The Mark Settings Object is used to change the laser settings within the marking sequence.
Several Mark Setting Objects may be used in a marking sequence especially if marking Single Line and True Type fonts with Shape or Vector Drawing objects in the same layout each type of marking object generally needs different laser settings to get the best performance.
Simply drag the Mark Setting object above the markable objects which require those mark settings. The software will process the Marking Sequence in order and therefore set the mark settings, then mark objects below at those settings until a different mark setting tool is encountered
This specifies the power level of the laser as a percentage. Often it is a trade-off between speed and power. If the mark is too aggressive at full power try increasing the speed before reducing the power to see if cycle time improvements can be gained.
The Speed property represents the vector speed in millimetres per second that the laser beam travels when marking the object. Using a slow speed will create a deep well defined mark, if the speed is too high then the laser beam will have no effect on the material being marked
The Frequency (Hz) property represents the Q-Switch frequency of the laser pulses during marking. Altering this frequency creates different marking effects. This parameter is used to adjust the laser output frequency by directly operating the Q-switch. The Q-switch is an electro-optical system, which controls the opacity of a lens making it possible to change the laser beam frequency. A lower frequency will generate ‘spotted’ engraving while a higher frequency will allow ‘line’ engraving. Frequency is inversely proportional to laser beam power, i.e., if the frequency is too high, the power may not be efficient for the marking process. The Q-switch may be compared to a sluice shutter, which closes and deflects the laser beam. The operating envelopes are as follows:
- 20W YF Laser System: 20 – 200kHz
Test matrix showing effects of speed vs frequency on a laser mark
The Fill Spacing property specifies the distance between fill lines. The smaller this value, the denser the fill, at the cost of a longer marking cycle. A large fill spacing will cause gaps between the lines used to fill the characters. The Fill Spacing (Fill Density) is measured in mm and can be reduced to a spacing of 0.01mm.
The Fill Angle property specifies in degrees, the angle of laser beam movement when filling characters. Various fill effects can be achieved when used in conjunction with Fill Spacing.
Number of Passes
The Passes property represents the number of times the laser passes over the object. The more passes made the ‘deeper’ and slower the mark.
The Wobble Radius property allows marking of single lines, either True Type / single line characters or imported files, with thicker lines. The line thickness (with no Fill) is equal to the dimension of the laser spot. However, for some applications this thickness may not be sufficient. Therefore, the Wobble Radius setting converts the normally straight vector line (Wobble Radius set to 0.00mm) to a series of dense spiral curves, thus providing greater line thickness. Altering the Wobble Speed setting will increase or decrease the frequency of the spiral curve repetition rate.
The Wobble speed affects the density of the spiral curves when a Wobble radius is programmed. The wobble speed is represented in Hz.
High frequency, high speed background and low frequency lower speed foreground, to give a very high contrast and readable Datamatrix mark in Aluminium
Variation in tone, colour and hue of laser marks possible on steel