First thing to do before you try anything with your laser is to check the electrical wiring in the machine – see this article about Electrical warning.

Please note
This guide is made from the standard configuration and products coming with the machine when you order it.
For more information about upgrades and optimizations, check out the other categories to the left.

Parts delivered with your machine

– The machine itself
– Exhaust fan and hose
– Water pump and tubing
– Manual with CD and USB-dongle

Some machines arrives with a tube of silicone, this is used to isolate the connectors on the laser tube when/if you need to change it. You do not need it for initial setup.

First step – software

On the CD delivered with your machine you have the software needed.
LaserDRW and CorelLaser is attatched, i would suggest using CorelLaser, less bugs and problems.
First install Corel Draw included on the CD, after that install the CorelLaser addon and you are done. See first run to set up your software.

Aligning the mirrors

This is one of the most important steps, and also the one who will make you say words not written in the bible.
Prepare good for the alignment with time and temper, hide the wife/man/kids and have some alone time, this will test your temper to never before seen levels 😉
Click here to read the complete article about aligning the mirrors.


Mount the exhaust fan on the back of the machine, use tape to make it air tight to the machine.
Click here to read the complete article about exhaust


You need the parts delivered with your machine, aswell as a tank to keep your coolant in. Suggested is 2-5 gallons. The more the merrier, small tank will get you above the preferred temperature quicker.
Click here to read the complete article about watercooling.

First run

In the last article we guide you trough the first cut or engraving.
Click here to read the complete article about first run.

20 thoughts on “Setting up your k40 laser”

  1. Just bought an M2 Nano (Lihuiyu Labs Studios)board for a Laser Machine I made out of DIY websites. Got the pins of the stepper motors and switches in proper wiring slots and had LaserDRW installed. I have two problems.

    The first problem is, the laserhead stops while being reset and does not go to initial position (top left corner). I had to press reset several times to move it to there and when it does, it rams the swiches violently before stoping( motors didn;t stop immediately after the swiches are toggled ( these are mechanical switches btw).

    Second problem is that when the laserhead are reset, the motion of the laserhead reverses, that is. when I cut a figure out, it goes the opposite direction. Tried to flip the wires but still the same result, the actual cutting direction of the laser head runs opposite of the reset motion after the laserhead toggles the switches after being reset.

    Anyone had this same experience? Any sugestions?

    1. Probably issues with the end-stops. Make sure they are wired in NC config, normally closed.

  2. Hi there. I just brought a new orion laser engraver 40w I download Inkscape a long with k40 whisperer free software and also just purchased a new hp laptop without a disc drive . I plugged in the engraver and the USB key to the computer and it is not reading anything that the engraver is even connected. Is there software that I need to download so the computer reads the engraver. Also dose Inkscape 0.92.4 work With the k40 whisperer free software. This is all new to me and any advice would be appriciated.

    Thank you,

    1. The USB-dongle is a hardware lock and does not contain any software. You can google for “corellaser” and find it for download.
      But i suggest you use Inkscape and K40 Whisperer instead (you do not need the USB dongle with that setup).

  3. I played around with the alignment for a while, but still was getting the split laser dot. In the end, on the basis that the worst that could happen is that I have a spare laser tube, I purchased one and fitted it. Straight away the laser output changed to a small dot, and without even having to realign the mirrors I got rid of the ghosting.

    Thanks for your help and hope my feedback helps someone



  4. Hi there, many thanks for this site

    I have followed all the alignment / air assist / clamp removal etc and have made vast improvements to the cutter. However there is a strange ghosting effect when using higher power, and when I check the output pattern directly from the Laser (i.e. at the 1st mirror) it is not one spot but two separate ones. I assume that is wrong, but of course being new to these lasers, I am not 100% certain.

    Is it possible to confirm what shape the output patter on a good laser tube is?

    1. Its often a effect on low power, the beam is “unstable” and splits. It can also be due to a bad lens in the end of the tube. Take a look at the end, clean the lens sitting 10-15mm in on the output end of the tube. If its cracked it can create split beams too.
      A correct beam shape is round solid, or round donut-shape depending on power level.

      1. Thanks, but I am getting ‘ghosting’ at higher powers with a reduced but still noticeable burn that is offset by 10mm or so, and only occurs during horizontal and 9 o’clock to 12’o’clock movement. The split laser out put happens at high power, not low. I have a photo of the effect but suspect there is no way to post it on here

        Cheers for the assistance


        1. If you get the ghosting right out of the tube before any mirrors i would suspect the end lens inside the laser tube.
          If it varies depending on location of the laser head, it´s either a mirror or lens causing it, you might hit the edge on a mirror, lens or a edge inside the laser head clipping the beam.
          Put some paper in front of 1st mirror and check, if its round on all power levels move to mirror 2, and test it in top and bottom position and see if it creates a distorted beam. Same with 3rd in front of the head, test this in all 4 corners and in the middle to see where you get the split beam.
          If its moving and comes after the optics, you can solve it with a alignment.

  5. I have had problems with the process of aligning the laser. In fact, the recommended process has caused a failure in the mirror to where the laser actually burned a hole right through the mirror. The problem is with the recommended process, tape is used to cover the mirror so when the laser is pulsed it will make a mark on the tape so you can see where the laser needs to be adjusted. Well when you do that, the laser burns the tape and it deposits burned paper and glue on the mirror. It ruined my mirror because I could not clean it good enough and after my alignment on the first run, the laser destroyed the mirror. I cannot understand how this doesn’t happen to everybody that uses this method. No matter what kind of tape or post it notes I used, it still messed up the mirror. The laser will burn the paper and mess the mirror up every time. Is there another way to do this or am I completely missing something?

      1. Wow. Never thought of that. I feel like a dummy! I guess sometimes you can overthink a problem and it takes another set of eyes to help see the obvious! Thanks.

  6. I’m considering the purchase of a K40 in the near future, and am impressed by the amount of excellent information on this site.
    Before I order the unit from China, I have a few questions to be sure I don’t make any fundimental mistake:
    I intend using Inkscape with Whisperer for the software, but read that the Whisperer only functions with particular K40 controller boards. Is this true, and if so how can I be sure the K40 I order will be compatable?
    There seems to be a number of different K40 machins for sale, varying from £320 to £650, some marked as “New Model” and others not, both red case and blue case. Can you point me at an appropriate unit, as the descriptions seem to be very similar for all machines?
    Is there available a complete kit of upgrade parts that would bring the basic K40 up to a good and safe standard?

    1. If you order a K40 with support for CorelDraw, CorelLaser or LaserDraw it will work with Whisperer. Keep away from MoshiDraw and LDDraw supported machines. Check out the article about the K40 machines, some are K40D and worth a bit more.

  7. This site should be mentioned as standard within every variant of the K40’s instuctions.
    My advice to any new user would be to read, read, and re-read the articles available on this site and those of the Facebook sites that the owner of this site frequents.
    The value of the members knowledge combined is a tool that all K40 owners can tap into, and should do.
    As for myself, my K40 remained in its box for over a week whilst i digested the articles and tips made available here, and iv’e had plain sailing since.

  8. Thank you very much for your site, very well done bravo to you, I would like to take to cut thin stabilized wood layer 3/4 mm to close boxes and cut and also engrave plexyglass R pattern of 7mm maxi

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