after trying out a rather huge set of materials I compiled a Google Docs List with all settings which did work for me so far.
Feel free to send me your settings so this list can be extended.
With best regards,
What a nice list and a lot of materials and German suppliers. Great Job.
Regarding focussing I built myself a focus ramp in Onshape in order to get a better feeling what the best distance would be. It seemed that a distance of 13mm (compared to the 10mm via the standard guide) is better.
@Greta: Pierce time is the time the laser is switched one without a movement in order to get more energy at the beginning of the move into the material.
Dithering is engraving a picture not with complete lines of different intensity/speed but rather with a rasterized image of individual lasered points.
Both settings can be found in when switching on the expert settings
I can cut pieces now!
Thank you for your advise..
The biggest error was.. wrong kind of plywood.
Hey Benjamin, this is a great list, I started mine a while ago the same way, but yours is much further, nice job!
But have your laser head checked out or replaced!
I also did a lot of cutting (but more like 20hrs running time ;) ) and I think it really lost power (or whatever the real technical problem was ;) )
I was down to the same extreme passes with 3mm Kraftplex.
With the new head (which Mr-Beam replaced nicely, thanks guys) I am at this now:
Kraftplex 3mm cutting:
Passes: 4 (!)
I really hope this is not a general problem with the diode.
Got a new laser head, too.
The difference is not as startling as with Benjamin's. But there is an increase in laser power.
I now see results that are more consistent with the default settings (at least for plywood, other materials not yet tested).
Besides that, I'm still surprised by the default settings for cutting Plywood. The material gets cut but the edges are charred. Quick and dirty, so to say.
The possibility to cut a certain material is very material dependent. With my old laserhead it was already possible to cut 4mm birch plywood with a lot of passes, I assume with the new laser head the number of passes can be reduced by a factor of 3-4 (based on the experiences I made with other materials). I need to check that though.
What I saw already with the old laserhead is that depending on the material color and density at a specific point the cutting result can vary drastically (at one area cutting is easy, in other areas cutting is not so good).
Due to such inconsistencies there is a benefit towards Kraftplex or similar homogeneous materials since they behave more consistently.
I haven't yet tested MDF but expect it to behave a bit worse compared to Kraftplex. Also here it really much depends on the specific material since the glue part of the MDF itself can have significant impact on the material properties regarding cuttability.
Have you already tried to cut "easy" materials such as rubber foam? These materials have been intensively tested by me (see my Google Docs list) and I'd consider my current laserhead as cutting almost to intended specs (I need to only slightly decrease the cutting speeds compared to the standard settings in the Mr Beam materials DB).
If you require substantially different settings for cutting / engraving rubber foam I'd recommend getting in contact with the guys from Mr Beam since rubber foam is a rather homogeneous material and thus the differences in cutting behaviour of a specific color should be very small (plus - cutting rubber foam is very fast compared to plywood / MDF).
@Lisa Huang : Check this post : https://mr-beam.freshdesk.com/support/discussions/topics/43000063291/page/last#reply-to-post - also the Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/groups/1686793804749327/ where I posted my first tests on papers
I have to admit though that it seems that my settings seem to not work as good as before after >100 hours of cutting. I already cleaned the laser head (dismantled it, separated the cooler part and cleaned the lens and everything else) as advised by the Mr. Beam experts but need to test whether a repetition of previous cutting jobs on the same material yield the same result as before or whether the cutting intensity of the laser diode has decreased over time.
Hi there! Maybe a silly question as long as I see a lot of people tried different materials already. but did anyone tried to use Mr Beam II on various papers like color papers, textured and so on? Would be very curious to hear from you! Thanks
@Daniel and Benjamin with regard to focus height.
With setting up my MrBeam for the first time, the optimal focus was at 16mm (accroding to the Onshape focus ramp). The laser head was found defective and replaced by the MrBeam support team. The new laser head works perfectly at 10mm.
It would be interesting to know, what the "normal" focus range is.
I've got a rather early version of the Mr. Beam II thus it could be that I simply got a bad sample of the diode. The laser intensity was not the best from the start which I did not understood early enough, otherwise I would have done all my prior material tests after an initial replacement.
If it would be easy to get a cheap laser intensity meter I'd invest a little into such a device to get a better understanding - but the cheapest calibrated device I found so far starts at approx. 900 USD - too much for me ;-).
Lets see how the intensity changes over the upcoming weeks - it will experience >100 hours of cutting through all my samples ;-).
The new Laserhead which I received just yesterday seems to work far better and more in line with the standard presets. 0.8mm Kraftplex engraving worked out of the box, for cutting I needed to reduce the speed to 190-200 mm/min (instead of 225 mm/min as standard preset) in order to get the wood totally cut.
I'll have to retest all my materials but given the experience I've had with a test on red rubber foam I can expect to reduce all intensity settings by the factor of 3-4 => i.e. somewhere around 30% of the current intensity values in the list or 300-400% of the speed values. Entries not yet retested are marked in red, retested entries will be uncolored and the corrected entries will be entered.
Great, thank you! Will try to add some settings as soon as I receive my new laser head