Speed/Power Help 1/4" Plywood

Hoping to get some guidance on speed/power from the laser pros out there!

I am using 1/4" thick plywood to cut letters out and haven’t had ideal results so far. I used the suggested speed and power settings from the training handout (60 mm/s speed and 100% power). It cut though but it was very slow and the edges are really rough/burnt as well. Any suggestions on what speed and power settings provide a smoother cut? Also is it normal for it to take so long for a basic cut (6 letters with a total size of 10 inches by 3 inches = 30+ minutes)?

Any guidance would be appreciated. :slight_smile:

What material is the plywood made from?

Did you start from a materials settings library entry, or just made a shape that brings up a Layer and used what came up and changed the settings? There are fields under “Common” or “Advanced” which might be set (dot mode) that should not be if you just take what comes up. There’s no way to guarantee what will come up as a default when you just make a Layer.

It may have inapprop special features set, which will be a green check mark under “Common” or “Advanced”, which sounds like the case- 6 letters in a 10in x 3 in box should be like a minute of cutting. Dot mode would result in that taking much longer.

Leave me a sample and a name for the plywood and I can add settings to the library.

But, since this is not an unusual material and will be firing at 100% power, for the most part, this will just be a matter of making a 10mm square in LB, 100% power, focus on top, and tweaking the speed until it cuts and call it done. Knots and glue spots will always require a slower speed. Again, no “special” features- no Dot/Perforation mode, no start/stop pause, no Override PWM, or anything, and just adjust speed down until we get a full cut

It is also possible something is wrong with the machine, but I don’t see a reason to start with that assumption. There is the resinous yellow pine plywood, it is notoriously more difficult to cut. I think that stuff that went poorly is RTD or ground-contact plywood but I’m not sure. Do you know where this plywood came from?

Thanks Danny! You’re right, I selected from the materials library so the dot mode was likely the culprit. It moved extremely slow for such a simple cut so that makes sense! I’ll be back to test more cuts and I’ll make sure those settings are turned off next time.

I believe it was birch plywood or red oak plywood from home depot. It didn’t seem the best quality to begin with so I’ll check out Fine Lumber to see what they have there too. Thank you so much again!

Maybe also check out this post that mentions specifics on exactly which baltic birch works best for the lasers

That is a super helpful link Stephannie! Thank you very much :slight_smile: