40w laser compatible with lightburn

Hi Folks
im using a 5.5w 3018 pro and i think i killed my laser :frowning:
im looking for a entry level 40w laser setup that works with lightburn or a new laser module
im looking to cut 3mm ply and engrave wood
Any suggestions please

If you want to seriously cut 3-4mm BB plywood or HDF, go further on the evolution laser ladder and buy a CO2 laser machine :wink:
This is the step many have taken. You will find fine information about K40 machines here on the forum, including my own experiences.

yes i was thinking about the K40 but which one ??
most do not run light burn ???

If I had to do it again, I would buy a K40 with analog ammeter, a Mini-Gerbil controller and a CW-5000 chiller. That’s also what I did the first time.
An alternative that is better but also somewhat more expensive is to buy a 50-60 Watt OMT laser machine. Often it is the next step after a K40 :wink:
But that does not mean that I regret my years with my K40, not at all, it was a very nice and useful lesson to learn for me. My K40 has earned more than enough money to be able to buy my 60Watt machine.

I went from a CNC3018 with the ‘stock’ 3.5 watt laser to the 30 watt Neje laser module. Works well.

However when I wanted to do more, I skipped the K40 in favor of the 50 watt 5030 China Blue type of machine.

My main reasons were that the

K40 won’t run Lightburn without a replacement controller, which are not too expensive, but requires you to replace a major part of the machine.

Most lasers have a movable Z axes for adjusting the laser height to the material as it is all different sizes. Not present on a K40

No homing switches on the K40s that I looked at.

All of these types of machines require some kind of cooling system for the tube. In Phoenix area if it isn’t refrigerated, it becomes a heater, not a cooler, so I opted for a chiller like the 5200 series.

I really like and have enjoyed my 50 watt (44 watt measured Mahoney watt meter, 880mm)

I had about $2300 in it, including home built metal wheeled table… This is how it’s morphed…

I’m sure you’ll enjoy which ever machine you pick.

Good luck


There are many pros and cons, but economics is often the most important argument.

My K40 cost $ 340 and a Mini-Gerbilb controller cost me $ 90 (the actual replacement of the controller takes max! 10 minutes and is real plug and play)
In addition, there are various conversions which are, however, individual such as machine bed and door contact and CW-500 for example. By the way, my machine came with electronic endstops and analog ammeter which never gave me problems.
Roughly speaking, the real cost has not exceeded $ 350.

I just found a “real 15Watt” dual laser diode laser head with controller) for $ 1500, with or without power supply, it does not say so.
A cnc3040 or Eleksmaker is available for $ 300-400 approx.
If I add up roughly again, it gives approx. $ 1800.

For my new 60Watt OMT I paid $ 2335

Economically, you should start with a 50 / 60Watt CO2 laser machine and save (as in my case) approx. what the first 2 machines cost together. :wink:
But, as I wrote before, the learning process and the pleasure I have had with my Eleksmaker and my K40 and not to forget, the money I have earned, I will not do without either.

Hi thanks for your comments :slight_smile:
Can I be a pain and ask can you send me a link to the k40 and control board you recommend please
Thank you for your help and time

Mmmm yes I would love to cover costs
Cutting and engraving
I don’t have loads of time as I work part time
I’m from the UK and I don’t think I will need a chiller lol
I’m still torn between a new laser unit and a k40
Which I do have the space for

The only one with analog ammeter that I can just find is this one here:

But the description sounds very ambiguous, whether it is because of the translation or something else, I do not know. It requires some clarification and “guarantees” for eg the length of the tube. A 40Watt tube should be 700mm in length, then it can supply something near 35Watt, there are tubes with 630mm and similar strange dimensions, I will not buy them.
The other machines are more expensive, the price has generally jumped up a lot and lacks an analog ammeter, but it costs only about $ 12 and is reasonably easy to retrofit. By the way, it is generally a prerequisite that you have a minimum of craftsmanship if you work with CO2 laser machines.

Here is the link to “my” controller, which is the cheapest and best replacement, as far as I know.

Of course it is not in stock either … :frowning: and a C3D LaserBoard, as an alternative, costs $ 230.

A good page regarding the K40 is this one, it is “subsidized” but I think it covers my experience reasonably well.

Ps thanks for the heads up about the glasses
I built an enclosure for my 3018 with proper orange laser protecting screen :slight_smile:

I also built a box but used my glass glasses as extra security :wink:

What’s your thoughts on
40W Laser Fixed Focal Length Engraving Module for CNC 3018 Pro Max Router Machine40W Laser Fixed Focal Length Engr…

  • £179.00£179.00

  • In stock

  • Sent from: Allinare

I think the @anon88048707 is correct. I have a CNC3018 that I got with a 3500mw laser. I upgraded it to a 30watt Neje and had a great time learning it and Lightburn.

It has an awfully small work area. I actually have three of them and they have all been relegated to doing some type of 3d cnc machining like making pcb’s for electronic projects that are small.

It’s a great way to get into lasers.

The K40 is probably a more useful machine for you considering the budget.

This hobby is like most, not ‘cheap’.

Good luck


I would like to thank everyone for their input and advice
I think a k40 or k50 is a bit beyond my technical experience
I’m a 60+ year old tecno muppet lol
So I think I’m going to stay with my 3018
And update my laser
40W Laser Fixed Focal Length Engraving Module for CNC 3018 Pro Max Router Machine40W Laser Fixed Focal Length Engr…

Unless someone in the UK has a second hand k50 all set up lol
Thanks again stay safe

I have the 30 watt, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

I’m 67 and started this journey a couple of years ago… Wife won’t tell what I’ve spent ‘over’ the cost of the initial machines… says she doesn’t want to ruin my enjoyment.

Looking at the numbers, I’m thinking heroin is less addictive and with lower overall costs… :crazy_face:

Have fun, take care…


well now there is the Mini Gerbil V3

I’m well aware of that, but version 2 has worked to full satisfaction with a K40, for less money :wink:

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Both Atomstack and NEJE offer a 10W dual diode laser module.
They have the power to cut thru 3mm plywood cleanly with one pass.

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I’m very new to the hobby, but I have been using my Neje40 to cut 8mm standard plywood in a few passes. Looks very nice to me. I haven’t tried to reconfigure to use less passes and I don’t know the interface to you machine.

Are you referring to the dual 20 watt Neje, they advertise at 40 watts?

Generally LED lasers are referenced by ‘input’ watts and co2 by output watts. Most electrical items give you input power, as you need to know how much to feed them.

Most ss lasers make at most about 20% of the input power. Mine have been more like 10%. My 30 watt cuts like I’d expect from a 3 watt or so. I doubt that the 40 watt, after going through a beam combiner can produce 10 watts, maintaining 25% efficiency.

You read the advertisements and they are claiming it works as well as a 50 watt co2… I’m sure they are playing math games, but it doesn’t help when we try and figure out things.

I bought a 50 watt and it’s 44…

People have purchased the same animal advertised at 80 watts…