I am very new to this and I need some directions from people who have been there before.

I am building a small laser cutter to make my own PCB stencils. The mechanical and electronic parts are working fine, but I feel that the laser / optic I am using are fairly limited (cheap) and probably need an upgrade.

I would like to cut kapton film (1 or 2 mil), and obtain a "laser spot" that would allow me to cut down TSSOP pads ( 1 x 0.5 mm with a 0.6mm spacing) . I am currently using a red LPC - 826 with its optic (the whole thing was $15 on ebay), and I was told that I should use a 445nm diode instead with more power than the 300mW I get at the moment.

Can you please advise on the diode / optic I should be using for this project?

Many Thanks,