Old 01-26-2011, 01:47 AM #1
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Default Help with cutting nuts…

The system needs to cut nut shells, yes nut shells!

The object is to just score about halfway through the shell so the nut crack easer and in more whole pieces.

The shell is about 1mm thick so that would be about the max. thickness but less than half is what is needed.

The laser/s will need to cut this 0.5mm depth in the amount of time the nut would freefall through a tube past the beam.

After watching some videos I'm guessing 30-50 watts is about what is needed but it's really hard to tell without actually testing the concept.

The nut shell will need to be cut from 3-5 sides at the same time either by splitting the beam or using multiple lasers.

What type of laser is recommended, diode? gas? ruby? Jell-O?

How many watts do you think are necessary to achieve the cut?

and what is a guess-timate on cost for laser's, power supply/s and cooler?

Thanks for any help or direction you can point me


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Old 01-26-2011, 02:00 AM #2
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Default Re: Help with cutting nuts…

Hello and welcome to the LPF!
That title made me giggle, that's a really unusual application.
I don't know if this would be the most efficent way of busting nuts, but...

You might wanna look into gas powered lasers, specifically CO2 lasers.
That's the kind they use in the industry for many cutting applications, metal, plexiglass,
most anything really.

Wavelengths are into the far infrared, >10000nm.

You can easily get into XX Watt ranges with the smallest kind of setup.
I don't know much about prices, but I suppose a four digit sum should get your nutcracker laser up and running.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:00 AM #3
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Default Re: Help with cutting nuts…

Howdy and welcome to the forum
If the nut is going to be at free fall speed you are going to need a much more powerfull laser than 30-50 watts !
JMHO
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:20 AM #4
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Default Re: Help with cutting nuts…

A stack of napkins would be just as good at cracking nuts. See sig.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:21 AM #5
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Default Re: Help with cutting nuts…

Welcome! Just out of curiosity, what kind of nuts and it what volume?
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:43 AM #6
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Default Re: Help with cutting nuts…

Many many tons of walnuts, the laser cutting/ scribing is only a small portion of the cracking process.
Lasers would be used in hopes to have the shells crack in more whole sections.

I'm not sure how much headroom I have for this prototype/ project but if it works well money won't be an issue. Next time you are at the supermarket check the prices of whole walnuts and you'll know what I mean…

The free fall before the lasers could be just 6" so it won't be hitting terminal velocity or anything close to that.

So Co2, I was hoping to stay away from big gas tubes but I guess they could be mounted vertical with mirrors.

What wattage do you think would be needed to score a line down the side at about the speed of dropping something from one hand to the next at a distance of say 6"?

PS thanks for the welcome
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:18 AM #7
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Default Re: Help with cutting nuts…

Welcome to LPF. You have a tall order there. Good luck with the process.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:18 PM #8
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Default Re: Help with cutting nuts…

I believe you cant use conventional mirrors with CO2 lasers. They would just absorb the light and get melted/cut.
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