Air-actuated Z-deployment Avid Pro CNC Laser Upgrade Kit with PLH3D-15W Engraving Laser Head

The Avid Plug&Play CNC 15W Diode Laser System is the perfect complement to Avid CNC spindle cutting systems.

Boasting a real 15 watts of optical power as well as a novel design, this compact laser head can cut a wide range of wood-based materials, leather, textiles, plastics, and more, as well as engrave metals such as carbon steel and anodized aluminum.

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SKU: 002898
GTIN: 5902693112174

Product description

The Avid CNC 15W Diode Laser System is the perfect complement to Avid CNC spindle cutting systems, adding the ability to cut fine details as well as engrave materials before or after machining.

It is arguably the most versatile laser system on the CNC market. Boasting a real 15 watts of optical power as well as a novel design, this compact laser head can cut a wide range of wood-based materials, leather, textiles, plastics, and more, as well as engrave metals such as carbon steel and anodized aluminum.

Featuring an air-actuated Z-deployment system that mounts on either side of an existing PRO Z-axis, the laser can be moved down for cutting, then up and out of the way during spindle or plasma cutting operations.

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Avid CNC Laser Upgrade Features:

    • The Opt Lasers 15 Watt Diode laser is one of the most powerful add-on lasers available on the market. Capable of cutting up to 3mm plywood in a single pass, and engraving anodized aluminum as well as carbon and stainless steels
    • The 0.007” wide beam allows cutting and engraving of fine details. The system uses Avid’s Auto Z Touchplate to reference the laser head to the material, and a calibration routine allows users to easily switch between spindle and laser offsets
    • Industrial machined aluminum components provide a rugged, high-precision system, while the laser head is from a trusted leader in reliable diode laser technology. This is a high duty cycle laser meant to work all day, every day.
    • Automatic Deployment. An air-driven actuator system allows the laser to be deployed for use, and then safely retracted above the spindle cutter when completed. No tools, no need to remove and put away the laser when switching to spindle operations.
    • Safe for users. The system comes with OD7+ safety glasses, standard. The system design keeps the laser on the machine and pointed down, with a separate key for arming and disarming the laser.
    • Safe for your machine. The laser actuator is spring-loaded in the “up” position, so a failure of air pressure or an emergency stop immediately retracts it. An air pressure sensor in the control box notifies the user if the system is not ready for use.

PLH3D-15W Avid CNC Laser Unit Presentation

PLH3D-15W 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.

PLH3D-15W Plywood Cutting
PLH3D-15W Plywood Cutting


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.

PLH3D-15W Knife Engraving

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.



PLH3D-15W Laser Head Features

Features of PLH3D-15W


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.

PLH3D-15W Short Nozzle
PLH3D-15W Long Nozzle


Available with two different length nozzles for cutting thin and thick materials

PLH3D-15W Air Nozzle
PLH3D-15W Short Nozzle Cutting Tests

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.

Features of PLH3 Compact Design

Long Lifetime

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.

Life time compared to 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.

Simple Integration

Can be set-up on nearly any CNC machine since it accepts both analog and PWM CNC signals.

Instant-On Power

No warm-up time


Product Specifications

ItemTypical ValueComments
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 Cutting and Engraving

Product Video - Single Pass Cutting and Engraving

Typical Cutting and Engraving 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.

MaterialOperation TypeThicknessSpeedPasses
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
Engraving N/A 6 mm/s 1
Carbon Steel Marking N/A 33 mm/s 1
Engraving N/A 6 mm/s 1




I got redirected to Avid to get this kit and i went so nice - both Opt and Avid support are awesome!

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