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best small laser for cutting paper, foam and engraving?

ryckmans

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Hi there,

What is the best wavelenght for cutting/engraving? I am planning on getting a blu-ray 100mW and/or a IR 808nM 300mW laser for very light work on a DIY XY table - what would you recommend?? I am sure it is not all down to wattage...

many thanks

Thomas
 

LesPaul

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If you want to get a cheap burning laser, your best bet is to go with IR lasers. You can get very cheap 300mW IR lasers, but usually you have to build your own.

With that, you will need proper laser safety goggles and make sure nobody goes near the laser, as they may turn it on and expect to see something, not see anything and look at it, and they are blind.

Blue is also good as you can get 1W lasers for around $200.
 

weeba2kv

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What material are you going to engrave ? , with 100 to 300 mW you won't be able to cut much more then dark thin paper
 

ryckmans

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I was thinking about engraving wood - I saw it done (in Instructables) with a blu-ray laser. Talking about laser safety goggles, I want to take this very seriously.

The lasers I plan to experiment on will probably be Blue Ray (404 nM, 100 mW) and IR (808 nM, 300 mW). I intend to do all the tuning etc with a (relatively) harmless 5 mW red laser pointer, then swith to the more powerful lasers. I would like some advice on eye safety, because there is no way I want to risk my eyesight.
I guess I should get some laser goggles which block several laser wavelenghts instead of just one - so I can still use my goggles even if I change laser frequency. So something that blocks below blue and above Red sounds good...
Laser Glasses - YAG Harmonics DIODE - Poly Filter
these block 190-534nm and 730-1090nm at OD>5.
The issue is of course the cost - these are expensive at over 250 USD... very steep for a hobby, but very cheap for protecting my eyeballs...
Would you recommend any other suppliers, a cheaper brand? There are plenty of cheaper goggles on eBay, but I am not sure about the reliability and the quality... these "look" okay, but I have no means to test them...
Laser Safety Goggles EP1 for 200-540nm & 800-2000nm CE Marked with Case | eBay

many thanks

Thomas
 

LesPaul

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The first ones your talking about are from OEM aren't they? If so, they are certified and are very good.

DON'T get the eBay ones, they have not been tested and are probably not good.

Here are some cheaper goggles which are good and protect from violet, blue, green and IR.

If you don't want to spend too much, those are your best option.
 
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ryckmans

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thanks folks! Would you know if OEM is sold in Europe as well? I'd like to avoid the import tax if possible...

Thomas
 
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What a group buy is we gather a number of people who want goggles, we all pay the runner of the GB, the runner of the GB sends the money out to the company, and we get a discount from the company for a bulk order. The bulk order is sent to the person who is running the group buy. He ships the goggles out to the people who paid their money. So he can offer you the cheapest shipping, and declare them worth $10. So might no even pay import tax, and the shipping might be as low as $10. You have to contact the member in the first post of the thread I linked. He can look up exact shipping.
 
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