We hear many common questions arise when someone is just starting out in the engraving business or learning to engrave on a new material. I thought I would take a moment to address a few of the most common engraving issues, and solutions to these problems.
Question 1. “Why is the engraving on my item slanted?”
There are a few things that could be causing your engraving to come out slanted on your item. First, check your material for squareness. If your piece is not cut with right angles it may not be aligning to the table correctly. Next, check to see that the material is aligned properly against the edge guided. If your material is aligned to the guides properly, make sure it is not moving during the engraving process, you may want to try using multi mat or another holding fixture to securely hold your material.
Always inspect the job before removing it from the table. You may be able to salvage it, or you may be able to analyze the problem to avoid repeating it.
Question 2. “Why do I get ‘shadowing’ when I engrave certain materials?”
There are a few things to try if you get a ‘shadowing’ effect while engraving. If your material came with a protective film cover, leave it on while engraving. This will keep the nosecone from scratching the material. You can also try switching from a metal nosecone to a plastic nosecone which is less likely to leave marks on the material.
Ensure your nosecone is not damaged. Any burrs or roughness can cause it to scratch the material. If your nosecone appears to be damaged, try using an emery cloth to polish it, or replace it with a new one.
Try reducing the spindle spring pressure on your machine. Excessive down pressure will leave a rub mark on almost any plastic material.
Question 3. “Why are there ‘tails’ and ‘swirls’ in the corners of my engraving?”
If you are getting swirls in the corners of your engraving your cutter speed may be too fast in relation to your XY speed. Slow your spindle speed down, or increase your table speed.
Using a worn or damaged cutter may also cause tails or swirls in your engraving. You can have it re-sharpened or replace it.
Question 4. “Why is my text engraving poorly?”
Your letter quality may be poor if you are using too fast of an engraving speed. Try slowing down your engraving and spindle speeds to improve letter quality.
If you are using diamond drag engraving, your down pressure may be set too high. Reduce the pressure and the engraving quality should improve.
Also be sure that your cutter is not dull or damaged, and your material is secured firmly to the table. If your material moves during the engraving process the letters can become warped and distorted.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you while you are learning how to use your engraving machine. If a problem arises while engraving, please visit our Forum or call our technical support department for assistance. We’re here to help!