The K40 laser settings listed below is a beginner’s guide to get you started on your projects. They have been very accurate nearly every-time for the result I usually look for in timber and other materials.
The engraving is usually .5 mm deep, which carries through most hard and softwoods. Softwoods will cut a little deeper, so keep this in mind when inputting your settings into your K40 laser cutter
K40 laser cutter wood settings
Raster Engrave speed : 100mm/s
Power : 10% (on digital display)
Vector Engrave Speed : 20mm/s
Power : 10%
Vector Cut Speed : 15mm/s
The k40 will cut through the wood at approx 1mm per pass with the stock setup (without air-assist and upgraded lenses mirrors etc)
K40 Laser Cutter Acrylic Settings
Raster Engrave : 400mm/s : Power 10ma : Single Pass
Vector Engrave: 60mm/s : Power 5ma : Single-pass
Vector Cut: 8mm/s : Power 10ma : Single Pass
K40 Laser Cutter Glass Settings
Raster Engrave :250mm/s : Power 8ma : Single Pass
Vector Engrave : 60mm/s : Power 5ma : Single Pass
Vector Cut: N/A
Wood 1/4 inch softwood
Vector Cut : 10mm/s : Power 10ma : Single Pass
K40 Laser Cutter Granite Settings
Raster Engrave : 300mm/s : Power 80ma : Single Pass
Vector Engrave : 60mm/s :Power 4ma : Single Pass
Vector cut : N/A
Laser Speed VS Power
The 2 most important variables that will determine if your engraving turns out the way you want it are the Speed and Power settings. Generally, If your laser speed is too slow and your power is too high, your material will burn or deteriorate.
Adding to this it is recommended that using the right settings will give your machine a longer lifespan and save the need to buy replacement parts for your K40
The trick is to find the “sweet spot” where your laser engraves at the optimal speed/power without sacrificing the time it actually takes to complete your project. If you are working on a project where you have to engrave multiple items of the same design, it is imperative to get this setting correct, as using the wrong speed could add hours onto your project completion times.
Rule of thumb : Laser speed too fast will equal less quality engrave and may even skip lines or create bumps on your design when the laser head changes direction.
I’ve found that running your speed under 200mm/s will prevent any unwanted bumps or patchiness in your work.
Tip: Keep your setting between 50mm/- 100mm/s and adjust your laser power according to the material you are using. These speeds will ensure that there will be a high-quality output and you only need to adjust one variable…The laser power.
One tip I would suggest with your K40 Laser Engraver or portable laser engraver is to initially set your laser speed 100mm/s and power setting at 10. If this isn’t producing the desired output increase the power by +1 until the desired result is achieved.
Thingiverse have a neat place card to make it easier finding the right settings. Once you have the correct lens focus, this can be used to see what your laser will output will look like for text, cuts and engraves.
You can download it here
Finding K40 laser settings for different materials
There is a neat video posted by DIY3DTECH.com on how to apply these settings and how to find the correct settings when you are using a new material you haven’t used before.
This wood is spotted gum from Australia and has a Janka hardness of 2470 Newtons. The k40 laser cutter settings I ran was at a speed of 100mm/s and a power setting of 10 (on the digital readout) and resulted in an engraving of around 0.5mmThe Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28 millimeters (0.444 in) diameter steel ball halfway into a sample of wood. This method leaves a hemispherical indentation with an area of 200 mm2. A common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine whether a species is suitable for use as flooring.
The graph below can be used to determine the hardness of wood and be used as a guide to estimate k40 laser cutter settings
Harder wood will require either a faster laser speed setting or a higher power setting
a wood with a newton force of 2473 Newtons can be equated to 10 (on digital K40 readout) and running at 70mm/s. This will result in approximately 0.5mm cut and result in an image similar to the image of the dog tag above.
These K40 laser cutter settings are used as a guide only to get you started. Obviously, the age of laser tube, outside temperature, mirror cleanliness, etc may affect the K40 laser cutter settings noted above and may need to be adjusted to suit the environment.
If you are still in the setup phase of your K40 Laser cutter, you may try reading a setup guide at electromaker here
|Species||Force: pounds-force (newtons)|
|African Mahogany||830 lbf (3,700 N)||830|
|African Padauk||1,725 lbf (7,670 N)||1725|
|African Pearwood, Moabi||3,680 lbf (16,400 N)||3680|
|Afzelia, Doussie, Australian Wormy Chestnut||1,810 lbf (8,100 N)||1810|
|Alder (Red)||590 lbf (2,600 N)||590|
|Amendoim||1,912 lbf (8,500 N)||1912|
|American Beech||1,300 lbf (5,800 N)||1300|
|Ash (White)||1,320 lbf (5,900 N)||1320|
|Australian Buloke||5,060 lbf (22,500 N)||5060|
|Australian Cypress||1,375 lbf (6,120 N)||1375|
|Balsa||70 lbf (310 N)||70|
|Bangkirai||1,798 lbf (8,000 N)||1798|
|Basswood||410 lbf (1,800 N)||410|
|Black Cherry, Imbuia||950 lbf (4,200 N)||950|
|Black Locust||1,700 lbf (7,600 N)||1700|
|Black Walnut, North American Walnut||1,010 lbf (4,500 N)||1010|
|Blackwood||1,720 lbf (7,700 N)||1720|
|Bloodwood||2,900 lbf (13,000 N)||2900|
|Boire||940 lbf (4,200 N)||940|
|Bolivian Cherry||3,650 lbf (16,200 N)||3650|
|Boreal||1,023 lbf (4,550 N)||1023|
|Box Elder||720 lbf (3,200 N)||720|
|Boxwood||2,840 lbf (12,600 N)||2840|
|Brazilian Cherry, Jatoba||2,350 lbf (10,500 N)||2350|
|Brazilian Ebony||3,692 lbf (16,420 N)||3692|
|Brazilian Eucalyptus, Rose Gum||1,125 lbf (5,000 N)||1125|
|Brazilian Koa||2,160 lbf (9,600 N)||2160|
|Brazilian Olivewood||3,700 lbf (16,000 N)||3700|
|Brushbox||2,135 lbf (9,500 N)||2135|
|Bubinga||1,980 lbf (8,800 N)||1980|
|Cameron||1,940 lbf (8,600 N)||1940|
|Carapa guianensis, Brazilian Mesquite||1,220 lbf (5,400 N)||1220|
|Carbonized Bamboo (represents one species)||1,180 lbf (5,200 N)||1180|
|Caribbean Heart Pine||1,280 lbf (5,700 N)||1280|
|Caribbean Walnut||1,390 lbf (6,200 N)||1390|
|Castello||1,810 lbf (8,100 N)||1810|
|Cherry||995 lbf (4,430 N)||995|
|Chestnut||540 lbf (2,400 N)||540|
|Cocobolo||2,960 lbf (13,200 N)||2960|
|Cuipo||75 lbf (330 N)||75|
|Cumaru, Brazilian Teak||3,540 lbf (15,700 N)||3540|
|Curupixa||1,490 lbf (6,600 N)||1490|
|Douglas Fir||660 lbf (2,900 N)||660|
|Eastern Red Cedar||900 lbf (4,000 N)||900|
|Eastern White Pine||380 lbf (1,700 N)||380|
|Ebony||3,220 lbf (14,300 N)||3220|
|English Oak||1,120 lbf (5,000 N)||1120|
|Golden Teak||2,330 lbf (10,400 N)||2330|
|Goncalo Alves, Tigerwood||1,850 lbf (8,200 N)||1850|
|Grey Ironbark||3,664 lbf (16,300 N)||3664|
|Guatambú, Kyrandy, Balfourodendron riedelianum||2,240 lbf (10,000 N)||2240|
|Hard maple, Sugar Maple||1,450 lbf (6,400 N)||1450|
|Heart pine||1,225 lbf (5,450 N)||1225|
|Hemlock||500 lbf (2,200 N)||500|
|Hickory, Pecan, Satinwood||1,820 lbf (8,100 N)||1820|
|Highland Beech||1,686 lbf (7,500 N)||1686|
|Ipê, Brazilian Walnut, Lapacho||3,684 lbf (16,390 N)||3684|
|Ironwood||3,260 lbf (14,500 N)||3260|
|Jarrah||1,910 lbf (8,500 N)||1910|
|Karri||2,030 lbf (9,000 N)||2030|
|Kempas||1,710 lbf (7,600 N)||1710|
|Kentucky coffeetree||1,390 lbf (6,200 N)||1390|
|Lacewood, Leopardwood||840 lbf (3,700 N)||840|
|Lapacho||3,640 lbf (16,200 N)||3640|
|Larch||1,200 lbf (5,300 N)||1200|
|Larch||590 lbf (2,600 N)||590|
|Lignum vitae, Guayacan, Pockenholz||4,500 lbf (20,000 N)||4500|
|Live Oak||2,680 lbf (11,900 N)||2680|
|Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany||800 lbf (3,600 N)||800|
|Makore||1,100 lbf (4,900 N)||1100|
|Massaranduba, Brazilian Redwood, Paraju||3,190 lbf (14,200 N)||3190|
|Merbau||1,925 lbf (8,560 N)||1925|
|Merbau||1,712 lbf (7,620 N)||1712|
|Mesquite||2,345 lbf (10,430 N)||2345|
|Movingui||1,230 lbf (5,500 N)||1230|
|Natural Bamboo (represents one species)||1,380 lbf (6,100 N)||1380|
|Osage Orange||2,040 lbf (9,100 N)||2040|
|Paper Birch||910 lbf (4,000 N)||910|
|Parana||780 lbf (3,500 N)||780|
|Peroba||1,557 lbf (6,930 N)||1557|
|Peruvian Walnut||1,080 lbf (4,800 N)||1080|
|Piptadenia Macrocarpa, Curupay, Angico Preto, Brazilian Tiger Mahogany||3,840 lbf (17,100 N)||3840|
|Pradoo||2,170 lbf (9,700 N)||2170|
|Purpleheart||1,860 lbf (8,300 N)||1860|
|Radiata Pine||710 lbf (3,200 N)||710|
|Red Mahogany, Turpentine||2,697 lbf (12,000 N)||2697|
|Red Maple||950 lbf (4,200 N)||950|
|Red Mulberry||1,680 lbf (7,500 N)||1680|
|Red Oak (Northern)||1,290 lbf (5,700 N)||1290|
|Ribbon Gum||1,349 lbf (6,000 N)||1349|
|Rosewood||1,780 lbf (7,900 N)||1780|
|Santos Mahogany, Bocote, Cabreuva, Honduran Rosewood||2,200 lbf (9,800 N)||2200|
|Sapele, Sapelli, Kupa’y||1,510 lbf (6,700 N)||1510|
|Schinopsis balansae, Quebracho Colorado, Red Quebracho||4,570 lbf (20,300 N)||4570|
|Schinopsis brasiliensis, Quebracho, Barauna, Chamacoco||4,800 lbf (21,000 N)||4800|
|Shedua||710 lbf (3,200 N)||710|
|Siberian Larch||1,100 lbf (4,900 N)||1100|
|Silver Maple||700 lbf (3,100 N)||700|
|Snakewood, Letterhout, Piratinera Guinensis||3,800 lbf (17,000 N)||3800|
|Softest wood ever measured: a single, unusual sample of Balsa||22 lbf (98 N)||22|
|Southern Chestnut||2,670 lbf (11,900 N)||2670|
|Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly and Shortleaf)||690 lbf (3,100 N)||690|
|Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf)||870 lbf (3,900 N)||870|
|Spotted Gum||2,473 lbf (11,000 N)||2473|
|Strand Woven Bamboo||3,000 lbf (13,000 N)||3000|
|Sucupira, Brazilian Chestnut, Tiete Chestnut||3,417 lbf (15,200 N)||3417|
|Sweet Birch||1,470 lbf (6,500 N)||1470|
|Sycamore||770 lbf (3,400 N)||770|
|Sydney Blue Gum||2,023 lbf (9,000 N)||2023|
|Tallowwood||1,933 lbf (8,600 N)||1933|
|Tasmanian oak||1,350 lbf (6,000 N)||1350|
|Teak||1,155 lbf (5,140 N)||1155|
|True Pine, Timborana||1,570 lbf (7,000 N)||1570|
|Tualang||1,624 lbf (7,220 N)||1624|
|Wenge, Red Pine, Hornbeam||1,630 lbf (7,300 N)||1630|
|Western Juniper||626 lbf (2,780 N)||626|
|Western White Pine||420 lbf (1,900 N)||420|
|White Oak||1,360 lbf (6,000 N)||1360|
|Yellow Birch, Iroko||1,260 lbf (5,600 N)||1260|
|Yellow Poplar, Poplar||540 lbf (2,400 N)||540|
|Yvyraro||3,040 lbf (13,500 N)||3040|
|Zebrawood||1,575 lbf (7,010 N)||1575|
Do you have any other K40 Laser cutter settings you would like to share? Comment below to share your settings 🙂
AMY ANDREWSOctober 23, 2018
Thanks for sharing!!!
JesseDecember 26, 2018
Hey there! I’ve got a question if you have a second. I’ve got a k40 machine and would like to upgrade to a 50 watt tube. Do you know if I’ll also need to upgrade my power supply in order for this to work properly?
Brian Dominique FieldAugust 11, 2019
Did you run the k40 on a 50w tube without changing the psu, how was it i’ve been trying to find out if this would work myself.
AndreiApril 13, 2020
What will be the best setting for a plexiglass 2mm with a K40 laser?
fugitiveALiENJune 28, 2020
Try the acrylic settings listed because plexiglass just an acrylic namebrand. Lexan is similar but it’s a different kind of plastic called polycarbonate. Be sure your ventilation is good when cutting these.
Acrylic, Plexiglass = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poly(methyl_methacrylate)
Poly Lexan = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarbonate
K. "TAZ" CurrierJuly 9, 2020
I have a job that requires me to cut 2mm(5/64″) birch aircraft plywood. I am finding that 1/16″ aircraft birch plywood, is really difficult to cut.
I do not have an air assist, as of yet, but, will have it set up by July 12th.
I ran over 30 passes, @11% power, and 15mm per second, it barely made it through the 2nd layer. I tried increasing the power to 30%, and i turned my back for a minute, and it actually caught on fire.
What am I missing on this? I have read, and seen on YouTube, that a setting of 50%, WITH AIR ASSIST, would work. Am I correct with this, or what setting would you suggest.
This project is very important to complete. I have a few weeks to do so, so I thought I would head off any problems, before I get myself in to deep, and it doesn’t succeed. I have several hundred dollars invested in this, and stand to make a decent profit, with a bit of work to make it happen.
Many thanks in advance, for your time! I anxiously wait for your help!
k40samJuly 16, 2020
Hi Taz. Make sure your focal length is spot on (distance from lens to your timber) it’s normally 50.8 mm on the k40. Being a 2 mm plywood that would be 51.8 to the centre of your wood correct? Have a look on YouTube and search for ramp test for laser to find the focal point to get a crisp cut. If your focal point ends up being in the centre of your wood you should be able to cut in 5 passes at 20% power no worries. Also check cleanliness of your lens and mirrors. Sam
rebeccaAugust 29, 2020
What are the percentages for acrylic instead of ma?