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K40 Laser Settings – What I Recommended

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 settings

K40 laser cutter wood settings

Raster Engrave
Raster Engrave speed : 100mm/s
Power : 10% (on digital display)

Vector Engrave

Vector Engrave Speed : 20mm/s
Power : 10%

Vector Cut
(Hardwood 5mm)

Vector Cut Speed : 15mm/s
Power: 40%
Passes: 5-10

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.

Janka Hardness

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

SpeciesForce: pounds-force (newtons)
African Mahogany830 lbf (3,700 N)830
African Padauk1,725 lbf (7,670 N)1725
African Pearwood, Moabi3,680 lbf (16,400 N)3680
Afzelia, Doussie, Australian Wormy Chestnut1,810 lbf (8,100 N)1810
Alder (Red)590 lbf (2,600 N)590
Amendoim1,912 lbf (8,500 N)1912
American Beech1,300 lbf (5,800 N)1300
Ash (White)1,320 lbf (5,900 N)1320
Australian Buloke[2]5,060 lbf (22,500 N)5060
Australian Cypress1,375 lbf (6,120 N)1375
Balsa[10]70 lbf (310 N)70
Bangkirai1,798 lbf (8,000 N)1798
Basswood410 lbf (1,800 N)410
Black Cherry, Imbuia950 lbf (4,200 N)950
Black Locust1,700 lbf (7,600 N)1700
Black Walnut, North American Walnut1,010 lbf (4,500 N)1010
Blackwood1,720 lbf (7,700 N)1720
Bloodwood2,900 lbf (13,000 N)2900
Boire940 lbf (4,200 N)940
Bolivian Cherry3,650 lbf (16,200 N)3650
Boreal1,023 lbf (4,550 N)1023
Box Elder720 lbf (3,200 N)720
Boxwood2,840 lbf (12,600 N)2840
Brazilian Cherry, Jatoba2,350 lbf (10,500 N)2350
Brazilian Ebony3,692 lbf (16,420 N)3692
Brazilian Eucalyptus, Rose Gum1,125 lbf (5,000 N)1125
Brazilian Koa2,160 lbf (9,600 N)2160
Brazilian Olivewood3,700 lbf (16,000 N)3700
Brushbox2,135 lbf (9,500 N)2135
Bubinga1,980 lbf (8,800 N)1980
Cameron1,940 lbf (8,600 N)1940
Carapa guianensis, Brazilian Mesquite1,220 lbf (5,400 N)1220
Carbonized Bamboo (represents one species)1,180 lbf (5,200 N)1180
Caribbean Heart Pine1,280 lbf (5,700 N)1280
Caribbean Walnut1,390 lbf (6,200 N)1390
Castello1,810 lbf (8,100 N)1810
Cherry995 lbf (4,430 N)995
Chestnut540 lbf (2,400 N)540
Cocobolo2,960 lbf (13,200 N)2960
Cuipo[10]75 lbf (330 N)75
Cumaru, Brazilian Teak3,540 lbf (15,700 N)3540
Curupixa1,490 lbf (6,600 N)1490
Douglas Fir660 lbf (2,900 N)660
Eastern Red Cedar900 lbf (4,000 N)900
Eastern White Pine380 lbf (1,700 N)380
Ebony3,220 lbf (14,300 N)3220
English Oak[6]1,120 lbf (5,000 N)1120
Golden Teak2,330 lbf (10,400 N)2330
Goncalo Alves, Tigerwood1,850 lbf (8,200 N)1850
Grey Ironbark3,664 lbf (16,300 N)3664
Guatambú, Kyrandy, Balfourodendron riedelianum2,240 lbf (10,000 N)2240
Hard maple, Sugar Maple1,450 lbf (6,400 N)1450
Heart pine1,225 lbf (5,450 N)1225
Hemlock500 lbf (2,200 N)500
Hickory, Pecan, Satinwood1,820 lbf (8,100 N)1820
Highland Beech1,686 lbf (7,500 N)1686
Ipê, Brazilian Walnut, Lapacho3,684 lbf (16,390 N)3684
Ironwood3,260 lbf (14,500 N)3260
Jarrah1,910 lbf (8,500 N)1910
Karri2,030 lbf (9,000 N)2030
Kempas1,710 lbf (7,600 N)1710
Kentucky coffeetree1,390 lbf (6,200 N)1390
Lacewood, Leopardwood840 lbf (3,700 N)840
Lapacho3,640 lbf (16,200 N)3640
Larch1,200 lbf (5,300 N)1200
Larch590 lbf (2,600 N)590
Lignum vitae, Guayacan, Pockenholz4,500 lbf (20,000 N)4500
Live Oak2,680 lbf (11,900 N)2680
Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany800 lbf (3,600 N)800
Makore1,100 lbf (4,900 N)1100
Massaranduba, Brazilian Redwood, Paraju3,190 lbf (14,200 N)3190
Merbau1,925 lbf (8,560 N)1925
Merbau1,712 lbf (7,620 N)1712
Mesquite2,345 lbf (10,430 N)2345
Movingui1,230 lbf (5,500 N)1230
Natural Bamboo (represents one species)1,380 lbf (6,100 N)1380
Osage Orange[5]2,040 lbf (9,100 N)2040
Paper Birch910 lbf (4,000 N)910
Parana780 lbf (3,500 N)780
Peroba1,557 lbf (6,930 N)1557
Peruvian Walnut1,080 lbf (4,800 N)1080
Piptadenia Macrocarpa, Curupay, Angico Preto, Brazilian Tiger Mahogany3,840 lbf (17,100 N)3840
Pradoo2,170 lbf (9,700 N)2170
Purpleheart1,860 lbf (8,300 N)1860
Radiata Pine[8]710 lbf (3,200 N)710
Red Mahogany, Turpentine2,697 lbf (12,000 N)2697
Red Maple[7]950 lbf (4,200 N)950
Red Mulberry1,680 lbf (7,500 N)1680
Red Oak (Northern)1,290 lbf (5,700 N)1290
Ribbon Gum1,349 lbf (6,000 N)1349
Rosewood1,780 lbf (7,900 N)1780
Santos Mahogany, Bocote, Cabreuva, Honduran Rosewood2,200 lbf (9,800 N)2200
Sapele, Sapelli, Kupa’y1,510 lbf (6,700 N)1510
Schinopsis balansae, Quebracho Colorado, Red Quebracho[4]4,570 lbf (20,300 N)4570
Schinopsis brasiliensis, Quebracho, Barauna, Chamacoco[3]4,800 lbf (21,000 N)4800
Shedua710 lbf (3,200 N)710
Siberian Larch1,100 lbf (4,900 N)1100
Silver Maple[9]700 lbf (3,100 N)700
Snakewood, Letterhout, Piratinera Guinensis3,800 lbf (17,000 N)3800
Softest wood ever measured: a single, unusual sample of Balsa[10]22 lbf (98 N)22
Southern Chestnut2,670 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 Gum2,473 lbf (11,000 N)2473
Strand Woven Bamboo3,000 lbf (13,000 N)3000
Sucupira, Brazilian Chestnut, Tiete Chestnut3,417 lbf (15,200 N)3417
Sweet Birch1,470 lbf (6,500 N)1470
Sycamore770 lbf (3,400 N)770
Sydney Blue Gum2,023 lbf (9,000 N)2023
Tallowwood1,933 lbf (8,600 N)1933
Tasmanian oak1,350 lbf (6,000 N)1350
Teak1,155 lbf (5,140 N)1155
True Pine, Timborana1,570 lbf (7,000 N)1570
Tualang1,624 lbf (7,220 N)1624
Wenge, Red Pine, Hornbeam1,630 lbf (7,300 N)1630
Western Juniper626 lbf (2,780 N)626
Western White Pine420 lbf (1,900 N)420
White Oak1,360 lbf (6,000 N)1360
Yellow Birch, Iroko1,260 lbf (5,600 N)1260
Yellow Poplar, Poplar540 lbf (2,400 N)540
Yvyraro3,040 lbf (13,500 N)3040
Zebrawood1,575 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 🙂

 

8 thoughts on “K40 Laser Settings – What I Recommended”

  1. AMY ANDREWS says:

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Jesse says:

    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?

    1. Brian Dominique Field says:

      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.

  3. Andrei says:

    What will be the best setting for a plexiglass 2mm with a K40 laser?

    1. fugitiveALiEN says:

      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

  4. K. "TAZ" Currier says:

    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!

    Best Regards;

    Taz…

    1. k40sam says:

      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

  5. rebecca says:

    What are the percentages for acrylic instead of ma?

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