Another box from the festi.info box configurator to collect more lids in a kitchen drawer:
This was really a thinly veiled excuse for a deeper look at the QR code generator encoding the myriad parameters required to create the box and see what happens when you try to burn such a complex thing into chipboard.
Spoiler: chipboard has very low contrast and really does not work well with high-density QR codes.
Although the festi.info box generator can produce QR codes, I used
qrencode (available in your Linux distro) on the command line to generate QR code image files with specific settings:
qrencode --level=M --size=6 --dpi=254 --output='Ricotta Lids 2 lb - chipboard.png' 'http://festi.info/boxes.py/ABox?FingerJoint_angle=90.0&FingerJoint_style=rectangular&FingerJoint_surroundingspaces=2.0&FingerJoint_bottom_lip=0.0&FingerJoint_edge_width=2.0&FingerJoint_extra_length=0.0&FingerJoint_finger=2.0&FingerJoint_play=0.0&FingerJoint_space=3.0&FingerJoint_width=1.0&x=200.0&y=120.0&h=60.0&outside=0&bottom_edge=h&thickness=1.4&format=lbrn2&tabs=0.0&qr_code=0&debug=0&labels=0&reference=0&inner_corners=corner&burn=0.04&language=en&render=0'
The key parameters:
--level→ error correction level
--size→ size of the smallest square (“module”) in pixels
--dpi→ DPI of the output image file
The default file type is PNG. The unusual 254 DPI makes each pixel exactly 0.1 mm wide and a peculiar 169.33 DPI = 0.15 mm came in handy for the first pattern.
The final parameter is the character string to encode, which you should definitely quote to prevent the shell from wrecking things while trying to help you.
A pattern with 4×4 pixel modules didn’t scan at all:
A closer look shows the modules have ragged edges due to laser timing variations during the engraving scans and gaps between successive scans because the spot size is less than the 0.15 mm scan interval:
Increasing the module to 6×6 pixels at a 0.1 mm scan interval :
A closer look shows the larger module reduces the relative size of the timing errors, while the decreased line spacing tidies up the blocks:
Reducing the power from 15% to 10% reduced the contrast to the point of illegibility:
A closer look shows the engraving barely punches through the surface and has somewhat more ragged edges due to the tube’s pulsating startup current at very low power:
I also tried 5×5 modules with similar results.
The laser spot size sets the engraving scan interval, which then determines the DPI value for the QR code image. With all that matched up, you can send the images directly to the laser in
Passthrough mode, without having LightBurn resample the pixels and change the module’s shape.
Looked at from a different angle: given the laser spot size and the module size, the QR code image size is not under your control.
From another angle: given a QR code image size in, say, millimeters, and the engraving scan interval, the module size is not under your control.
All this is moot if you print QR codes on a high-resolution / high-contrast printer. It’s just the gritty nature of laser cuttery that limits what you can accomplish.
And, of course, using a material less awful than chipboard will definitely improve the results.
If you want a similar box of your own, here ya go:
The URL is too ugly to print, but you can copy it from this link.