15 watt vs 20 wattage

Maybe a dumb question, but I’m going to upgrade my Ortur Master 7 watt, but uncertain which I should buy. 15 watt or 20 watt. I have a project in mind that will require cutting thin acrylic.

You may want to research the available laser frequencies before you spend money on an upgrade. Diode lasers operate at a frequency that is not fully “compatible” with acrylic cutting. CO2 lasers work because the frequency of the laser is such that it interacts with the acrylic, while diode lasers are on a different wavelength that does not.

Some specific colors of acrylic can be cut by a diode laser, but they are limited, typically in the red “range” of plastic, although my research in the past ended there. Some users have applied coatings to clear acrylic, with which the diode laser will react, but it is a surface reaction, in that the coating is burned and damages the acrylic as a secondary effect.

From my research you are correct diode vs co. Also I found a video which a variety of colors failed, but black succeeded. However, he didn’t mention what power diode he was using. So, it seems to me that 15 watt (4.5 w output) must perform better than my 7 watt and 20 watt better yet. It this true or am I having a pipe dream.

I’ve cut 1mm black acrylic with a 7W NUBM44 diode.

It’s not great.

As to ‘upgrading’ from your 7W - that’s the most powerful they make laser diodes. They achieve higher wattage by overdriving the chip, which shortens it’s life measurably - I’ve seen them burn out in as little as 100 hours use.

For the same money you’re close to the price of a 40W CO2, which will eat acrylic for breakfast and will be 5-15x faster at every other material you can throw at it, compared to a diode.

The only place a diode is superior is dot size, which can be important if you do photo engraving.

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