Today’s testing was about trying to etch white tiles painted white. I tried with tiles painted with spray paint (satin white), and tiles painted with brush paint primer (latex interior primer).

Power Gradient

First test was trying to etch on white tiles painted white using a power/speed gradient grid going from 60-90% and 1000-1800 mm/min. The grid was 5 square by 5 square, for a total of 50mm by 50mm. The test was done on both tiles spray painted and with the primer. In all cases, absolutely nothing was etched. The paint was not even marked, and the tiles were still in their initial stage.

Slow speed high power

This test consisted of a single 10mm by 10mm square, and changing the speed and power as required to achieve etching. First test was done on the very corner of the tile (where it tapers a little), at 900 mm/min and 85%. The tapered part of the tiles, even being a fraction of a mm lower, had some etching, and the rest of the square had nothing. Then a second square was done at 600 mm /min and 90%, and resulted in no marking on the tile at all. The third square was 300 mm/min and 90%. This one burned a black square on the tile, but removing the paint showed no engraving at all on the tile. See picture below.

Conclusion is that the beam is extremely sensitive, and needs to be perfectly focused in order to engrave the tile. Slower speed will only burn the paint more, but will still not be strong enough to etch the tile. Higher power could help, but it is not recommended to run laser at 100%, so I am not willing to go over 90% for this. Recommend working on pin point focus of the beam.

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