I see there is a new dynamic PWM board to control the laser power, especially for the Shark. That should be a great addition, as George and Ilya helped me make a home-built version of that when I bought my Pro 10 plus almost two years ago. It works great for power control. I did change from direct connection to the Shark control box to a plug-in breakout board.
I started with Inkscape, which would produce vectors only, so pretty much just outlines of shapes and letters. In December 2021, I found that Vectric VCarve would work for laser. I use the VCarve Desktop Quick Engrave toolpath For the 10 watt laser focused at 0.5 inches, I have set my laser as a 0.06” end mill, at 31% stepover, feed rate depending on material, with the CNCShark HD4 Laser (inch) (*tap) postprocessor. This works well with either outline or fill and hatch settings. Fill and hatch does a nicer burn than fill and offset. Next Wave Automation offers a program called Raster which very easily transforms photos/JPEG pictures into a laser .tap file for engraving of photos. I use Google Paint 3D to crop photos, and to remove background of unwanted from the photo before engraving
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I have used Raster on white spray painted ceramic tiles to engrave a picture of my daughter’s dogs. I also engraved a photo of a friend’s dog onto boards and used the VCarve to locate photo position on the board, and VCarve to add the letter engraving.
I have used the laser for engraving tiles with letters and photos, signs with lettering and lettering/photo combination. I also engraved mirrors, using reverse engraving to remove the reflective material on the mirrror backside. On a mirror with a flower engraved, I placed colored paper over the engraving for the flower color.