New rebuild, laser engraving

Recently rebuilt my MPCNC - it was an OG from 2016. 24x24" working area, EMT. Stuck my 2.8w jtech laser on it to make a lid for a friend. Took a little wrangling (rambo board, using fan output, had to modify the firmware), but I had a nice engraving at ~1.5 amps, 80% power, and 1200 mm/min.

This was the first attempt on a messed up piece.

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Looks like it came out great, are you happy with it?

Yeah. I’m not 100% on board with dual endstops just yet, only because I’ve done things so janky in the past I think i have a ton of bad habits to unlearn. The new parts are great - can’t wait to do a bit of milling. Don’t seem to have the same laser weirdness that other people have, thankfully

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Hey @vicious1, Would you know what wattage laser would be recommended to use on balsa. I would not mind making parts in Fusion 360 for some old time model planes I have. They were made from balsa (1/16 - 1/4 inch thick for the most part). Primarily I like to use balsa and I would like a nice laser to change out on my mpcnc from time to time. Thanks.

Tough call, at some point the spot size just gets larger and the power does not really go up. JTech shows a low power laser cutting balsa, I am pretty confident the 2.8W is a pretty solid bet but would need a few passes.


A 40W CO2 would do really good at 1/4" though, probably single pass and fast.

@MikeT If it’s something I can cheaply get, I don’t mind running some test cuts for you. If you’re buying it strictly to cut, a CO2 would be a better choice as said.

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thank you for the info. I have been doing stuff with the family :smiley: