


A bit of overlap to avoid missing lines and faster speed.

In my experience with engraving photo’s has been to test, test, test, on scrape material that is similar to what I want the final engraving to be done on.

Each photo has been so unique that I’ve had to mess around trying to get it to be the best it can be.

Still looking for the silver bullet. :male_detective:


You are also using a 40w/20w selectable laser. I have one and I call my S30 a scalpel and the A9 a chainsaw. Due to the increase in laser dot size, you will not get the detail you see in the images done with a 5w or 10w diode laser. For the best detail in your case, I suggest setting the switch to the 20w setting.

To get a feel for what might be the proper speed and power ranges, use the built=in Lightburn Materials Test in Laser Tools. Rather than using the 5mm squares, increase them to 15-20mm squares to get a better feel for how image scanning will burn. The smaller squares are better for determining cutting rather than burning operations.

Like multiple suggestions above say, practice on scrap material first.


I feel this thread is a great primer in setting expectation and technique for photo engraving!

1 Like