Air Assist air pressure required

Looking to make an air assist for my Sainsmart 5W laser so i can cut through 1.5mm to 3mm plywood without having to spend Hours to cut a small profile with 15 passes.

Also looking at solid woods, as opposed to plywood, ordered 2mm basswood sheets to try.

If i use an air assist what sort of air presure is required, i have an air brush compressor and a swimming pool pump, which if i reduce the nozzle to something very small should create a higher pressure, anyone have any experience with this.


In short High PSI is not needed. you just need enough to keep the smoke out of your beam and enough pressure to get down in the kerf to blow away the ash so the laser can reach the uncut wood.

I played around with my Laser Master 2 with the 15 watt module (~4.5W output) I found anything over about 10 psi cooled the cut and started to take longer again. Now I run a 18 Litre/Min aquarium pump through a 3mm nozzle, about 8mm above the surface. I have not measured the PSI, but it sounds about the same as when I was using my compressor set to 5-10 PSI. This is plenty of air for what I do. I can now cut through 6mm Basswood in 4 passes as opposed to 16 without air (Also there is a lot less smoke generated).

Flow pressure will depend on the material being cut. For acrylic, a lower pressure is needed because it is melting and gasifying the acrylic. For wood you can go higher and get better / cleaner cuts.With a Cloudray No3 Nozzle on my CO2 laser, I run 5 psi flow pressure for acrylic, but 15 psi flow pressure for MDF.

Thanks for the reply

Hi, Been looking for a suitable pump, you say 18 L/min is that correct as most i can find are 5 l/min aquarium pumps, that seems a very high flow rate.
Unless i go for an industrial pump which will cost an awful lot more.
i don’t know if you can recommend any on Amazon UK as i i getting very confused.



I upgraded recently to a full Air Compressor which is working really well. Much more consistent than the Fish Tank style air pump that came with my machine.

I actually cut wood materials at 8-15 psi and the cut is very, VERY clean. No smokey debris and you can actually see the layers of the material when I pull the cut apart. Was well worth the investment and was the compressor itself was the same price as a bigger Air Pump that usually comes on these machines.

I’m also from the UK and this is the exact model I purchased - Low Noise Silent 24 litres Air Compressor 1.5HP 220v – Dirty Pro Tools

I’m in the US. This is the model I purchased. this is 4 separate outlets that I plumbed into one.

I suppose it would not work for you because you would need a 220v version right?

Thanks, i have found a uk seller for the same pump, do you use 1 outlet or all 4 at the same time,
could you plumb all 4 outlets into 1 hose ?.

How have you set yours up, Thanks

just read your reply again, you have plumbed into one, thanks again


Does the output really increase to 18 L / min (4.5 L / min x 4)?
Do you feel a difference with 1 connection and 4?

Yes. I opened mine up and there is 4 separate air pumps inside. Each is plumbed to it’s own outlet. I combined mine inside the housing with a 3D printed 4-1 manifold. You could do the same thing externally, I just had the means and wanted the cleaner look of doing it the hard way.

Ah! Many Thanks. The one with the 4 membranes is interesting. I hope that there are those in Germany too.

I would test that first.

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