The excitation of a progressive plate wave by laser irradiation is reported. The photothermal effect caused by multi-beam laser irradiation is used for generating the progressive plate wave. The driving force is the bending moment of the photothermal effect in the plate-like sample. The proposed technique is demonstrated by preliminary experiments using self-sustained thin-plate samples. The technique will be useful for developing new optical sensors using the progressive plate wave and may become one of the driving methods for micromechanical systems.