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Old 11-15-2009, 06:38 PM #17
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

Thanks for the clarification...........rob


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Old 11-15-2009, 07:17 PM #18
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

Cutting machines are usually CW, pulsed lasers are usually used in the medical field as explained by HIMNL9.

Your DVD burner is too slow, and the diode is probably too low powered to be very effective. You'd want to get a 20-22x burner sled from someone here on the forum - they're less than $10 these days. (faster burners have more powerful lasers)
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:11 PM #19
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

Using a red laser to burn anything is going to be horribly slow, it'll take a good long while to go through black paper.

A blu-ray will be better, it will go through black paper but still it takes a while.

If you have room pop this in

800mW 808nm focus adjustable module£*>808nm,780nm,980nm laser£*>Laser&lighting products£*>www.0-like.com

I was not aware they couldn't focus at a short distance? As long as it's like 5-10cm away it should be ok?

Correct me if I'm wrong anyone

Look forward to seeing some build pics.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:58 PM #20
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

That certainly sounds like an interesting project - when it's complete will you release source, schematics or a build-log? I may be getting a CNC lathe with a dead controller board in the foreseeable future, and seeing something like this would really help me fix up a replacement.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:00 PM #21
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

Ouch... Can't afford a $130 laser.

OK then, Blu-ray vs. 20X DVD burner?

For Blu-Ray, I'm thinking probably one of these, but am still open to suggestions.

If I'm smart, I'll start working on the first linear actuator build tomorrow and try to build a driver.

I post pics this time!

[edit]Where did JayRob get the diode for this build? I found a site with a good deal on blu-ray diodes back when I joined here, but I can't remember it now.

Off to work to earn cash to buy parts with!
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:16 PM #22
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

I do have a GGW sled spare, though I can't guarantee whether or not it is an "old style" one or "new style" GGW (or even what this means for the diode's performance). There hasn't been a huge amount of research done into these, sadly, and I haven't been able to find the time to do it myself, but if you'd like it, I'd be happy to send it for $55 + shipping, without any kind of guarantee. PM me if you're interested in it. I'd also be happy to throw in an Aixiz module.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:21 PM #23
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

O-like sells 6X diodes for $30, you should be able to get 250mW out of those.

If you want lesser power (100mW) PHR diodes, then you can get them around $10 at

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Old 11-16-2009, 01:34 AM #24
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuildAbluraylaser View Post
Rock on! They have cheap sleds with the diodes in 'em. Suggest driving the blu-ray one at a lower power than the red one. There's a plotter here that was later modded to run with a 300 mW red laser, and looks like it marks up (soft) wood pretty well.

Quote:
The 300 mW unit does a nice job of wood-burning any pattern sent to it, but isn’t strong enough to serve as a laser cutter for anything other than thin-film.
That's exactly what I want. Looks like now I need to wait for my next paycheck(didn't arrive yet) and buy a small laser pointer and the red sled. Then it's off to look for good vision guards. Meantime, I should get the first axis actuator working.

(Yes, I know, the graph for the red diode only goes to about 250 mW, which means slower etching, but it's still rated for higher than the blu-ray one, which suggests running only 100 mA for a 100mW output. I'm not gutsy enough to overdrive something like that on my first build, and I definitely don't think I can go combining beams at this stage.)

[edit again]
Just saw this...(need to read better!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krutz View Post
i would suggest to stick to 405nm lasers. it absorbs so much better on almost any surface! my 100mW phr violet laser burns better than my 300mW long-open-can (LOC) diode. both focussed and unfocussed.
with lower outputpower, you have less problems with heat, and its somewhat less eye-dangerous.
Right then, maybe I should buy one of each diode and see which works better. I'll need to be careful with my budgeting, though. I'm not 100% sure I'll be able to pay my final semester, and after some bad experiences with Financial Aid, I'm not taking out another loan.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:18 PM #25
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherz View Post
800mW 808nm focus adjustable module£*>808nm,780nm,980nm laser£*>Laser&lighting products£*>www.0-like.com

I was not aware they couldn't focus at a short distance? As long as it's like 5-10cm away it should be ok?

Correct me if I'm wrong anyone

Look forward to seeing some build pics.
No, they cannot focus less than 20 / 25 cm, and also this, with the lens holder all out ..... is one of the problems i had with the 2W one that i modified for a friend that wanted it for his CNC etching plotter ..... first, i tried with just an add-on lens, but the diode inside is a multimode, so i had to heavily modify it ..... got a 2W 808nm with FAC, changed and realigned the diode, then prefocused with the add-on lens and rebuilt the module .....

Actually, it focus from 2 cm minimum (and he need to use it at around 5 cm from the target, so it's ok), and also is better focused (before was oval, now it's a nice 0,1mm round point, burning as a hell ) ..... but it required a lot of work, and don't know if a school project can justify all this work and expenses, in time and money (but only the OP can judge this)
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:35 PM #26
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher.

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and don't know if a school project can justify all this work and expenses, in time and money (but only the OP can judge this)
Haha, no...

Thanks for the thought, though.

Right: safety time!

I need goggles, and I can't pay $50 a pair.($30 plus shipping tends to get about there...) I just don't have the money for it.

I can use these for the blu-ray diode if I'm really careful. I need goggles for the red laser. I need them fast, and I need them as cheap as possible.(Won't say "Anything's better than nothing," but I need to use something.)

A search in the "Companies" forum produced the $30+shipping prices.

I only need goggles for myself. For actual use, I'll be adding shielding to the project itself, but I can worry about that later. I need to test and align the lasers pretty quickly.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:00 PM #27
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher. *UPDATE* November 15

Take a look at o-like.com
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:16 PM #28
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher. *UPDATE* November 15

Ooo, we like O-like around here, don't we? Well they've got these which, as I said, are a bit out of my price range.

Working on a Joule thief as-per this thread. Have my coil wound(soldering went easier than I'd expected) and picked a transistor that should work, though if I'm ordering from O-like anyway, maybe I should just get one of these? Doesn't look like they're adjustable...[edit]Yes they are, but they say they can't drive Blu-Ray. Need to read more, ask questions less.(sorry, feeling rushed.)[/edit]

I'm going to need lenses, too, aren't I? This could get expensive, at which point the prof. will say "Why didn't you just use a solenoid-actuated pen?" and I'll say "Lasers are cooler?" I'm counting on evading certain pen-based difficulties by using a laser. I think we can all agree that "Lasers are cooler," though.

[edit2]hrrm... Don't like it, but it looks like I'll be best off just pulling a full $100 out of my savings for this... I can probably make up for it with a few extra hours at work. Buying regular drivers, one Blu-Ray driver, and the red laser goggles. They're cheaper than at DL, at least. My poor wallet![/edit]
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:20 PM #29
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher. *UPDATE* November 15

A joule thief wont get you enough current...

Sorry to tell you but lasers aren't cheap...

But I'm sure that a laser engraver would be really cool, and afterward you get to keep the laser!
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:20 PM #30
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher. *UPDATE* November 15

You outta just use a fully adjustable RKCSTR Driver, or an LM-317 set-up with a "POT" on it
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:33 PM #31
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher. *UPDATE* November 15

IIRC, John Lawson has a laser engraver in his garage or shed or somewhere, or was it scopeguy20 ? IDK, one of the two. Pretty sure it was John Lawson. You outta PM him if ya have any questions.............rob
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:07 PM #32
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Default Re: School project: Homebrew laser etcher. *UPDATE* November 15

I was wrong, it was Glenn, (scopeguy20), sorry............rob
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