Why is my laser cutter trying to engrave super thin lines that it should be cutting?

I'll post the solution I found, but other answers are also welcome.

  • 8
    What software are you using? What is your laser cutter device? What material are you cutting? What is the thickness of the material, is it within the limits of your device? This may be a digital but also a physical issue, and it's hard to determine without any context.
    – Neinstein
    Jun 14, 2022 at 9:48
  • 3
    Sounds like it might be using far too low power or too high speed for whatever reason. It doesn't know whether it's engraving or cutting; it just shines a laser along a path.
    – user253751
    Jun 14, 2022 at 11:39
  • @Neinstein I'm just trying to post the solution to an issue that I couldn't find mentioned anywhere on the internet. As other people run into similar issues, they can post their answers here too. It's better than nothing.
    – Seph Reed
    Jun 20, 2022 at 2:10
  • @SephReed That's a great thing to do! However, I think you should still narrow down your question to software issues, or at least expand your answer to at least briefly mention other possible issues, like the ones I mentioned. If this wasn't a self-answer, it would be closed for lacking any details. In the answer you start off assuming that the laser treats vectors as raster information (which can't be implied from the question without massive assumptions), this could be a great starting point to add to the question's body. If you encountered this yourself, a picture could be very useful too
    – Neinstein
    Jun 20, 2022 at 11:43
  • If there was any overlap here, I'd find the need for specificity very important. As it stands, this is the only thing that comes up on the internet pertaining to the issue as it was being seen. In my case it had to do with software, for someone else it could be different. But this is a good starting point at which other links, answers, or research can possibly coalesce. If this is the only answer or permutation of this question that ever happens, that's fine too.
    – Seph Reed
    Jul 8, 2022 at 3:58

1 Answer 1


If your laser cutter is treating vectors as raster information, there's a good chance that it's receiving incorrect instructions.

One such example of this might be in Adobe Illustrator where you can combine raster and vector into layers and it will often output only raster information from that point forwards.

If this matches your case, try turning off all raster layers so nothing is being output except vectors.

  • 3
    What physical effect does this have on the laser?
    – user253751
    Jun 14, 2022 at 11:38
  • You can also set your layers to be different colors, then set those different colors to use different settings in your laser software. So Red might be a fast speed and low power for an etch while Blue could be a high power slow pass to cut, while green is somewhere in between. Of course, this depends on the materials as well as the laser software you use. I think I've done as many as 5-6 colors for different passes. I also tend to do all raster passes before any vector passes. Jun 14, 2022 at 16:50

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