Laser-Engraved DVD

Tinkering the GCMC Guilloche pattern generator to produce an SVG file, then passing it through LightBurn to engrave a DVD worked surprisingly well:

Laser-engraved DVD - overview
Laser-engraved DVD – overview

Polycarbonate plastic isn’t something you want to cut in your laser, because it melts and releases The Big Stink™, but vector engraving at high speed produces a clean 0.1 mm line:

Laser-engraved DVD - Guilloche detail
Laser-engraved DVD – Guilloche detail

The legend around the middle came out well with 2 ms pulses at 0.25 mm spacing:

Laser-engraved DVD - dot-mode text detail
Laser-engraved DVD – dot-mode text detail

The black dots in the background were printed on the label side of the DVD.

The vast number of closely spaced points caused the laser’s path planner to pause the machine’s XY motion while it caught up, but without visible damage to the platter. The GCMC program prunes the path to ensure successive points lie more than 0.2 mm apart, but maybe coarser resolution would reduce the planner’s workload without looking any worse.

All in all, the results look (and feel!) much better than the diamond drag engravings:

Diamond Scribe - LM3UU - arc text - first light
Diamond Scribe – LM3UU – arc text – first light

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