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Old 11-25-2009, 03:26 AM #1
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Default Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

is it possible? If it is, how much power is behind it?


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Old 11-25-2009, 10:44 AM #2
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

I believe it a low power flat IR diode and not worth the effort.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:47 PM #3
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

The more powerful ones that i've ever found in laser printers, are a group of 4 diodes from a professional high speed color laser printer from Ricoh, that i had here to mangle ..... they was common 5.6mm IR diodes, and i tried one of them, squeezing out 100mW from it, but considerate that the printer was a very big and fast one ..... in another one, the diode, instead to have a brass module, was directly press-fitted in a plastic holder (no thermal dissipation, practically), so i left you imagine ..... probably a 5mW diode, or few more ..... ofcourse, if you don't find one of these LED "so-called-laser" printers, that instead a laser diode, have a row of microleds and microlenses, practically unhelpful for anything.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:05 PM #4
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

You're hoping that a laserjet printer is a laser printer.

Laserjet printers put an electrostatic charge on a special rotating drum, use a very low-power laser diode that quickly "paints" the image onto the drum to selectively disrupt the charge, use special electrostatic toner that sticks to the places they've painted on the drum, then roll/transfer the toner pattern to a sheet of paper. A heater (fuser) near the end of the paper path finishes the job by literally melting the toner to the paper. That's why your printouts are a little warm, not because the laser has any power (it doesn't).

It might be a free laser diode, but you'll get what you paid for.

A true laser printer/engraver has a high-powered laser (1 to 2 watts, or 1000mw to 2000mw) that burns a tiny spot onto a target and requires a large heatsink to keep from burning itself up. A dedicated computer with special software is attached to X-Y servos (the same way a plotter works) to position the laser pointer and control the power (burn).

Instead of a $500 - $2,000 laserjet printer, laser printers go for $6,000 to $25,000 and don't print anything on a sheet of paper -- they'd just burn holes through it. And you'd have to physically lay one sheet of paper on a work surface.

A laserjet printer spits out copies in one or two seconds. A laser printer takes minutes to do one complex job, since it can only burn one tiny spot at a time, then mechanically move the laser to the next spot, burn, etc. It will print/burn/engrave anything you can fit beneath the laser.

The laser diode in a DVD burner was intended to generate a spot of heat that changes the state of a chemical layer on a disc. They won't burn materials very fast, but they will burn. Since they have to write about 7 times as much data as a CD burner (4.7GB vs. 700MB on each disc) in a reasonable amount of time, they have to be hotter than a CD burner laser diode.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:29 PM #5
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

Friggin noob, this thread is 1.5 years old.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:08 PM #6
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

The original poster hasnt posted anything on the forum since 2009 haha

gotta check dates

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Old 07-28-2011, 01:14 AM #7
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

He's not necroposting. He is adding information to the thread, and thats OK. It maybe a bit old, but bumping it might teach some new people. So its all good.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:49 AM #8
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

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Originally Posted by Tech_Junkie View Post
He's not necroposting. He is adding information to the thread, and thats OK. It maybe a bit old, but bumping it might teach some new people. So its all good.
He's most definitely necroposting. This so called project is long overwith and I fail to see how his post helps. Maybe if this info was posted in a recent thread then fine, but 1.5 years?
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:43 AM #9
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

Regardless, if somebody else sees this thread, they will learn from it instead of having to create a new thread. The information given is no longer useful to the absent OP, but now useful for anybody else with a similar question. And he did go into great detail in the post.
+1 for info.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:40 AM #10
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

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He's most definitely necroposting. This so called project is long overwith and I fail to see how his post helps. Maybe if this info was posted in a recent thread then fine, but 1.5 years?
This debate is very old. Its an accepted fact on this forum that as long as you are adding information to the old thread, it was permissible. If it was just a dumb comment then we bring out the noose.

Its like this because new information come up all the time, and some old threads need to be updated.

Dont make me pull out the LPF users guide. I'll hit you over the head with it.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:45 PM #11
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

Note from the noob:

The only reason I found this thread is because it came up at the #3 spot on Google for my search for laser printer diode and was the top listing at Laser Pointer Forums (which I still respect).

I'm looking for the overstocked 1- to 2-watt diodes (with fiber optic) they use in laser printer/engravers. Getting the diode on eBay for $100 seems more affordable than spending $10,000 for a printer/engraver.

Old things can still be still valuable (fire, doors, and used lasers come to mind). Just because you're finished with this thread doesn't mean it has no value to others.

There will always be visitors to this forum who want to pull lasers out of discarded hardware. My contribution simply warns them about one area that's a dead-end and explains the confusion. Less frustration = more hobbyists.

There are far more people who don't know anything about lasers than those who do understand them. And all of us started out being pretty naive.
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:30 PM #12
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech_Junkie View Post
This debate is very old. Its an accepted fact on this forum that as long as you are adding information to the old thread, it was permissible. If it was just a dumb comment then we bring out the noose.

Its like this because new information come up all the time, and some old threads need to be updated.

Dont make me pull out the LPF users guide. I'll hit you over the head with it.
Totally agree, this thread was informative to me, thanks

till now harvested around 300 laser printers and still counting
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:39 PM #13
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

I guess I should update how my project turned out.

Taking the laser module apart, I found lots of front-surface mirrors.
I got more use out of the front-surface mirrors than the IR diode itself.
Because the reflective material is on the outside, light does not pass through glass and loss energy.
They are great to have handy for light experiments.
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:25 AM #14
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

Well, since this thread has been resurrected,
I will say that laser printer diodes are usually
around 5-35mW.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:12 PM #15
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?



This thread has now been necro'ed twice.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:11 AM #16
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Default Re: Harvesting a laser diode from a laser printer?

Who cares, the information probably is still as valid as it was when it was first posted

Laser printers could be interesting for the optics, although i haven't taken one apart in ages. I recall there used to be some spinning line generator mirror in them - no idea of that approach is still used but perhaps you can find in old laser printers (some models last so long you'll find working ones dating back to the 90s, often ditched because they are no longer supported by software or even lack compatible hardware connections).
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