Minimum Laser Power To Cut Metal | What Can You Cut With This “15w” Laser Machine?

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What Can You Cut With This "15w" Laser Machine?

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What are my friends to this new video? This will be a test video because we will test if the. CNC machine with a laser engraver is able to cut different materials and we will also see if this is as powerful as they say. Of course, if we can cut something, we can also engrave on it. So the tests were mainly on cutting and not engraving, but we also has some engraving at the end of the video first. I tested the laser on these protective glasses because I think this is important and also interesting. Then I have also made some tests on some very thin cardboard and team materials such as cotton and wool fiber, and then we made some tests on wood. We had balsa wood and DF and also plywood of different thicknesses. I’ve also made some tests on fiberglass and copper Pcbs because why not, but as you imagine, the results are not that good and finally, of course we have acrylic, and we have black acrylic, transparent and white acrylic because I wanted to prove a point about power and also wavelength because not everything is about the power, so we will see the differences on those and I will try to explain why we get the results that we get, but anyway, we finally had some tests on leather. We seen how to engrave on leather and also how to cut it and we’ve made a test with the watch belt so we were able to cut wood plastic acrylic and much more so in this video. I will show you all the tests that I’ve made with all this material that I have here and what you could do. With this laser engraver of as they say, 15 watts, so guys, let’s get started. [music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause]. Hey, guys, before we start. Let me talk about the sponsor of this video, jealousy. PCB they have amazing services and very low prices. I remember a few years ago. How hard and expensive was for US makers and also electronic engineers to order professional Pcbs, but now for only $2 You can get five Pcbs of any color that you want and also of 10 by 10 centimeters. I think that for prototyping, that’s more than enough. I mean, $2 for 5 Pcbs that is a very low price and that will help a lot of makers to make better tests prototypes and get the final product, but there is even more. They also have the stencil for the SMD soldering. So order that together with your PCB and with a little bit of solder paste, you can solder all the components on your PCB and now the last service that they have is the SMT order where you could get all the Pcbs with all the components already soldered in place as I did with my Pcbs. For the 7-segment display, they have some very big pick-and-place machines that will solder all these small components for you. So imagine that you want to sell a new product. Just send the file to Jal Cpcb, and they will send you the boards already ready for sale, so guys check GLC PCB for all the services, so let’s get with this video. What’s up, my friends? Welcome back! I’ve just got this 15 Watt’s, laser cutter or engraver, from order. When you receive it, It’s pretty much already assembled. Just join the x-axis with the y-axis and then add the laser and the Machine is good to go. This is a 32-bit machine with the STM32 microcontroller. So let’s connect it to the PC and see what we can do with the 15 watts laser engraver. I also connect the 12 volt’s input plug for the machine. This altar engraver will use a software that is called laser grbl so install that from the given link by the way. Remember to use proper laser protection glasses. Otherwise, this laser could let you blind in a fraction of a second, actually. I don’t really trust these cheap eBay glasses, so maybe buy some or once. I’ll try to put some links below for that as well to protect my table. I place a big piece of wood below the engraver, so it won’t burn my workshop table. This engraver doesn’t have a base so you could place it on whatever you want or directly over the material that you want to cut or engrave before we even start. I would like to take a guess and say that I bet this is a 15 watts input power, meaning that is the power consumption of the module, but the actual laser beam. I think is lower than that, actually. On the website, it says electric power 15 watts and the laser output 4.5 watts. So it’s not what I was expecting. We will test this with acrylic cardboard, balsa wood and the F wood plywood as well against copper, Pcbs that could be interesting. Ptg, plastic, fiberglass different thickness of wood leather fabric and a lot more. I want to see if we can cut each material. Because if you can cut a material, we can definitely engrave it just by lowering the power, so stay tuned for each example so long press on the button on the side and the engraver will start and it will go to the home position on the software. Click this button and that will activate a very low power dot on the laser. This won’t burn anything. But now we can focus the beam by adjusting the focus lens. So now we are good to go. Okay, so let’s see what this laser at its maximum power will do against this basic email. Laser protection glasses. I think this could be quite interesting, okay, so it seems that the plastic melts, but will this protect your eyes against wrong wavelengths? In my surprise? It seems that the top part of the plastic melted, but it didn’t pass to the other side of the glasses, but is this enough? I will do it again with a lower feed rate and also on the other side of the plastic. So I activate the laser again and once again in my surprise, the laser didn’t get to the other side. Only the top part got burned. Anyway, please don’t take this as a safety example these cheap. Ebay glasses are still not good enough. Okay, so now let’s start with some real tests. I think we should go from easy to difficult, so we start with this thin cardboard. This is just cardboard, so I should start with very high speeds. Let’s test this with 300 millimeters per minute at maximum power and see if we can cut it. It looks that at this speed. The laser passed to the other side and also burned a little bit. The wood below. So yes, we can cut in cardboard at 300 millimeters per minute. I’ve also tested at 500 millimeters per minute and this time the laser didn’t fully pass to the other side. So for this cardboard, maybe 200 millimeters per minute is the maximum speed. The next example is against this. RC plane foam. It should be great to cut this because like this, I could create my own models and cut out the shapes. This is a 4 millimeter thick foam, so let’s see the first test was at maximum power and also 50 millimeters per minute when finished as you can see, it didn’t really pass to the other side, so I’ve made a second test at the same speed, but this time I’ve made 2 loops this time as you can see, it passed to the other side with no problems, so you have two options, you could lower the speed or just maybe make two loops, just a small push and the star shape is out, so maybe. I’ll have a future project where I’ll make my own plain design cutting out this kind of foam. OK, next! We have this fabric. This is some sort of cotton or maybe wool of around 1 millimeter thickness. So let’s see if I can cut a shape out of it, and yes, as you can see. At the same speed of 50 millimeters per minute, it cut through the material and also the wood below. So for sure, we need to increase the speed. Next example, was at 500 millimeters per minute and this cut the material with no problems. You know that with these lasers, The darker is the material the better okay next. I have this kind of styrofoam that comes with the engraver for tests. This should be very easy to cut and yes. This was easy to cut at 500 millimeters per minute and you could do it even faster. This kind of foam melts very fast. I’ve made a second test with a skull shape and I had really good results with sharp cuts. So styrofoam is very easy, so for example, you could cut your Christmas decoration out of this material using a laser engraver. Okay, guys, let’s start with a little bit more hard stuff. Let’s start with this one and a half millimeter plywood. So the first try is at 25 millimeters per minute and just one loop as you can see, it didn’t go through to the entire wood. So the second test was at the same speed, but with two loops this time, it almost passed to the other side. The third time was at 20 millimeters per minute and also two loops. And this time as you can see. The cut went to the other side. Just push it a little bit and the star shape will pop out, but one and a half millimeter wood is very easy so next. I have a four millimeter balsa wood. This should be a lot more difficult to cut. I’ve started at 20 millimeters per minute and five loops as you can see that didn’t go to the other side, so we need more loops. I’ve broken the wood in order to see how deep it went and as you can see. It went only about half, so the next try. It was with 12 loops at 20 millimeters per minute. Okay, so let’s see even with both loops. It wasn’t able to pass to the other side once again. I cut the wood to see how deep it was so as you can see. It almost passed to the other side. The last test was with twenty loops. But no, not even with Tony. Loops I was able to cut the balsa wood. There’s something strange about this wood that is difficult to cut with this kind of laser, but also imagine this if the wood is thick enough. I first focus the beam on the first layer, But as I start cutting the wood, the deeper it goes, the laser will get out of focus because the focal point is not there anymore. So this kind of laser has a cone-shaped focus point and even a few millimeters will take the laser out of his focal position that will affect IK materials, so we can cut them anyway, finally. I have a three millimeter and the F would first. I’ve tried with ten loops at 20 millimeters per minute, but no, I had no good result, so then I tried again this time with 15 loops, but not even close. The wood gets carbonized and the laser won’t pass to the other side, so for both default millimeters balsa wood and the three millimeter and the F. I had bad results, but just to make a point I. Now reduce the speed to 50 millimeters per minute and also place 25 loops. So let’s see if we can cut three millimeter thick and their food with this setup by the way while working on the software, you can see the process step by step and also the g-code that is sent to the machine and no unfortunately with no amount of loops. I was able to cut the three millimeter and the F. Wood, and I’ve also tried different focal distances between the surface and the laser diode. I’ve played some more layers below, so the focal point should be a little bit higher, but still no good results with the MDF of three millimeters only four two millimeters or less. I was able to cut what till now, but next we have another plywood and this is five millimeter thick plywood first, with the speed of 25 millimeters per minute and 10 loops, it almost past 100 percent to the other side, so it must be something about plywood because this is 5 millimeter thick, so this one is thicker than all the other types of wood that. I’ve tried till now, but I could almost cut it. I try again with a few more loops, so there you have it now with 12 loops. I was able to pass to the other side and remember. This is a five millimeter thick plywood, so definitely plywood is easier to cut with this laser then. I’ve even tried some fiberglass because why not, but even with ten loops, it barely scratch the surface and I think that is made out of plastic. So definitely, we can cut fiberglass. Maybe just engrave the plastic surface that it has on it. Okay, the laser engraver. When you buy, it will came with this black metal necklace tag, so we could test with it at very low speeds. I was able to just burn the black paint on it. Okay, so I’ve made this test just because I’ve seen a video on Youtube with this machine where they show it would engrave steel, but not even close. We can barely melt the black code that a steel has on it and just to make a point. I strike that on the steel knife as well, but with no good results, I do the same on a piece of copper PCB, But we still have the same results. It can melt engrave or cut metals. The power is still too low, so let’s just pass to the next example. This is a piece of two millimeters ptg plastic from an altar liquid container with full power and minimum speed, the laser is able to cut through this material quite easy, but the problem is this plastic is melting very easy and just blew itself back because of the melted plastic, so even it cuts through the plastic. You still have to put out the cut shape that melted back. Okay, guys, so. I finally tried a two and a half millimeter thick black acrylic with full power and only five loops. It almost passed to the other side as you can see with a little bit more. We can cut a piece out. So the next example was at full power 50 millimeters per minute and eight loops this time it cut through and I was able to get the star shape out so cutting two and a half millimeter thick black acrylic with this machine is quite possible, but now I’ve made a test with white acrylic, and this is just to make a point as you can see even at full power and a lot of loops, the plastic not even get a little bit melted. That’s due to the wavelength of this kind of laser. The color of the laser can give you some tips of the wavelength. In this case? This is a 445 nanometers in order to cut right materials or transparent. You might need a different wavelength, that’s why. I’ve also made the test with transparent acrylic, but once again there is no point only the wood below the acrylic got burned. The plastic wasn’t affected at all, so maybe just used a CO2 laser that operates at ten point six micrometers and that happens to be ideal for acrylic. I then tried cutting some leather as you can see. I can cut this watch belt quite easy, and this is around two millimeter thick or more. It seems to me than when the machine is engraving. The power of the laser is less than just putting the laser to full power as you can see here. I place the laser at full power from the software and it passes to the black acrylic in a fraction of a second, but then when engraving, it needs a few loops in order to cut, Even if I set the power to 1000 which is maximum anyway. I finally made some engravings. I started with a leather wallet first. I burn it too much. The machine was working in the light mode at 25% power. This wasn’t the best result, so I’ve lowered the power a little bit this time. The engraving was a lot better, so you could personalize your own wallets, bracelets or any other leather based items. Engraving leather is very easy and fast and cutting leather as well depending on the thickness. Of course then. I’ve made some engraving on this wood smartphone cases. The first one got burned too much because I’ve used too much power so you might need to play around with the power and see which one is better for each material. This was engraved at 25% power and 200 mm per minute in a line, mold and next. I’ve made some tests on this plastic smartphone cases. Even this looks like wood. It’s still some sort of plastic. The first example was a 25% power and burned the case too much. So I’ve made another test at 20% power. This is a bit better than the other one. Finally, the third test at 10% power was quite good, but maybe a little bit too low. So as you can see by playing with the power, you can get different results, but that’s quite obvious, finally. I’ve made another big engraving with my logo On another wood smartphone case. This one turned out perfect. It was made at 15% power and using the line mode and a speed of 200 millimeters per minute. It has some really good details so quite fast. You can personalize your own smartphone cases with a laser engraver. So, guys, these were all the tests that I’ve made with this 15 watt engraver, Actually, a 4.5 watts power for the laser and 50 watts power consumption. I hope this will give you an idea of what you could do with a laser engraver like this one. This engraver from alter is quite low, cost only around 160 euros and because it has no base. You can mount it on any surface that you want. It is easy to assemble and to use. I hope that you liked this video and that it show you something new. If so, consider subscribing and activate the notification Bell for any question, Please use the new forum that we have on electronics that I owe a huge. Thank you to my supporters on patreon till next video. Thanks again and see you later. Guys [Music]!