Our Epilog laser engraver is capable of obtaining great results on a number of materials. Go ahead and add any strategies you've found to work well.
See also: Laser settings.
It is possible to make deeply engraved Delrin dies in rubber stamp mode by slowly manually adjusting the focus up stop by stop, making two or three passes at each point. Depending on your design, care must be taken to ensure that the edges of your positive image don't sag from being repeatedly heated as the laser engraves around them. Enlarging the shoulder in rubber stamp mode will usually fix this problem for larger shapes. Special care must be taken with finely set type and intricate designs. Experiment to find the minimum point size for lines that works well.
Some art papers are coated with clay to make a smooth surface. These etch extremely well in regular mode to produce a "debossed" look. Use rubber stamp mode to reverse positive space to negative space (the entire field is etched except where objects are filled black). Experiment to find the lowest power and highest speed necessary to engrave to the depth you wish without discoloring the material.
Some inexpensive cover and card stock is coated or died in such a manner that it is a different color immediately below the surface. Give it a shot with some of the black cover stock Andy left in the bottom drawer of the cabinet next to the engraver.
Grayscale picture printing
If you want to print a picture in grayscale, do not activate color mapping. That way, the laser will adjust the laser power: - Black is the raster power you did set - White is 0% - Anything in between will be a percentage of your raster power
Using the Color mapping
In some cases, it is useful to raster or vector with different speeds and powers. To do that use the Color Mapping window in the Driver settings.
To make it easy, start with the basic colors Red (#FF0000 or 255,0,0), Green (#00FF00 or 0,255,0), Blue (#0000FF or 0,0,255). The colors black and white are reserved, white uses no power and black is the power you did set in the first tab. You can have different settings for raster and vector, but be careful, the number of colors mapped is limited (maybe something like 16).
Using the color mapping to test a material
You can make yourself a setting for the driver and a small pdf file with full and just border squares of different colors. That way, you can have a test of different settings for your new material just in a single run. One trick is to write the settings directly in your PDF, that way, you can keep your piece of material for latter.