Loaded question - but what "should" I be able to burn?

I’ve got a Creality Falcon Laser - got it running with LB on a Mac AFTER updating the firmware on the Falcon Laser. It’s a 5W diode laser (I’m sure that’s input power - output probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.6W?)

I’ve been testing, and doing “burn grids” that show power/speed grids. Seems it has a fairly narrow range doing that on wood. Either too light to see, or slowing it down or pushing up the power much more leaves burns (sometimes clear through). I’ve got some anodized aluminum - it certainly burns off the anodizing fairly easy, but doesn’t burn the aluminum. Have some ceramic tiles I haven’t been able to test yet, along with cork coasters, etc. Just a variety of materials to see what I need to do. I will say burning a design on bamboo cutting board or something similar worked VERY well. I only used 1 pass, probably should have done 2.

I’m a bit concerned about what seems to be the narrow range burning on wood, and just what else to expect. WAY too many times, anything you find on YT just tells you “how”, and sometimes it tells you the equipment, sometimes that’s a bit suspect.

So for those who have used lower wattage lasers - what could you actually do, and at generally what settings? I’ve tried things more in the “slower” speeds - like 50-500mm sec, and anywhere from 0% to 100% power, but if it’s “just a burn” of an outlined image - more like 60% at around 300-400mm sec.

I also know that using the laser at higher wattages, or for longer is going to shorten the life of the laser. While I’m sure not very many yet have this hardware - any idea on roughly how long to expect this to laser to last?

Generally speaking most documentation on led laser power suggests that a maximum of about 20% of the input makes it out. Most seem to indicate about a 10% output, which is about where my 30watt led laser sits. Best I can figure it’s about 3 watts out maximum…

I also have a 50 watt co2 and the general speed I run is around 300mm/s for most things. Most led lasers users configure them for mm/min since they are generally slower, mechanically. The reality is that it really doesn’t matter how you label it. There is a difference if you are reading mm/m and mm/s is what you’re using without a conversion.

It seems fast to me…


Thanks - that’s a bit more than I would have suspected the power output to be.

Regarding speed - I simply changed to what LB uses as a default - mm/sec. But this thing is supposed to do 6000mm/min. I’ve never run it that fast - and I think that is WAY too fast. I ran it once at 500, and it was useless. Normally more in the 50-90mm/sec range.

The low power diode lasers can be at their best with fine engraving .
Cutting will limit you to materials that are compatible .
Black acrylic will cut really well as will thin woods but its best to test things and add them to your library .
Glass and tiles will engrave , possibly better than a high power type but it will take lots of time .
Air assist is important in the long run . This video is essential for everybody wanting to engrave .