I am thinking about getting a laser and am very new to lasers. I am hopping to get something that can burn images and also cut through plywood upto maybe 1/4 inch. What should I be looking for? is the 2.8w that is referenced strong enough for that?
I just installed a 4w. Have not been able to cut through 1/4". Probable can get through 1/8". Maybe a 10w or larger.
for cutting plywood you are better off with a co2 laser. I have a 3.5w led Chinese laser and it engraves wood well, but it’s not going to cut it without a bunch of slow passes and probably air assist. Just my 2 cents.
I have successfully cut some common 4.7mm luan plywood from Lowes with a Banggood 3.5 watt laser and 5 passes at 80-100 mm/min with air-assist but I think that was the odd sheet. Not all plywoods cut equally well, even of the same thickness… I think it depends on the glue used in its manufacture. 1/8" craft ply is probably pretty consistently cut with 4-5 passes, with or without air-assist.
Craft sticks I cut with a single pass at 80-100 mm/min… no air-assist
A couple of NEMA17 motor mounts in 4.7mm luan (again, I think this was the odd sheet)… air-assist helps with smoke-staining and number of passes
Same ply… air-assist nozzle and laser shroud in background…
1/4" is probably asking too much of a 3.5 watt laser… CO2 is definitely the better choice there.
Followup showing my most successful cut with 3.5 watt laser and the air-assist setup I used. This was 5 passes, full-power, 100 mm/min, constant focus on top of material… it is crucial to get absolute best focus for cleanest, quickest cuts
When you say “constant focus on top of the material”, do you lower the laser on every pass? Or do you keep the laser at a constant height for the entire cut?