[Help!] Trouble LASER Cutting

I’m trying to use the laser cutter on my Snapmaker 2.0. I have the “stock”, smaller laser module.

I’ve gone through calibration twice and am still not able to cut through a (nominally) 3.3mm board. Even using the included 1.5mm (nominal) plywood things didn’t work right …

I tried out using these settings here and have looked at this here … but still nothing.

Right now I’m starting my job using Luban.
Is it better to start on the Device?
Does this allow for a better manual focus?

These are my settings:
Jog Speed: 1500 mm/min
Work Speed: 140 mm/min
Number of Passes: 5
Z Step per Pass: 0.85
Laser Power: 100%

I should note … running the above settings just gave a “nice” outline of the pattern … It didn’t go through.
Is that not enough passes?

Clearly not enough passes. The stock 1600mW laser, for all intents, is useless. It’s an exercise in futility trying to do anything with that laser.

Don’t rely on snapUser.

If you did the calibration like described in the manual, you should be able to cut through this.
I cut a lot of stuff with the 1.6w module.
Start with the included plywood and try to cut a few basic forms.

I did this years ago with the small module: Laser Christmas Presents

You need to be patient and to try some settings. I remember cutting this with 6 or 7 passes at slow speeds. Damn slow but worked.

Make some cuts at the sides of your material to see how deep it gets with one pass, like this for example.

This picture shows a test cut with the 10w module on 8 mm poplar.

Also the quality and the humidity has an effect on cutting. For example, this piece of wood is crap (looks like the glue, or one deeper wood layer started to burn)

How deep was your z step?

Because I think I’m doing calibration right… but clearly something isn’t

I dont know - I rarely use zstep. If you determine the depth of your cuts, you could set your z step to this value

Ok… how do I do that?

Also, where in the on screen calibration process do you change the size of the focus?
Mine seems good… but I don’t know…

Looks good.

Just “cut” a square on the very outer side of your material with 1 pass. You’ll see how deep it gets. Look at my first picture. Also fix the material on your platform that it lies flat. It’s all about focus, and if your material bulges, the focus is lost and cutting does not work.

The record for plywood thickness cut with the 1.6W laser is something like 4 or 6 mm, for what it’s worth, but the person in question (not me) needed a full 50 passes to pull it off. So no, there’s no way 5 passes is going to be enough. As @Slynold says, you’re going to have to experiment to get useful settings. Plywood is particularly tricky because some glues seem to absorb more laser light than others.

Here’s one pass on the edge.
So, basically, looking like the 1.6 laser is under powered for cutting but good for surface work.

Here’s a better picture


These are my settings for 3mm ply, with the 1600mW laser. Sometimes needed another pass.

I ended up getting the 10W as a timesaver as I can do 1 pass at twice the work speed (8x faster) but the stock laser worked for me for a number of early projects.

which ply are you using? (what is it made out of?)
A buddy gave me some birch ply and it cuts just fine … but the basswood ply I started with is giving me fits.

If the edge-on photos you posted are typical, what you have may not be true plywood (=thin sheets of wood laminated with glue). It looks like it might be veneer over a fiberboard core instead. That could affect the laser behaviour. The birch stuff is always true plywood.


sorry, i have been off for holidays.
@paulcampbell solution looks good, and also what @ElloryJaye says is true.

With your material, I would do this depth test a few times to get to know how much passes are necessary. I won’t set the z step deeper than your cutting depth. Please try another sheet of plywood from your local hardware store.