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K40 Laser Cutter

EquipmentLaser Cutter
DescriptionLaser cutter / engraver
Risk AssessmentLink?
Laser Etching into wood

The space has a single K40 laser cutter that is available for members to use. The cutter can be used to cut thin materials or to mark / engrave the material surface.

In operation, the laser cutter will generate smoke and fumes and can ignite materials if used improperly. It is also possible to damage the machine by running the laser tube at high power for prolonged periods. This means that an induction course is mandatory before using the cutter.


Suggested Uses

Cutting Limitations

  • The Bed size is roughly A4 (315mmx215mm)
  • This machine will not cut or mark metals directly
  • Will cut and engrave plastics, wood, paper, cloth, rubber, etc
  • NEVER use PVC - it produces poisonous gasses

Please read our guide on Preparing Artwork for Cutting

Operating Procedure Reminders

  • Place vent tube out of window
  • Ensure cooling bucket has sufficient water to cover the pump
  • Turn vent fan and cooling pump on
  • Check that water is flowing
  • Set appropriate power level
  • Close all machine access doors before attempting to use
  • Red interlock light will only illuminate when all panels are closed, the laser is enabled, and the cooling flow is running
  • You MUST NOT leave it running unattended
  • Watch for fires, stop the system and extinguish them immediately
  • After use allow sufficient time for any smoke and fumes to be extracted before opening the panel

Suggested Settings

NB: If doing multiple passes, do not launch Engrave dialog before previous one has finished, as it will not reset position, and you will need to manually hit the 'reset' position button.

Maximum Feedrate is 500mm/s for engraving, and 50mm/s for cutting, above those speeds it may skip or jump position and ruin your work

Absolute minimum power appears to be between 1.5 and 1.75

Absolute Maximum power should be 18mA on the meter, this is around 7-8 on the dial. do not exceed this value as it drastically shortens the lifespan of the laser tube.

MaterialCut TypePower levelFeedratePassesEffect
Acrylic - 1mmVector Cut610mm/s1Cut 1
Acrylic - 1mmRaster Engrave3400mm/s1Engrave
Acrylic - 3mmVector Cut88mm/s1Cut
Acrylic - 3mmRaster Engrave3300mm/s1Engrave
Acrylic - 5mmVector Cut910mm/s2Cut
Acrylic - 5mmVector Engrave840mm/s1Engrave
Rubber - 2.3mmVector Cut58mm/s2Cut
Rubber - 2.3mmVector Engrave5300mm/s5Engrave
Mylar SheetVector Cut2.540mm/s1Cut
Slate 2Raster Engrave8300mm/s1Engrave
1 Can probably reduce power/increase speed further

2 WARNING, for small engraves only (50x50mm area max), the laser tube isn't strong enough to run at high power for sustained periods of time

Useful links

Archive of the purchase and commissioning phase

Consumable Parts

  • 40W CO2 laser tube, 700mm length
  • 3x 20mm mirrors
  • 12mm diameter, 50.8mm focal length lens
  • replacement flow sensor with G1/4 thread
- Last change February 19, 2024, at 10:47 PM
- Registered in England and Wales 08777436