How thick of plywood or MDF can a 5500mw laser cut?

Hey I’m getting a 5500mw laser and see videos with it cutting 6 mm plywood but everything I see on posts are saying that they can only cut like 2 mm, yet I’ve seen someone cut up to a 1/4 of a inch thick and would like to do that also as I would like to make a lot of 3D frames and or cut out stuff like parts to make rubber band guns, which are typically 1/4 inch. Now I’m completely new to programming and lasers cuts and feeds, I’ve been working as a 5 axis laser cnc machinist for 9 months now but they have yet to show me everything else so I’m trying to take it on myself to start by learning at least the basics. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks

Very dependent on the brand of laser and the quality of the chip.

A genuine Nichia with a good quality driver and with a quality glass lens can cut a lot better than a cheap Aliexpress diode with unknown provenance, a plastic lens and a rudimentary driver.

You get what you pay for.

There’s a couple of good American suppliers that offer very good units and one Russian supplier (not Endurance!) who make excellent drivers and supply quality lenses and chips.

My experience of diodes marketed as 5.5W is not good. Using a laser power probe I was barely able to get 3W in real terms.

A Nichia NUBM44 with a quality driver and good lens really delivers ~7-8W.

And with all diode lasers, focus is critical.

I’m not a fan for cutting, but they do a wonderful job of engraving.

I have an emblaser 2 which is a 5 watt diode. I can cut 3mm mdf in three passes for a proper clean cut through with the part dropping out. I do heaps of projects in 3mm mdf or 3mm black acrylic and yes it takes time but i am in no rush. I set the focus at 1.5 mm into the material and speed at 120mm/min. If I have had the mdf for a while it can take another pass to get through and i think that is due to it absorbing moisture over time. I think it is possible to do 6mm but depending on how much you have to do, it would be a very time consuming pricess. Sommuch so, i dont want to even try it. Better to just cut 2 identical pieces in 3mm and glue them together i think.

Okay :ok_hand:, thanks I’m perfectly fine cutting out the peace’s I need twice and gluing them together, I was just asking because I was watching a video where a guy cut out 6mm plywood in ONE PASS.But now that he pointed out just a few ways that the lasers are made cheap, is it normal for the laser to have a built in drive that’s 500mw though it’s a 5500mw laser? And it has a external drive of 2500mw and 5500mw? I’m just asking as I’m completely new to lasers and what to look for, now this laser does come with a 6 month warranty, I don’t know if that means anything when buying a laser?

here’s a picture of the item I bought Thanks for y’all support!

Have any of y’all done maintenance on a diode laser before? I was thinking about trying to improve the laser if what you’re saying is true, I’m honestly trying to better understand machines in general as I would like to be a technician eventually, just no job demands for it and figured that if a diode laser can be improved I would do so. Thanks again

There are two things that will improve the performance of a diode laser, first optics and second, a quality power supply. Together, you will have optimum performance of that laser. Both options are not cheap but if you want to squeeze every ounce out of a diode laser, then these are your options.

What are the brands you would recommend when looking at diode laser? An do you know of any website maybe even showing how to build a laser from scratch? I’m just curious, I prefer to not put a limit on what and how I learn, just trying to make myself a more well rounded person in this field, I’m new in the oilfield have been working as a laser cnc machinists for 9 months now but am basically a push button as they have a few people who program and such, I run a maizac U44 space gear laser that’s a 5 axis. But I’m still ignorant in most of the important stuff :joy: so I greatly appreciate y’all helping me, again any advice or recommendations are appreciate and I will take notes of EVERYTHING!

Barnett and dtr-lpf are my two go-to

They have everything you need to buy complete items or to build your own.

I can particularly recommend Barnett. is the place for the best info on diodes, bar none.

Ok thanks man, greatly appreciate it :pray: will save that info so I don’t have to search through everything :joy: to find it again anything else just let me know,and if I think of anything else or come across anything that I have a problem or question I won’t hesitate to ask.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.