Fill operations are a densely packed series of etched lines that "fill" a shape. LaserLink, the software we use for the BEAM Dynamics machine, has a fill tool that enables the laser head to move faster on a programmed fill than it would if the student were to supply the fill linework from their respective CAD program. This is why the fill layer in your *.DXF file should contain the boundary shapes for the fill and not the fill patterns themselves.
You will save time and money by orienting the long axis of a fill in the x (horizontal) direction. Remember to keep fill boundary geometry within the maximum fill zone as drawn in the template. If fill boundaries are simple you may duplicate the fill boundary layer to provide a masking-removal etch layer. This allows us to minimize the removal of material masking in order to better protect the surface of your material.
The student provided one closed shape for a denser, darker fill and a total of eleven closed shapes for a coarser, lighter fill. The result resembles a project done using wood inlay.
The laser is a focused beam of light that pierces your material. To get a quality cut with minimal kerf (width of cut), the beam must be focused to the height of your material on the laser's cutting bed. However, it can be useful to defocus the laser for etching operations. The increased kerf of a defocused etch line is much like adding stoke weight to the pen tool in Illustrator, at least until the focus of the laser is so far out of range (-7+) that it ceases to mark the material.
The student provided a file with an etch and fill layer containing identical geometry, the former providing us with closed shapes with which we could perform a fill operation and the latter allowing the student to get an etched outline. To achieve a bolder lineweight, the etched outline was defocused in order to produce a wider kerf