Engraving Question: What is your workflow for changing Z-height (I'm using VCarve Pro, Mach 4, Avid PRO6060 & Opt lasers)

I’m interested in knowing what everyone does for workflow for adding (or subtracting) z-height when doing laser engraving. For instance, if you want to sneak up on the best engraving focal point for engraving (or cutting) on different materials, or to change the width of engraving letters, etc.

I got the “Laser Etch Fine Line Focus Test Z edited and extra Z moves removed.txt” g-code from @jjneeb for doing laser characterization which shows how it’s done in g-code; this file allows you to burn a series of lines in the x and y directions at plus or minus .05" increments so you can sneak up on getting the best focal point, but I’m not sure how to create something like this in VCarve Pro or if it can even be done in Vectric?

If not, is the only option to create a Laser Cut & Fill toolpath, convert it to g-code using Jim’s “Avid CNC Laser M67 With Z” post processor, and then manually add different z-heights to the g-code by adding G1Z0.??? values where you need them? Ugh… wish I was better with g-code!

Thanks in advance for letting me know how you all accomplish this, and Happy Holidays!

Hi Bob,
I generated that file in Vcarve Pro, but since they don’t support setting Z height in the laser module, I went back in and edited the Gcode for the Z height settings.

Another option is to make a post processor for the regular mill that will run the laser then you can do it easily.

I will send you the Vcarve file if you want it.

Jim