Laser cutting thicker materials

Hi, since SM2 laser module can cut up to 3mm, by theory you should be able to cut thicker materials if you do more passes, is this true and have anyone tried it?

It doesn’t seem to work that way :confused:

I think that the limitation on depth of cut may be something to do with the height of the laser head above the material being cut.

Please excuse the crude drawing. What I’ve tried to illustrate is that as the head is lowered, more and more of the unfocussed laser beam is being occluded by the edges of the cut, reducing the power.

This is only a theory, what do others think? There is a user who refocussed the lens so that the head was way above the work piece, this would allow a butch narrower beam at the cutting end and might make deeper cuts possible - a greater risk of deflected light so precautions are needed.

I guess this makes sense, and do you think its possible to flip the material and flip the engrave path and burn it again from the buttom, or that would be diffixult to match on the same path?

Might be possible with some registration holes or similar system.

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I cut quarter inch plywood as a test and it took 50 passes and resulted in a very charred edge. With plywood though the main issue is the glue. Cutting quarter inch solid wood would be much easier, but still quite a few passes. Since the laser beam is cone-shaped every time you drop in z you make the cut above slightly wider and burn up some of the laser energy so as you get deeper it’s progressively harder.

At some point you just need to cnc machine it. If you want to do a multi-tool project just chuck it up on the CNC waste board and do your laser engraving on that then switch the tool head out and do the CNC with the same work positioning.