Inventables Community Forum

15w laser upgrade questions

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?

Heat dissipation is the problem. Cooling can allow a diode to run at higher currents (translates to higher power). Running at current values that exceed the manufacturer’s rating will decrease the life of the diode.

Unless you have a compelling reason to use a diode solution, the CO2 lasers are a better cutting solution and if you have the need/finances you can get them up to about 150 watts.

A 40 watt CO2 laser is about $400 USD and a 150 watt CO2 laser is about $6000 USD (requires additional components for cooling and exhaust).

I chosen diode laser because structure will be mounted over a huge wood table (4x2 mt), and XY carriages slides over wheels, like cheap chinese lasers. I doubt about this system can achieve enought accuracy to manage the laser beam throught the mirrors, although this is just a guess because I never mounted a laser before.
Accuracy isn´t a must for me because is only for fabric materials and slight errors are not critical.
I mounted several 3d printers, but laser systems are completely new for me, and I´m looking for the easy way.

For the x-carve you do not want to use multiple mirrors unless you have an enclosed system and strong vacuum to keep the smoke away from them. A laser will damage mirrors that have dust or any smoke on them. If you use a module like the jtech you need to have air forcing downward from the laser exit end so that the smoke does not coat the lens. Some will not do this and the laser will survive for a while but the smoke will cause heating on the lens and over time it will create a spot and eventually diffuse the laser beam making it less effective. I have run epilog and full spectrum lasers before and the stuff has to be set up correctly as they use mirrors that bounce the beam to the work surface. So using the diode laser for your application is a good choice. Cutting fabric you do not need a huge amount of power however I would be concerned with fire. Maybe use water to dampen the cloth first or something to prevent the fabric from bursting into flames.

HI. Can I ask the experience members whether it is possible/advisable to upgrade my chineseelek maker A3 2.5w engraver to a 15w head???. knowledgeable advice welcome.

i got what was supposed to be a 15w laser, but i really haven’t seen much difference from the 2.5w laser i already had. still needs multiple passes to cut thru 5mm plywood. i’ve been testing different speeds and power, but haven’t found an acceptable runtime. took me more than an hour to cut out a small box, which didn’t really come out correct since some of the edges burned too much. i’ve had better success with solid wood re-sawn to 1/8, doesn’t burn as much as plywood.

You need to read the fine print. At this time no laser diode can generate 15 Watts continuous.

Some of them can generate 15 Watts for a very, very, very short time followed by a very very long cooling period.


Yeah I know, most of them will have an average of about 8w, but this one didn’t have it listed. I’m not even sure what is the real output.

A Co2 laser is the best way to go if you want to do cutting.
The laser you have is only good for engraving and cutting very light materials.

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Hello All

please can anyone help me with my 15W laser

I`m new with this machine

i bought one and when i want to start work with it.

The model that i have

i could`t connecting it with the software who came with it (Called CCNC)

and i tried BenBox Software and it work

i can put a pic on the BenBox and the steppers moves okay

but the laser not work

(i connect the Laser+Fan with the power supply)
Laser:not work

The Video

when i connect the laser directly to the control board it works (BenBox)
without Fan(No place to connect the fan in control board)

but when i run 15W without power supply (Connect directly to the board)
that is mean i`m working without full power (Laser)

The Video

I don`t know if i have problem with

-power supply
-control board
-wrong wire connecting


Thanks for your Replay

Can you please give me a link for that one you talked about ( Arduino NANO )

just cuz i know nothing about this stuff
and i don`t need to buy something wrong :grin:

Also i want ask about something if anyone can help me

my machine needs 2 Axel borad

IF i bought 3 OR 4 Axel board it will work good with me cuz i have 2 Axel??

For example: <<< THIS BOARD.