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Old 06-16-2017, 11:23 PM #1
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Default Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

So Ive got a crystal cube a bit smaller than a Rubiks cube Only it has a 3D "laser etching" of a pet (parrot) inside it. Im curious to know hat would happen if I shined a 1 watt laser into it and if it would it damage the etching. It sits on a small square LED base (not attached) with blue LEDS to light it up. Was thinking about getting some shots and playing around with googles on obviously but dont want to damage it. Any advice?


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Old 06-17-2017, 12:42 AM #2
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

Depends on what it is actually made of. If it is plastic and not glass, it could be a problem, but as long as you don't hit anything opaque like an LED, it will probably be okay. Pictures would help in knowing exactly what you have.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:51 AM #3
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

I doubt it would do any damage to the etched glass

However, be careful if you try this: a cube makes a very good retroreflector, possibly shining the beam straight back at you. How likely this is to happen depends on your angle of hitting the cube and the type of glass it is made from.
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:07 AM #4
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

Thanks. Its crystal. (or glass?) so the site said,I realise the problem with reflecting but just didnt want to damage the inside. The inside picture is indeed opaque where the etching has carved the picture. Seems like an interesting experiment. As long as it wont damage/burn/change the 3D etching. Maybe i'll upload a photo later.
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:33 AM #5
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

I really can't think of a way to laser etch something into the middle of a glass cube. I can think of many ways to get it in there, but a laser is not among them.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:08 AM #6
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

High power pin point focus into the cube, zap! Leaves a mark.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:53 AM #7
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

The more than cube I would be worried of getting back reflection to laser diode. Anyway what about defocussing beam or using beam expander to make sure the image inside is not damaged? If it is glass it should be ok, still I noticed my 3.5 W blue somehow very slightly damaged (seems to be AR coating) one my lens after long use.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:58 AM #8
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

When I say high power, I mean a short nanosecond pulse from a YAG.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:29 AM #9
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan View Post
When I say high power, I mean a short nanosecond pulse from a YAG.
If that was to me - I got it. I've seen videos how these glass things are made. Definitely much stronger lasers than those found in portables. I just added reference what damage I observed. BTW it was collimated beam hitting external focussing lens, which got damaged. I believe it is glass lens with AR coating (was in optics kit with my WL Spyder collection). Still it works well and it is just little damage - looks like soft polishing might remove it (unfortunately likely with remaining AR coating).
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:31 AM #10
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

It was to clarify my statement, in case someone thought I meant a high power laser diode, they aren't high enough power to etch glass very effectively, not to mention the size of the spot they focus down to is relatively large with the higher power multimode diodes, limiting their power density when focused to a spot. I've been interested in some of the laser etched cubes I see on ebay, beautiful, amazing how detailed they can be.
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Sincerely investigate any of these three short quotes as new concepts and you've taken your first step into a larger world:

"I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness..." - Max Planck. "Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real" - Neils Bohr. "What we call physical things and events do not exist independently of subjective experience..." - Deepak Chopra.

Each of these three rabbit holes go deep, ending up in the same place.

Useless troll fighting.

Last edited by Alaskan; 06-17-2017 at 08:36 AM. Reason: added more blah, blah. Always beware of the hair splitters, so trying to qualify my statements, i.e. lead balloon :p
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:33 AM #11
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

Ok.

I've even seen services which can do for you custom cube with what you want inside. You might put there even your 3D face image. Very interesting.
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Last edited by Radim; 06-17-2017 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:01 PM #12
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radim View Post
Ok.

I've even seen services which can do for you custom cube with what you want inside. You might put there even your 3D face image. Very interesting.
Thats what I have. You upload a photo to them and they make a 3D version inside the cube.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:45 PM #13
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

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Originally Posted by Lasing Jake Moon View Post
Thats what I have. You upload a photo to them and they make a 3D version inside the cube.


Jake Moon , can i help you ? if you want and if you're very interested !
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:02 PM #14
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

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Originally Posted by 3DLaSeRBuiLDeR View Post
Jake Moon , can i help you ? if you want and if you're very interested !
Was just wondering about how the beam will react with the cube and what it will look like when shone into different parts of the cube and possibly safely taking some photos. But for now I dont even have a tripod to hold the laser still. (may look for one of the those cheap ones with the grabby fingers)

Just want to mess around safely and without damaging the cube. So far my only idea is to have on the safety glasses while taking pictures then checking the pictures but in my small room I will be unsure of where the beam is being directing to without looking with my own eyes.

A little advice appreciated.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:31 AM #15
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

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When I say high power, I mean a short nanosecond pulse from a YAG.
I guess that's how they make these things in the first place, right?

Then again if you are using a big angry q-switched yag you could probably fracture a glass cube from just the thermal shock. Depending on the type of glass it will absorb more or less near-IR light, but all types of glass absorb some, so with enough power all will be affected.

I'm not so sure about the power required though: a couple of watt continous power ouput will not damage a glass cube, but with pulsed lasers this can be very different. You can even ionize air with a short pulsing laser that has an average output power of under a watt, als long as you have good focus and powerful peak levels.

To achieve air breakdown at 1064 nm you'll still need power in the order of kW/mm2, not feasible for a continous diode laser, but a q-switch yag and focussing lens have no problem with it.

Since you can control the focal point it could be possbile to make your own drawings into glass cubes using one, although i'm not sure how wide the margin is between creating a small visible defect and shattering the cube.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:49 AM #16
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Default Re: Silly newb question about shining lasers into crystal cubes

Since the last time I posted here I looked into these laser etched glass cubes. They are quite common and not particularly high in price. So, I guess my point is, there are many people/companies doing this kind of work. I doubt you could cause damage to one with any CW handheld laser of any power currently available. Reflections would be a problem, however, and you would need to be aware of that. If you don't know for sure, I'd try a lower power laser to begin with.
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