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The cardinal rule of RetinaEngrave is that it's stupid.  If, at any point, you are doing something and the thought occurs that 'the software should know', stop right there because it probably does not. Some things I discovered that might save others some headache, frustration, and wasted time/materials:

  • Double check your design between the program you started in, and RetinaEngrave.  The print driver is not smart, and cuts off sections if it resets to the standard letter size, can scale things when you need exact sizes, and most annoyingly renders solid lines into multiple ones.  That last one is just a loooot of trial and error to make lines thinner before printing to RetinaEngrave, or cleaning it up inside RE.
  • It's good to follow the checklist, but make note of your settings before you start, and be prepared to fix them all right before you start(press G).  The most annoying for me was the dropdown between Vector, Raster, or Raster then Vector.  It likes to reset that after doing a perimeter trace.
  • Be prepared for experimentation on power vs speed.  At least for 3mm nominal craft board, two passes at higher speed and lower power cut better, took less time, and had less burn than one at lower speed and higher power.

Double Sided Laser Engraving

Remember the cardinal rule of RetinaEngrave.  The internet will tell you you can make a design on separate layers of a graphics file, and print them separately into RE and they will line up.  The internet lies, or, SynShop's version of the software is not that version.  

  • You need two wholly separate files
  • The only way to make them line up is to put a big black registration square in the upper left, above your design.  I think I had to go up to 6mm a side to get RE to recognize it
  • Cut, then flip.  Trying to line up a board to engrave side A then engrave and cut side B is almost impossible to get level.  Instead, engrave and cut on side A, go steal a dental pick from the electronics bin, flip your object over in place, then engrave side B
  • Blue painters tape or masking tape is your friend. Even if you don't need it to cover your surface to prevent burn, after you've engraved side B, sticking a strip of tap across your cutout parts and the board/plastic will let you pick up most, if not all, the pieces at once off the bed.

1 comment

Miss Jackalope's picture

by Miss Jackalope on Sun, 02/25/2018 - 19:16

>>The cardinal rule of RetinaEngrave is that it's stupid.<<


I just laughed so hard I think I pulled something!