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Hi Ryan LB, the laser burns a certain depth based on the power and the speed. You just need to experiment a little with whatever you’re burning on. Jtechphotonics’ website has some recommended speeds for various materials, too. I mostly just use mine at full power and adjust the speed for what I’m doing, unless I’m doing burning a greyscale image, a la image2gcode.
For example, when I’m burning pine plaques/signs, I use full power at 800 mm/min. It burns about 1/16 inch deep and looks great. If I were to try lasing oak, I might slow it down to 300 mm/min and see how that looks. I’ve cut vinyl and felt at about 1200 mm/min. I’ve etched letters in acrylic at 800 mm/min.
If you’re going to cut something thicker than paper or heavy cardboard, you’ll probably need to make several slow passes, lowering the laser a little each time. Jtechphotonics says that the 2.8w laser can cut 3mm plywood in 3 passes. I haven’t tried that, but I tried 5mm (1/4 inch) plywood, and it did cut through eventually (in like 8 passes), but the edge was a smoking ruin. Haven’t had another chance to try cutting again.
I’m assuming you got the 2.8w laser from jtechphotonics, or used Leo’s instructions to build a similar setup. If you have a 40w CO2 laser set up on your MPCNC, forget my advice – you’re on your own! But I want to see pictures LOL!
And since you just got your laser, don’t forget: Always wear the correct laser eye protection!