Cutting 1.5mm Basswood with a 5W diode-LASER

Basswood, like Balsa, is a go-to material for many Maker projects. Unlike Balsa, Basswood is a little lighter and denser and so has many uses in structural and non-structural parts of scenery and model making. So LASER cutting 1.5mm sheet Basswood is likely a common need. For that reason the photo below shows the results of a cutting test with my 5W diode-LASER attached to my CNC machine, with the wood having a water content around 8%.

The front of the 1.5mm Basswood laser cutting test

All of the cuts are for one pass, so you can see that there are various options for quick cutting. personally I prefer to cut quicker to save time and slightly reduce surface burning, so a single pass at a feed rate of 200 mm/min, at a power between 80% and 100%, seems the best option for me. Also, as the photo below shows, the back is quite cleanly cut and not in need of a lot of cleaning up and sanding.

The back of the 1.5mm Basswood laser cutting test

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