I am trying to use my Jtech 7.0W laser (on a Shapeoko 4 XXL) to cut through some 1/4 birch plywood and I clearly have no idea how to do it because none of My test circles have cut through the wood. I’ve changed the amount of “passes” my laser does on the test circle and as of now, I am up to 26 times at 100 mm/m for speed, 100% power max and 100% power min with a 0.010 mm interval.
Is there a setting I need to have on to make a cut through wood ? I have my 31= 0 and my 32= 1
1/4 inch? That sounds awfully thick for a 7w laser. Effective focus distance is usually about 3-4mm (1/8 inch) for those. You probably really need to adjust focus (or lower the laser) twice. However, don’t expect a clean cut, you will get heat buildup and charring spreading out. Doing more passes at a higher speed helps with that to a certain extend (e.g. I’m cutting 3mm plywood with 8 passes at 8mm/s for a nicer cut instead of doing 1 pass at 1mm/s or 2 passes at 2mm/s)
Those diode lasers just have a quite narrow focus distance. I have 2 7W machines myself and the one without air assist can’t get more than halfway through 3mm plywood in a reasonable amount of passes. The other one gets through 3mm plywood buts needs 3 times as many passes for 4mm.
Diode lasers could massively benefit from having a motorized head height adjustment, even if it was just able to move the head a couple of millimeters.
My first laser was a 30 watt (input) that I mounted on the CNC3018 and it did have the Z axis available. I understand the problem. Don’t use them much, but I think I was lucky to get the ‘what I guesstimated’ output of maybe 3 watts.
Thanks for the comment. Sure miss a motorized Z axes on the current machine.
When I was looking at that laser I asked about cutting and the owner told me “Diode lasers are really not for cutting but engraving” now I know people cut thin material using Diode lasers but 1/4" is not thin in the laser world. His answer to me is why I ended up buying a 60w CO2 laser and I love it.