"Best" laser for cutting?

Hi!

I had bought a chinese CNC system, with a 40w diode laser, an “EIDEVO” laser module.

This is the machine: CNC5040

and the laser module is this: Laser Module

I have it with a controller, that uses a SD card ith the files.

Also, I made a custom box with air extraction and air support at the head. The box is closed when working


I was happy with it, but it has degraded rapidly. I started cutting at 130 mm/min and now I am at 70 mm/min and getting worse, always at 100% power. It has been woorking for around 40-60 hours. Have to clean the lenses after each sesion (30-60 minutes cutting) just to get a few more power, but I guess it will not be enough soon to be able to cut at 70 mm/min. I can not slow it more before making it useless, as it can take then ages. I am using it for making money, not for fun, so slow it even more is not an option.

So I am planning to buy another machine. The “cheapest” solution could be to buy a new laser module.

-I use it mainly for cutting MDF 3mm
-I need no-computer use.

What will you recommend me? A new laser module? A complete new machine?

I have no problem with my current machine, as I can think about it like a “test system”.

I can spend money on a new one, but no thousands (yet!)

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I want to say that running diode laser at 100% of their rated power causes them to degrade pretty quickly. I do love the fact that you have a case, i hate when i see people with a diode setup without a case which is how they normally come, because who thinks inhaling that smoke is a good idea right. If you really want to get into cutting i’d recommend going with a co2 laser, you can get one of those k40 lasers for around $500. I DIY’d my own co2 laser using a acro 1010 from openbuilds. seeing as you already have a system to move a laser head all you need is a laser tube, power supply, mirrors & laser head. But that depends on your comfort level with building one. You could get your tube and psu from omtech like i did, looks like a 40w setup is $180 plus shipping i think, then mirror holders and laser head you could get as a kit from amazon for $52, then mirrors and focal lense for about $55. so for around 300-350 and some retrofiting on your already owned laser you could have a 40w co2 than will cut 3mm plywood no problem on a first pass at no less than 4mm/s id wager closer to 6mm/s as i cut 3mm plywood on my 50w at 10 -12mm/s

Thanks fo your reply!

I love your idea.

Pros:
-I can cut upto 50x40 (not needed really, but 40x30 will be cool)
-I can use it computerless.
-Cheaper

Contra:
-Don’t know what to purchase
-Don’t know what to build
-Do I need water refrigerant also?

Do you have/know any web/youtube with info about this build?

Again, thank you.

I forgot about refrigeration lol my bad all i use is a cat litter bucket with a with a pond pump that circulates distilled water. pond pump $15ish a 5 gallon bucket might be $10 and some tubing $10.

The guy at this link has a whole build series on his laser cutter, its pretty professional looking by the end of it. You could definitely use it as a reference to familiarize yourself with the parts and their functions. Either way whatever you choose whether its buying one or building one just be safe and look into the safety first.