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How much power need a laser to cut through 3/4 MDF? Answered

Hi. Just wondering how much power need a laser to cut 3/4 MDF in a single pass?

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Downunder35m (author)2017-02-18

MDF is one of the worst material you can feed your laser ;)
It is more glue than wood, which makes the cutting a painful exercise, not to mention the fumes....
The thickest I tried so far in MDF on my 40W laser was 5mm thick.
After failing like no tomorrow I had to use a fride to make a half decent cut through it.
Might be due to the fact that the stuff was rated for wetroom use though....
Oh, the fridge...
I salvaged the compressor, sompe copper tubing and the long capillary tube for the metering.
Soldered a piece of that thin stuff onto a 5mm tube and that went into flex PVC down to the compressor.
Resulted in close to 30PSI and once directed into the cutting area properly I was able to cut it in 3 passes.
Still the neighbours were not happy with me about that, my exhaust system smoked out the entire block ROFL

Unless you need extreme details (which would be lost due to the thickness anyway) I would use a fine bandsaw for this task.
At least you would end up with a straight and even cutting edge on the MDF instead of a badly charred funnel...

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Kiteman (author)Downunder35m2017-02-19

5mm MDF + 40W laser = expensive soot

The only 5mm material I cut is acrylic - any form of wood just chars along the cut.

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Downunder35m (author)Kiteman2017-02-19

Tell me about, but there are thing stupid people just have to try with their new toys.
Now that I would recommend it though LOL

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Toga_Dan (author)2017-02-19

What shape are you cutting? Folk on this site may have alternatives.

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Toga_Dan (author)2017-02-19

cnc router may b better.

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Yonatan24 (author)2017-02-16

I believe Kiteman has mentioned that he can cut 1/4" plywood with his laser cutter, which I think is 40W.

Now after checking, I can't seem to find the wattage of his laser cutter, but he uses 3mm plywood.

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Kiteman (author)Yonatan242017-02-18

It's a 40W laser.

I would cut 3mm MDF at 65% power and speed 15

If the OP means 3/4 inch MDF, my 40W would not be able to cut through at all.

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caitlinsdad (author)2017-02-15

The rest of the MDF might catch fire if you try to cut through it with a laser powerful enough. It is probably better to use traditional wood cutting or milling methods, even waterjet.

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