Inventables Community Forum

15w laser upgrade questions

Sweet, thanks! I’m currently on [1.0c.20161011:] so that should be a big help.

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LarryM, thanks to a note you made downthread in the other thread you pointed me at, I noticed that my current $30 was set to 1. Changing it to $30=18000 makes the current setup work as intended!!!

I’ll still change to the JTech fork but knowing that the rig works is wonderful! I have a full set of 3D models printed for mounting the 15W laser and I’ll be posting them.

Thanks again!


The mounts for the 15w laser, controller and power supply that I published are now up on Thingiverse:

can you engrave on metal with your 15w? the ali express link says it can’t, but the ones on eBay say it does, there’s some videos that show it working on stainless. just want to be sure before I purchase one

When engraving metal with a laser you need to look at the wavelength of the laser more than the power. Each metal reflects different wavelengths of light better than others. How much energy it takes to etch the metal will depend on the reflectivity of your wavelength and how fast the metal dissipates heat.

I was curious about using a hobby grade CO2 laser to etch circuit boards, but it’s next to impossible at that wavelength. I had access to a 50W Epilog laser. With the power set to 100% and travel to 1% the laser left no discernable marks on a 1/2 oz copper board. After testing I looked up the reflectivity of copper to 10,600 nm light and it was nearly 100%.


I can kinda-sorta engrave metal with the 15W. If I coat the metal with a black permanent marker or somesuch, I’ve been able to do light engraving on steel. I suspect I could improve it with multiple passes.

I do have one of the K40 China Lasers, and Drymoly will also have some success. It doesn’t really engrave as much as just burns a darn near hard to get off coating.

Hi ,
I’m also planing to buy the “High Power Diode Laser 15W/15000mW” from AliExpress and use it on my CNC with GRBL shield. I can’t find too much about this laser diode and the description is generic one, the seller used same description for different models.
Is it possible to cut felt 1mm thick? How about a soft plywood 4mm? what is the speed and what’s the quality of the cut? If anyone has videos with this module cutting different materials please help.

Take note that this diode cannot deliver a continuous 15 watts. It can attain 15 watts for brief periods with sufficient cool down times between pulses.

Most of these diodes are capable of around 5 - 6 watts continuous.

Is there any video with this module working on different materials? Couldn’t find any.

I did some tests with this 15w laser diode module - unfocused version.

I’ve got the smallest laser dot at a distance of 20 - 25mm

  • Cut cardboard 0.6 mm thick (280gsm) - one pass 50mm/minute, full power; It was faster to go 2 passes at 400mm/minute
  • Cut soft plywood 3 mm - 2 passes 100mm/minute
  • Cut felt 2 mm (any color but not white) = 1 pass 100 mm/minute; it is faster to go two times at 300 - 400mm/minute depending on the material color.
    Engraving is fast and clean.
    From my cutting tests I can say it is not that strong compared to an old 2-4 W diode and probably a drag knife is much better compromise between diode and CO2 when it comes about cutting thin materials.
    Anyone else did other tests with this diode?

The trick to cutting any plastic is to do a minimal cut.
Meaning you keep the power low as possible and make multiple passes. This will reduce the burnt edges.
I do not have the unit I had so I cannot give you settings. However I did get clean cuts by cutting with lower power.
It will take longer to cut but results will be cleaner.

I´m designing a huge láser mounted over a tailor table, t-slot based linear movement and 15w diode laser.
This láser is intended to cut poliester fabric, 0,6mm thickness. My major question is about cut speed, in the comments above Cosmin said he cuts 0,6mm cardboard at 50mm/min with full power, this is too slow for me, I need at least over 50mm/sec. Do you think is possible to achieve this goals?

No laser diode available today can provide 15w continuous power. Some of the diodes can produce 15w for a small amount of time with a larger amount of cooling time.

These cutting times are an excerpt from the OptLaser web site using a 6w laser diode.

Note, that this speeds and parameters are effects of tests and can be different for some materials, cooling systems as well setting of the focus distance.

Balsa 5mm: 30mm/s; 6W; 5 passes

Fiber-reinforced foil (green): 0,1mm: 50mm/s; 6W; 1 pass

Rubber 0,5mm: 15mm/s; 6W; 3 x 0,25 passes

Cardboard (0,5 mm): 8mm/s, 1 passes.

3-layer cardboard (1,4 mm): 20mm/s, 3 (0,5mm step) passes.

5-layer cardboard (5 mm): 10mm/s, 4 (1,25mm step) passes.

Polyfoam (15mm): 8mm/s, 2 (10 mm step) passes.

Polyfoam (24mm): 5mm/s, 2 (10 mm step) passes.

Leather (1,7mm): 5mm/s, 2 (1 mm) passes.

Jeans 0,5mm: 8mm/s; 6W; 1 pass

Green Plexiglass 3mm: 2mm/s 2W 6×0,75 passes.

Red Plexiglass 3mm: 2mm/s 4x 0,75 passes.

This is true for now but soon we will have one that will provide even more power.

The article says that they are cheaper than what they are currently using.
2 more years and we will have 20w lasers available to us. :smiley:

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Nice but its the diode.
You need a proper driver to go with it and its pricy still.
They will come down in a year or 2.
Gotta love technology

Nice info Larry, thanks! maybe I can manage speeds of 8-10mm/sec, still a bit slow but is better than nothing.
Do you think istalling a better cooling system (for expample oversized CPU cooler and fan) I could increase the láser power and therefore increase cut speed?