Old 02-16-2017, 08:27 AM #1
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Default Some help to engrave wood

Hi guys
So i habve been reading about lasers since last week.
Basically i am going to get married this year and when searching envitations on the net i saw some engraved in wood and tought it was awsome (my girlfriend said right away that it wasnt a good ideia because we need them in short time).
I have a 3d printer so i tought right away to replace the extruder with a laser and it was almost ready to go...
I been trying the lasers that i have access to, dvd or cd readers/recorders.
I dismantled already 6 dvd ... And dissassembled 2 cheap laser pointers i had for night photography for their lenses.
I am using a lm317 for the driver and just tested with 200ma(6ohms) and 250ma(5ohms).
Now for my problems, with the red lasers that are more powerfull i cant burn the wood (i am trying with light wood) i can burn some darker parts but in the whiter parts the light spreads and nothing.
But with the ir laser at 250ma it burned (i could make small traces in the wood), but after one or two tries at 250ma they die.

If i order a ir laser more powerfull (400/500ma) it should work without a problem right?

Now for safety, i dont have any protection from the lasers. I been trying them only turned against the wood but still with the accidents i read here i am scared.
The ir lasers i can only see a small red point, but the red ones are strong, they light up the wood like crazy and i dont like looking at the point they make on the wood because its too bright, reminds me when you look at an hps bulb and then you close your eyes and you can still see the lamp shape.
I read that glasses are expensive and i cant spend a lot of money with this project.

Should i just turn to a dremel instead of the laser?

Thanks for any help.


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Old 02-17-2017, 11:19 AM #2
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Default Re: Some help to engrave wood

So nobody can lend a hand?

Maybe some pics help:

these are the lens and diodes i have, most of the lenses are from dvd/cd sleds:


The driver with LM317 and 5ohms resistors:


These are the pens i have taken the lens from:


This is what i want to acomplish:


All off those burns are from the ir lasers while testing them, i have none now since they can manage 200ma but dont burn, and when i up them to 250ma they can burn at a specific distance (one mm up or down and it wont burn).

Can i do the same if i get a ir laser more powerfull? That can handle 300ma?
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:33 AM #3
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Default Re: Some help to engrave wood

Well, maybe some blue or violet diode might be good for you. These wavelengths can be focussed to tinier spot and due to high energy of photons they burn as hell. However IR lasers are used for this stuff, I would not recommend them as they are invisible thus more dangerous if you do not have more experience. Commercialy available there are CO2 lasers (IR), so maybe it would be better to put an order to proffesional service instead of losing time with laser engraving.

If you decide for DYI, definitely get proper eye protection before further experiments and get more knowledge about laser safety and if you go for short wavelength in blue violet region take special care of blue light hazard.

Just give some time to the comunity to react and give you more accurate suggestion based on practical experience, which I have lack of on engraving (except of playing with various lasers and trying to burn stuff including wood).
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:25 PM #4
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Default Re: Some help to engrave wood

I would look at these options...

cnc laser - Buy Cheap cnc laser - From Banggood

laser engraver - Buy Cheap laser engraver - From Banggood

This way you don't need to modify your 3d printer.


Jerry
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