PLH3D-6W-Hobby Engraving Laser Head
Manufacturer: Opt Lasers
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Parts Included in the PLH3D-6W-Hobby laser head
- PLH3D-6W-Hobby laser head
- High-speed driver with Analog and PWM/TTL inputs
- High-resolution Engraving Lens (Factory-preset)
- High-efficiency Engraving Lens
- Connector strip for lengthening the wires if needed
Features & Benefits of the PLH3D-6W-Hobby engraving laser head
Affordable high-quality design – forget other a low-cost option when you can have the same outstanding design known from other Opt Lasers products for affordable price and availability of additional accessories and software that improve your productivity.
Cutting and engraving - the PLH3D-6W-Hobby laser head allows to cut and engrave on various materials such as wood, cardboard, rubber, paper, textiles, leather, plastic, balsa, plywood, and many others as well as a mark on stainless steel, titanium and low heat conductance type of steel. For more check Manuals and Articles section.
Factory set lens - the blue laser head is shipped the High-Resolution Triplet lens installed and adjusted to focus at 60.0 mm (measured from the front-face surface of the laser head to engraving plane). This focal distance has a well-optimized focal spot size which is suitable for many engraving and cutting applications. This is the best-optimized focus distance to start with!
Symmetric Beam Offset - In some applications, such as laser engraving wood, it is recommended to defocus the laser by a small amount in order to achieve a symmetrical beam. This can be done by translating the laser forward or backward in the beam propagation direction by the amount shown in the table below. Doing so will allow the laser to engrave with the same line thickness in both the X and Y directions. However, for certain applications, such as engraving metals and cutting, maximizing the power density is more desirable than having a symmetrical beam. In these cases, defocus is not always necessary or recommended for the best performance.
Recommended defocus for specific engraving applications:
Laser Head Model Symmetric Beam Offset Value
PLH3D-6W-XF ±4.4 mm (± 0.173")
PLH3D-6W-Hobby ±4.4 mm (± 0.173")
PLH3D-6W-μSpot ±1.8 mm (± 0.070")
For example, The PLH3D-6W-XF engraving laser has a factory-preset focus at 60.0 mm from the front of the laser head. Setting the laser to 64.4 mm or 55.6 mm (+/- 4.4 mm from the focus) will allow the laser head to engrave with the same line thickness in both directions
Input signals versatility - the build-in driver allows accepting a variety of signals 0 - 5 V analog signal and 0 - 5 V, 0 - 10 V or 0 - 24 V for PWM/TTL signal.
Driver built-in inside the laser head - Opt Lasers is the first company who integrated the laser diode driver directly into the laser head. A short connection between the laser diode and a driver ensures better protection for a diode, possibility of high-frequency current modulation as well as eliminates inductance effects during the switch-on.
Accepts a wide range of power supplies - 12 - 24 V, the integrated high-efficiency DC-DC converter is adjusting the input voltage to proper diode compliance voltage. This reduces the amount of heat generated and ensures over-voltage protection.
No additional cooling required - the dedicated shape of the laser heads provides the best possible cooling method for a 6 W laser diode. Many prototypes have been made to find the best solution for cooling the laser diode. The current design allows the laser head to warm up only by 8-10 degrees Celsius after a whole hour of constant work at full power.
Two types of lenses included - The High-Resolution Triplet Lens with lens adjuster has a relatively long effective focal length (EFL) of 8 mm, which allows it to focus laser light to a small spot. All 6 lens surfaces are coated with anti-reflection (AR) coating centered at 450 nm. It is usually preferred for engraving a thinner line, cutting a thicker material due to the reduced convergence and divergence, or when a long distance between the laser head and the plane of the object to be engraved is necessary.
High-Efficiency Mounted Aspheric Lens is designed to obtain as much as possible power from the laser diode. Its short effective focal length (EFL) of 4 mm makes a variety of working distances possible but makes the focus spot almost twice bigger compared to Triplet Lens. This lens should be used for engraving thicker lines on wood or plastic. This type of lens is used without the lens adjuster since they need to be mounted closer to the laser diode.
Silent fan - provides 15 m3 of air output which is efficient for cooling and smoke removal that keeps the lens clean. Because of its quiet work, it will not disturb your inmate or neighbor. Or your beloved pet.
Compatible with accessories for ease of use - ease of work is very important to us. As well as safety. Many accessories we produce are high quality, made on CNC machine parts which make the work easy and safe. Please check out the accessories we prepared for the PLH3D series. Your productivity and creativity depend on the right tools.
OEM customization - available for 3D printer and CNC machine manufacturers
Control Inputs and Electrical Connection
The PLH3D-6W-Hobby engraving laser head has two separate controls.
Modulation Input #1 accepts 0 - 5 V or 0-10 V (with additional 4.2 k ohm resistor in series) for analog power modulation
Modulation Input #2 accepts 0 - 5 V, 0 - 10 V or 0 - 24 V for TTL/PWM and turns on the laser when the voltage exceeds 2.5 V.
Important: Do not connect both Modulation Input 1 and Modulation Input 2 at the same time. Doing so may result in malfunction of the laser head.
10 V Analog Signal input connection (X-Carve, CS-Lab, and other machines)
In order to connect 0-10 V analog signal to the Modulation Input #1 it is needed to add a 4.2 k ohm resistor in series (it is already included in the Universal Power and Connection Adapter or in “Hobby Kit”) :
Important: The laser head should be powered from a high-quality power supply without anything else connected. Please note: connecting the laser head to the same power supply unit as a stepper motor or any other high-impedance equipment is not recommended. Doing so may cause damage to the laser diode.
Laser Driver Parameters
- High power and high-frequency current laser diode driver
- Maximum output current A
- Input voltage 12 - 24 V
- Input current max 2 A
- Integrated microcontroller for temp. measurement and soft-start
- Thermal Protection - 45 degrees
- Soft start for diode protection.
- Laser Diode ESD protection
- Laser Diode reverse voltage protection
- Overcurrent protection
- Compact Size and >90% efficiency
- CW Mode and Input Control Mode.
- PWM/TTL and Analog inputs
- Modulation Bandwich 0 - 30 kHz
Opt Lasers is the laser diode drivers manufacturer. Thanks to our experience building over a few years we created a very high-efficiency driver with low power consumption and low heat production. Additionally, it is the fastest designed laser head driver available on the market accepting signals up to 30 kHz. Using 6W laser with high speed is no longer a problem while engraving small details or making small radius turns because the driver is able to read all needed signals.
CNC controllers are able to send modulation signals with great speed so 50 kHz is not a problem to them. This is why a high-speed driver is a must in such a device. The driver is able to read 30 000 instructions every second what creates great precision and resolution in terms of power control. Also, maximum driver current is 6 A so using it with 3 - 4 A value ensures offset and long lifetime of a laser controller.
The PLH3D-6W-Hobby blue laser head incorporates a thermal protection system that protects the laser diode from overheating to maintain its lifetime. The unit is designed to automatically shut off when the housing temperature exceeds 47 C. The analog input is protected by a 5 V Zener diode in a case on occasion there appears the voltage higher than 5 V. Despite everything, this input should not be used with higher voltages due to a risk of damage. The laser diode is protected via a Schottky diode, which protects it from a reverse voltage and ESD. In addition, the integrated driver is fully covered to protect it from metal chips in a CNC machine environment.
More info about PLH3D-6W-Hobby engraving laser head
The focus distance can be quickly set or changed via the included lens adjuster (no additional tools). The driver of the unit is integrated directly on the laser head. This greatly increases the maximum modulation frequency and allows longer cables to be used.
Besides the standard functionality, the small beam spot allows the possibility of using this product for rapid PCB prototyping. This is done by illuminating the copper layer of plates after a photosensitive paste is applied.
Improved Heat Sinking
This lightweight 190 g (6.7 oz) laser head requires no additional cooling. The body acts as a heat sink, and the fan design allows it to function as an air nozzle protecting the lens from smoke, while also cooling the laser head. Performing tests on several prototype designs allowed us to optimize the heat sink’s shape and enable efficient cooling while maintaining the module’s notably small form factor.
Accessory for Smoke (see accessories)
The laser head allows engraving or cutting of materials such as wood, stainless steel, paper, leather, cardboard, and many others. For materials that generate smoke when engraved or cut, we offer an optional nozzle that is attachable to the front of the unit via magnets built into the laser head (see accessories).
For bulk orders, the PLH3D series can be customized to all customers' needs. We can add customers' logos and all possible additional features. Customization is offered for a 3D printer and CNC manufacturers and distributors.
Our PLH3D series work with many CNC and 3D printing machines including the models:
- Azteeg X3
- CNC Shark
- GeckoDrive 540
- MakerBot Replicator1 and Clones
- MakerBot Thing-O-Matic
- MakerGear M2
- Openbuilds – C Beam/OX
- PrintRBot Upgrade
- Replicator 2 and 2X
- RepRap – Melzi Board
- RepRap – RAMPS1.4
- RepRap – RUMBA
- Shapeoko 2
- Shapeoko 3
- Ultimaker 1 & 2
- Velleman K8200
- X Controller
- X-Carve Upgrade
- Zen Toolworks
Note that this list is being continuously updated. Please contact us if you have any questions or feedback regarding compatibility.
- Remember that it is not a toy.
- Laser radiation is dangerous even when scattered or reflected from any surface.
- Always use proper protection laser filter on your CNC machine dedicated to 430 - 480 nm in order to avoid reflected radiation.
- Never point laser head at people or animals.
- Do not touch the beam, it may cause burns or other injuries.
- Do not stare at the beam or the beam spot while the material is being cut.
- Laser radiation - Avoid eye or skin exposure to direct or scattered radiation.
- Class 4 laser product.
|Dimensions||40 x 55 x 69 mm|
|Focus Distance||20 - 120 mm|
|Input Voltage||12 - 24 V|
|Max. Power Consumption||25 W|
|Modulation Type||Analog / TTL|
|Weight||190 g (6.7 oz.)|
|Mounting Hole Type||M3 x 0.5 x 4.5 mm|
|Ambient Temperature Range (Operating)||0 - 40°C (32 - 104°F)|
|Mounting Hole Pattern||4 Holes 24 x 15 mm (0.94 x 0.59 in.)|
|Modulation Input 1||0 - 5V Analog/TTL/PWM|
|Modulation Input 2||0 - 24V TTL/PWM|
|Max. Modulation Bandwidth||30 kHz|
|Laser Diode Wavelength||450 nm|
|Laser Diode Optical Power||6 W|
|Max. Power Density||70 [kW/cm^2]|