Hello, I'm just learning to use my laser and could use some wisdom on some questions and problems. I have an epilogue mini 35W, and absolutely love it when I'm working with anodized metal - flashlights, water bottles, etc. I'm having a lot... LOT... of trouble when I'm working with granite, however. The pictures come out either acceptable or horrible, rarely anything in between. I'd much prefer having them come out good or great
--- First, my material. I've been using granite tiles purchased from Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. I've noticed that there has been inconsistencies in batches - sometimes the finished product is much lighter or darker, sometimes I have unexplained dots that didn't get etched into the picture. I'm looking at getting the material from Laserbits instead, but going from $2-4 per tile to about $15 (with shipping) per tile has me really worried. Right now this is my only income, so dollars are being stretched as much as possible till I can get this business self sufficient. Is the quality of their material worth paying five times the cost? If not, are there other suppliers that offer quality product with competitive pricing? I have no problem paying for quality... as long as I GET the quality I pay for. I live in Southern California but don't have a preference between a local vs an internet supplier.
--- Second, my settings are very different from what I've read other people using and suggesting. In Epilog's owner's manual, as well as the Laserbits site, the recommended Speed/Power settings are 100/25 for marble/granite. When I set my laser to that, the tile barely has anything cut into the surface. Until I raise it up to around 100/60 or so, I cannot have the entire picture cut into the tile - parts just don't show up. Unfortunately, if I raise it just a little beyond that threshold, I lose a tremendous amount of detail. Anything in light shades is bleached out and blended together so that the tile is basically trashed. Lettering and solid designs/clip art are not a problem, it's strictly detailed photos that aren't turning out. I'm cutting at 600 dpi. Would this likely be a problem with my laser, shoddy materials, or does the problem exist between the keyboard and the chair?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!