High-Performance Shapeoko 4-5 Laser Upgrade Kit with PLH3D-15W Engraving Laser Head
The newest addition to our family of industrial cutting and engraving laser heads is arguably the most versatile engraving laser on the CNC market. Boasting a real 15 W of optical power as well as a novel design, this compact laser head can process a wide range of wood-based materials, leather, textiles and plastics.
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Blue Laser Goggles
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CNC Control Software
Lightburn CNC Software License
Spare Units of Kit-Included Accessories
Manufacturer: Opt Lasers
Individual Kit Parts
Blue CNC Laser Applications
Blue laser engraving can produce a detailed pattern with round edges as well as darken the color of the wood. Laser engraving can be used to engrave a logo or a photo, which can’t be done with milling bits. With PLH3D-15W, you can laser engrave wood and wood-based materials, including cork, chipboard, particleboard, alder, cherry, maple, MDF, basswood, balsa, veneers, medium-density-fiberboard and high-density-fiberboard. For these applications, speed is vital. PLH3D-15W can ensure your business or home workshop stays ahead of the curve. High levels of absorbed optical power allow it to engrave plywood at 100 mm/s.
Another exciting application of PLH3D-15W is in leathercrafting. You can laser engrave and cut top-grain leather, full-grain leather, corrected grain leather and bonded leather. This 15 W laser head can cut 1.3 mm thick leather with a single pass at 21 mm/s (equivalent to 75 m an hour, or 1.8 km (1.1 mi) per laser machine’s 24 h workday). It does so without charring the edges. It can engrave leather at >100 mm/s at 40% power.
Wide Range of Textiles
The high absorption of blue laser light for numerous materials enables fast cutting without damaging protection layers used in textile cutting. Blue laser cutting and engraving are suitable for diverse types of textiles including Cordura™, Alcantara, felt, 1080 denier nylon, jeans, short-staple fiber cotton, wool, tartan, fleece, white polyester, softshell, silk, lace and linen. High power density enables laser cutting textiles with carbon-reinforced yarn and nylon-reinforced yarn as well as white textiles. Many robust materials used in the production of tents, kites, and bags can be cut at 60 mm/s.
Stainless Steel Engraving
PLH3D-15W also measures up if you want to engrave stainless steel alloys. In the example of the photo with the knife, we engraved it at 6 mm/s. The 15 W blue laser head can mark stainless steel at 33 mm/s.
Carbon Steel Engraving
You cannot engrave tool steel and high-carbon content steel species with a 6 W blue laser. However, our tests have shown that a 15 W blue laser head can engrave high-speed steel as well as mild steel. In fact, the contrast and precision enable an engravement of a working QR code.
Cutting and Engraving Plastics
Another application of PLH3D-15W is cutting and engraving synthetic polymers. You can laser cut and engrave plastics such as polycarbonate, ABS plastic, acetals, nylon, acrylic, PLA, polycarbonate, polyesters, microsurface plastic polymers, polyurethane, polyethylenes, fluoropolymers, PEI, polypropylene, vulcanized fiber, PEEK, polyimides, Rowmark® plastics, PPO, polystyrene and VCF films. For example, our testing has shown that a 15 W blue laser can cut colored PMMA with a single pass at 2.5 mm/s.
Unrivaled Optical Power in its Class
Utilizes multiple high-power blue laser diodes to scale optical power.
High-Pressure Air Nozzle Prevents High Upkeep
With the high-pressure air nozzle, you can clean the lens 10x less often. The pressurized air also speeds up the cutting and engraving process by removing smoke and preventing excessive dirt build-up on the lens. In addition, the directed airflow cools down the working site, resulting in a lack of defects and a uniform engraving contrast.
Available with two different length nozzles for cutting thin and thick materials
Powered by Blue Laser Diodes
Unlike infrared light, blue light is more easily absorbed by numerous industrial materials. This directly translates to several advantages including reduced power consumption and more compact heat sinking.
Integrated Control Electronics
In many laser heads that have the diode connected to the diode’s driver via a long cable and the coupling is done with connectors. Long wires are characterized by substantial inductive effects. This results in delays of the diode’s response in relation to the diode’s driver and as extension it also results in blurred lines. Connectors are more prone to disconnections than coupling done via direct soldering. Disconnecting during laser processing can damage the laser head.
Opt Lasers laser heads are industry-level grade CNC machine tools. Mechanical parts are made from machined aluminium. Our products are designed with cooling optimization in mind. Investing in the highest quality equipment ensures the best performance and price.
Precision-Grade Aspheric Lenses
Each laser module contains four precision-molded lenses, each of which is virtually free of imperfections. Coupled with a vacuum-sputtered multi-layer anti-reflection coating, this design yields superior optical performance and a spectacular power density of 1.5 MW/cm².
Synergy of Power and a Tight Beam Spot
The optical system combines the beams from multiple high-power laser diodes and focuses them to a tight spot. It results in a high power density giving the versatility to engrave diversified materials including stainless steel, tool steel and Titanium.
Lightweight Design Mounts to Nearly any CNC Machine
Featuring a lightweight, Aluminum body that makes the laser weight less than 800 g. As a typical CNC spindle weighs approximately 1.8 kg, CNC machines can operate it effortlessly.
Can be set-up on nearly any CNC machine since it accepts both analog and PWM CNC signals.
No warm-up time
|Optical Power||15 W||T-ambient = 25°C|
|Center Wavelength||445 nm|
|Working Distance||4 mm (0.157")||Distance from the tip of air nozzle|
|Beam Spot Width||<180 µm (0.007")|
|Dimensions||167 x 70 x 87 mm||L x H x W, with nozzle attached|
|Mounting Hole Pattern||77 x 68 mm||M3 (#4-40) or M4 (#8-32) recommended|
|Weight||790 g (27.8 oz)|
|PSU Voltage||22 - 24 VDC|
|Power Consumption||<85 W|
|Modulation Input 1||0-5 V||Analog / PWM / TTL|
|Modulation Input 2||0-3 V, 0-5 V, 0-10 V, 0-24 V||PWM / TTL|
|Max. Mod. Bandwidth||30 kHz||Recommended 5-10 kHz|
|Operating Temperature||10 - 45°C (50 - 113°F)|
|Air Nozzle Hose Size Standard||4 mm (5/32")|
|Max. Air Pressure||bar (72 PSI)|
Product Video - Rapid Engraving and Cutting
Product Video - Single Pass Engraving and Cutting
Typical Engraving and Cutting Speeds with PLH3D-15W
In case you can't find a material of interest in the table below, feel free to reach out to us through the Material Test Questionnaire.
|Plywood||Cutting||3 mm (0.118")||6 mm/s||1|
|Cutting||3 mm (0.118")||16 mm/s||4|
|Cutting||6 mm (0.236")||7 mm/s||4|
|MDF||Cutting||3 mm (0.118")||17 mm/s||4|
|Cutting||6 mm (0.236")||7 mm/s||4|
|White Cordura||Cutting||0.2 mm (0.008")||5 mm/s||1|
|Cutting||0.2 mm (0.008")||20 mm/s||3|
|Natural Leather||Cutting||1.5 mm (0.059")||9 mm/s||1|
|Cutting||1.5 mm (0.059")||30 mm/s||4|
|Black PMMA (Plexi)||Cutting||3.6 mm (0.142")||2.5 mm/s||1|
|Cutting||3.6 mm (0.142")||12 mm/s||4|
|Stainless Steel||Marking||N/A||33 mm/s||1|
|Carbon Steel||Marking||N/A||33 mm/s||1|
Additional Information and Recommendations
Any compressor will be suitable for supplying air to your High-Pressure Air Assist Nozzle unit. However, because the appropriate flow rate must be determined experimentally (for each different type of material to be processed), the desired results may not be achieved with small compressor units. The higher the tank capacity and the compressor performance, the higher the airflow that can pass through the air nozzle. The work is also more comfortable with better compressor units (so that the compressor will not turn on too often in order to refill the tank).We recommend a compressor with a real airflow of 10-12 l/min and a tank capacity of at least 50 liters. However, nothing prevents you from trying a smaller compressor.In fact, many of our customers use small 5 liter tank capacity compressors that are available on Amazon for approximately $50.
Recommended Airflow Values
In our experience, the real airflow value of 10-15 l/min is the upper limit and completely sufficient for most materials. We don't recommend going above 15-20 l/min. Above 20 l/min, the laser cutting speed of all materials decreases. We recommend a real airflow value of 10 l/min as a starting point. Then you could experiment with using a slightly higher airflow rate as the optimum airflow value differs from material to material.
In general, for laser cutting, you will typically find the optimum real airflow value to be between 10-15 l/min.
For laser engraving, we recommend airflow values of 1-3 l/min.
The right base - Honeycomb Table
The Honeycomb CNC table is a great tool that excels in laser cutting and engraving. Its unique design features a honeycomb grid that supports materials during the cutting and engraving process, ensuring precise and accurate results every time. The Honeycomb CNC table is the ideal solution for anyone looking to take their laser cutting and engraving to the next level. You can find the right type and size at Amazon even for ~~ $40-100.
Feel free to reach out in case you have any further questions.