Buying a new Laser recommendations

Hi LaserBurn team & everyone,

I have a cheap 3018 Pro from eBay and the performance of the 5500mw laser isn’t quite what I was expecting…

  1. I can’t seem to cut through Plywood without charcoaling it (It takes like 50 passes to get through 3mm)
  2. I can’t cut throuh Acrilic either, even to engrave on it I need 100% at a speed of 100mm/min

Am I expecting too much from my laser or is it just a cheap knock off?

What brand or site do you recommend I go to to get a laser that can cut 3mm acrilic/plywood?

you need a CO2 laser for doing what you want in a few (even 1 pass) like an 80W laser - Red&Black from china at 2K or a USA brand name at 7K to 8K$ :stuck_out_tongue: my dream machine but right now i have a Ortur LM2 20w (5,5w output) with Air Assist and it cuts 3mm ply in 5 to 10 passes at 300/90

This is a bit of an exaggeration. I can reliably cut 3mm plywood with 60% power on my K40 (40W spec, 33W real) moving at 550mm/min.

Where did you get your Ortur machine from? I just need the laser upgrade as the rest of the machine I have is perfect. I don’t mind it taking several passes, but ATM with the amount of passes I need to do everything just ends up burnt

This is a really cool looking machine. It’s just out of my price range ATM but I’ll keep an eye on it. The reason I got my current machine is becuase I also want to use the router tool on it as well as having a laser. It would just be super useful for me to have a better laser that can actually cut rather than just engrave.

of course you can any CO2 will cut like butter compared to a diode, i was merely referencing my dream machine :wink: the K40 is a very tempting machine as well :slight_smile: one day when i have more space I will certainly consider such a beast. Thanks for the feedback on your machine. Cheers

what you really need is to setup an air assist system, quite simple if you have access to a 3D printer – since you will need to print some fitting for the hose. a simple hydroponic air pump to blow the ashes our of the crack so that at each pass the laser has a clean surface to burn, it also blows away the smoke from the lens providing more laser power. People cut plywood with 15w no issue
another addon that im waiting for is a G8 lens apparently it allows better focus into a dot versus an oval so you get better cuts.

If you need to buy a 15 or 20w go the the official Ortur Store on AliExpress, i bought mine from Gearbest but would by from Ali next time as it is the official store.

Search YT for Ortur and Air Assist you will learn all there is to lean about this must have upgrade.


Sorry, I misunderstood you to say that an 80W laser was required to cut 3mm plywood. My mistake.
Cheers to you as well.

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Get a module from either of these guys:

They can sell you everything from a raw led through to a complete unit with driver, heat sink, casing.

Personally I would use dtr-lpf first and Barnett if they didn’t have what I want, for no other reason than they have always been great to deal with.

Knocks the likes of endurance into a cocked hat for quality and significantly cheaper

Their Nichia stuff is the genuine Japanese article, not some knock off Chinese or Russian diode.

An NUBM44 is genuinely 7-8W output

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Amazing! Thank you, I have messaged both of these sellers and will see what advice they have for me.

I can buy the Ortur 20W machine for the same price, but that’s from China and I have lost my faith there. Thank you very much for the recommendations I will let you know what I end up buying

Theres not much wrong with the Ortur, from what I can see, but you aren’t getting ‘20W’, it’s a new way laser diode vendors have of lying to their customers by saying ‘No, it’s the current DRAW’, which is another lie, because there’s no way in hell they’re drawing 20W.

There’s a sucker born every minute :slight_smile:
If you go to the laser pointer forum, both dtr and Barrett are active - you will learn a lot about diodes there.

It’s also the best place to learn about diode drivers. It looks 1980s Myspace, but it is the best site on the planet for anything to do with diodes.

One other thing I would recommend - get a proper glass lens. The plastic ones just can’t ‘cut’ it, compared to glass. The guys above will give you the right advice.

Just wanted to give you all an update.

  1. The NUBM44-V2 laser sold by Barnett Unlimited on eBay looks like a fantasic laser. They say they think it can cut 3mm Plywood in 3/4 passes. At this point in time I don’t think I want to spend £200 on the diode, houseing etc but it’s clearly one of the best options out there.

  2. I have been looking into CO2 lasers (there are a few on Amazon for £400) these also look amazing, but from what ppl say online they are delicate machines and the tubes can ware out quickly. I was looking at these becuae I also want to cut acrilic.

So for now I will stick with what I have currently got since I don’t think I diode will give me the clean cut I am after (I will use my router attachment) and a CO2 laser just isn’t practical for me. But if this hobbie really takes off for me I will be looking to get the NUBM44-V2 soon!

Can the systems with the cheap lenses be upgraded with glass lenses?

I think you will find, to get that £400 Laser System to do what you want it to do you will need to buy that cheap system and then upgrade this and that until you’ve spent at least double that, maybe triple. However, having said that, you learn a lot doing that and you will have a very usable and reliable system. I know, I’m on my third major upgrade of mine and it’s great! Of course, it isn’t a ‘desktop’ laser cutter. Mine probably weighs about 150lbs and is on it’s own roller cart that I move out of the way or ‘in the way’ as the case may be.

Yes, they all use the same thread.

Just a small one, then? :slight_smile:

Mine (6090) weighs 450kg. Huuuge girders and 1/4” steel plate

It was fun moving it into the workshop

On the £400 K40 variant, they are very useable as is, if cutting is your main objective.

Not great at photo-engraving, though.

You are right. I realized after the fact that I should have mentioned this. Not just cutting though, vector engraving is very usable, although power control is a bit coarse.

Re weight of the unit, since I keep mine in the loft of my workshop, I’m somewhat limited in size (not to mention budget :wink:. Your unit sounds like a monster!

Is the “DTR-G-2” the correct replacement lens? This is for a “30W” NEJE system.
Ah, maybe the G-8 is a better choice…

I bought a 50W CO2 from Red Dragon Lasers in South Wales. Although this is a Chinese laser, the company have a fantastic team, really helpful, and included in the price is free delivery, set-up and training.
Comes with RDWorks, so the first thing I did was buy LightBurn.
You can buy the machine cheaper directly from China, but the peace of mind of support and guarantee is worth the extra in my opinion
Really pleased with the machine and the service.

G2 is the most common lens for diodes.

‘DTR’ is just their part name. Send him a message and ask- they’re very responsive