Laser cutting pointers

I’ve been trying to cut wood panels using the laser, and went through a period of trials and errors. To help others, I will list here some pointers from experimentation I did with a Snapmaker 2.0 (350). Perhaps this information should be included in the docs in the future:

  • Focusing is essential. Manual focusing works much better than automatic focusing.
  • Basswood is cut at a rate of 0.1mm per run. Based on the thickness of the panel, adjust the number of runs accordingly. For example, for a 1.5mm panel, you need 15 runs at max power; make sure you lower the laser by 0.1mm per run to keep the laser in focus.
  • Walnut is cut at a rate of 0.04mm per run. Adjust settings accordingly given the thickness of the panel. Walnut panels often come at thicker options. You will quickly need more than 50 runs, which is the max in the Luban software. This means you need to the cutting with more than one iteration. I hope the software removes the 50 run limit.
  • Birch plywood cannot be cut with Snapmaker’s laser in any efficient way. It takes forever. If anyone has luck with it, please post here.
  • Increase the cutting speed to 200 from the default value to avoid burning too much while cutting. This does not affect the runs needed for the cuts.
  • For etching, 50% power gives best results without bleeding (the default is 30%).