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HomeCNC Laser Cutting MachineCan you Laser Cut Through 3mm Plywood with 7watt Laser?

Can you Laser Cut Through 3mm Plywood with 7watt Laser?


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Production run, engraving logo on back of projects using indexing. Fast and easy. Then, on the cutting through plywood. I learned five ways not to cut through 3mm plywood. Switching from the laser to the CNC is so simple and easy.

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  1. I was able to cut a 10mmX10mm square using a 7 Watt Longmill Laser after about 30 passes at 100 mm a minute using 3mm Birch plywood. The secret is to get the laser in focus. I use a "Ramp Focal Gauge from Lensdigital" (which is pricy and you could probably make your own.) Some material cuts better then others. I can cut cedar in 3 passes and felt in one pass. I just ordered some smoked acrylic 1/8" thick and will be trying that next week. I promised to make reindeer in February and will probably have to cut it using a 1/8" CNC router bit. I will keep you updated and let you know if I can cut the smoke acrylic in a couple of passes.

  2. Agree, ply type is a factor. I use atomstack pro (its says 40w but I read that its only a 5w beam) and have cut small plate stands from 3mm standard ply. I reduced the height to 1mm, max power @ 10mm/sec with 8 passes. I get some burn so I am going to use tac paper. I need to cut 50 stands. thinking of getting the X7 module that has a 10w beam, also by atomstack.

  3. Nice video, and I really like the versatility you have being able to switch between the router and laser! Speaking from experience, having a good air assist nozzle greatly increases both the quality of engraving, and the speed of cutting with the laser. The advantages are many: when engraving, the stream of directed air blows smoke away from the laser lens so that it never fouls; when cutting, the air stream functions as mentioned, and also clears out smoke and charred material from the cut, giving the laser an unobstructed path to fresh material still needing to be vaporized. Although I'm using shop air as a source with a regulator and water trap, it seems like a tiny aperture on the nozzle is MUCH more important than having a powerful supply. I can put 150psi to the nozzle, but this breaks things, and there really isn't any increase in efficacy above 15psi. Using a 5000mw, 445nm laser module at 95%, I can get thru most 3mm plywood in 4 – 6 passes @ 500 – 750 mm/sec.

  4. 10 passes at 12 inches a minute with air assist and i was able to accomplish this task….paw paw, your videos are very educational, i watch them all. i just ordered a 10 watt endurance laser, i will let you know how it goes. thank you for all your awesome videos!!

  5. What you need is an AIR ASSIST nozzle at 70 with 25 passes, maybe. I hear that the AIR ASSIST helps a lot. I've been thinking of getting a LASER for my GENMITZU 6060.

  6. Paw Paw, you may want to try dropping the laser down a bit after each pass. Your focal point for the laser changes with each pass, if your first laser pass/cut removes 1mm of material your focal point for the second pass is 1mm lower than the first pass. You may want to also cut at 100% speed up a bit so you don’t burn the material. Also be careful not to crash the laser into the surface of your material.

  7. I have a 6W opt laser that will cut thru that with no problem. When using lightburn you have to enable your z axis and step-down on each pass. For plywood I usually step down about .25mm. Number of passes would be thickness/.25 or 8 in this case. You can play with speeds to try and find a clean cut that will cut .at lease 25 on each pass but not burn around the edges. Different materials my cut deeper than .25 on a pass or less than .25. This is hard to measure so its hard to figure out. My lasers shield sits 35 mm (60 from the lens) off the surface of the material I am cutting but it is mounted beside my dewalt 611. The spindle sits lower than the laser, so I have to make sure it can step down the thickness of your material without the spindle. (remove bit) or the laser hitting anything. If it does I have to remove the spindle. Lightburn can also be told to raise or lower the head more on the first pass and continue to step down from there. I assume this could be used if your your material burns around the edges too much on the first pass. The manual says this can be use for deeper cuts which I don't really understand. I have aways left this at 0 mm and not had a need to use it.

    Love the channel and have learned a lot of things watching it.

  8. Hi there,

    My husband would like to buy 'Openbuilds All in One Laser' but he's not sure which model to choose from – 2.8W, 4.2W, AND 7W.

    Could you please tell me which one would you recommend?

    Best Regards

  9. A 7 watt diode laser should be able to handle 3 mm laser ply fairly easily. I think the plywood in this video may have been regular ply that's typically bonded together with formaldehyde based glues rather than the urea based glues used in laser friendly plywoods. Formaldehydes are hard even for relatively powerful CO2 lasers to cut through, whereas ureas are easy. You can tell the difference by looking at the glue layers between the plys, formaldehydes are dark brown/black, ureas are white/clear.

  10. The problem is that once you make the first couple of passes you are trying to cut through a layer of carbon laid down by the previous cuts. The layer of carbon is much harder to cut through than wood. The more cuts the more carbon. If you can get things lined up correctly you can try and flip the piece and cut from the other side, this should double your cut depth there are videos on how to do this on youtube. It involves both software and jigs for alignment. Multiple cuts will work better on something like acrylic because they do not create a carbon layer.

  11. Hi Paw Paw, thanks for providing all the excellent videos. Just thought I'd share a little something- I was actually able to cut through 1/8" baltic birch at 20ipm, 100% power and 15 passes. Seems just a little excessive to me. There was almost no charring at all. But I do wonder how taxing it is on the laser!

  12. Great video, thanks for posting! The new JTech 7w Pro Laser with HD lens can supposedly cut through 1/4" Home Depot ply in 3 passes at 10 in/min and 100% power. There is a JTech sponsored video where I got that stat that also compares to the old 7w laser. The old 7w laser did the cuts in 5 passes at 10 in/min and 100% power.

  13. PapPaw Unfortunately you need to use a 40 watt CO2 laser to cut through that sort of wood or you use Balsa wood 1/16 inch with 7 watt lasers. Laser diodes do not have the power to cut through wood at speeds you have set for you feed rate.

  14. Even though you thought this a failure, look at it another way, what percentage/depth of cut did you achieve at an acceptable burn pattern? Maybe just increase the number of passes at an acceptable inch/min rate

  15. I've not seen many laser videos, but have seen one cutting up to 10mm ply very slowly & took several minutes to achieve. he didn't suffer the same burning you experienced, but he had a compressed air jet at the point of cut which seemed to disperse the heat generated. One of the best parts of laser cutting is the cortortised effect on the edges and no splinters or heavy sanding required

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