What would you try to cut through 3/16" purple heart?

Im so angry, I had all my cut settings working fine for a christmas gift, and now they wont get that gift. I cleaned the lenses.

What was working: 130/FULL - one pass

I bumped it down to 110?FULL and it was burning the surface and still didnt go through.

Can anyone suggest any different settings that will work> i know its dependent on machine, but im really at the end of my rope with this machine sometimes. It seems so inconsistent.

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Purple Heart can be a challenge, you’ll probably require multiple passes, it’s a very dense wood. And as you could see the slower you go the more charring you will get, I will try to keep the speed at 170 or 180 and full power and just see how many passes it takes.

Probably three on my pro but that’s just my guess.


And really, I’m over simplifying. Three passes at full power might work but it’s probably too much power. The ideal thing to do would be to set a constant speed variable power test and then back into the exact power and number of passes that you need.

You can find out more about my testing method on number six here:

You’re trying to find that sweet spot where you reliably cut through the material but you don’t have so much power that you get lots of flashback on the backside. Good luck! Purpleheart is a difficult wood and it does get a fair amount of charring even in ideal conditions.


PS you may be due for a cleaning. Check out #17 for official cleaning advice. If you have recently cleaned it and it suddenly not cutting, definitely check the orientation of your lens, because if it’s an upside down it will make it almost impossible to cut things.

You can tell if your lens is upside down sort of intuitively by looking at the width of your cut line. If it looks extra wide, the chances are you have the lens in backwards.


Sorry for your frustration, but I don’t think the machine is the issue. The material you are using is not very laser friendly. On the Janka scale, purpleheart is very, very hard.

This post may help you, but first clean all of your optics for best performance: Setting Discovery for 1/4" Purpleheart


3 passes typically will only get halfway at that speed, it has a very dense core. It took 6-8 passes for my purple heart in the past, and I’ve seen some people say it took up to 10 times. Given the multiple factors of possible issues you will not want to let that one burn without supervision for sure.


Well, I did say it was a guess and in previous post I’ve talked about how cut settings that worked the previous time may not work the next time. It’s a really difficult wood.

I stand by the idea that the trick is to set your power and your speed and then just see how many passes it takes, and I would also recommend staying above 150 speed, probably more like 170, to reduce the charring, especially surface charring. You really can’t get away from edge charring with Purple Heart.

It’s beautiful and worth using in projects but it is one of my most dreaded woods because of its inconsistency.


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