I recently etched some small wooden tokens with Dungeons and Dragons monsters. However, my first attempt turned out horribly! Though I started with decent quality images and etched them at 600 dpi, the result was of very poor quality and barely recognizable.
The good news is that I was able to make a very simple change to my settings to get a better result. For comparison, take a look at the photo of the two tokens. The one on the left was my first try, and one on the right is the same image with slightly different settings. It's almost like night and day!
Here's the issue, and how to fix it...
Step 1: Bad Rastering Settings
On my first attempt, I had though that using a decent quality image and printing at a high resolution would be enough. In this screen cap, you can see that my DPI is set to 600. You can also see that I was using Standard image dithering. That was my error right there!
So what's a better choice?
Step 2: Good Raster Settings
Click on the drop down menu for Image Dithering and select almost ANYTHING other than Standard. I used Floyd Steinberg, but Jarvis and Stucki are good choices too. In this screen cap, you can also see that I dropped my resolution to 300 DPI. With a non-standard image dithering pattern, even low res prints turn out amazing!
It's such a simple little change, and yet it will vastly improve your laser etched images. Happy lasering!