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Burning (not igniting) paper with laser (cheap and reliable?)

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Hello everyone, I am new to this forum so I apologize if I break any rules. Anyways I am doing a project for school and my idea is to draw an image on a piece of paper with a laser (circle, square etc)

Can anyone please recommend me some lasers to look at? I did a search on this forum, and found that to get paper to "ember" you don't need a high wattage.

I was checking this site DealExtreme: $30.90 100mW Red Laser Module (5V Input) and they had a couple lasers that I might want to buy, but I figured I should ask the experts on this website first before making that decision.

Thanks in advance
 

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100mW 650nm (red) is not going to burn paper.
To do the best job you would need 405nm.(Blu-Ray) or IR
As IR is very dangerous, I'd stick to 405nm.(still dangerous, but at least you can see where it is going and avoid it.)
You are going to need at least 200mW to burn with any speed.
Your best bet would be look in the BST (buy/sell/ trade) section, here.
Very few Co.'s sell this much power unless you have big $$$
You are not going to be able to do this for anywhere close to $30.
 
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If you want to burn, you could do this with the o-like 200mW red its $45 and will burn the paper, but you will need to use a black sharpie first and draw what you want to cut with the laser. Then the laser will cut it where the paper is black....
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Robert --

For a science project, you will want to show your skills by building the laser source. Anyone can buy an appliance and say "Hey, I made toast out of bread". Anyone can do that.
Read the forums and get the parts to build a BluRay Burner yourself.
Buying a laser and burning a piece of paper is old science.

HMike
 
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Robert --

For a science project, you will want to show your skills by building the laser source. Anyone can buy an appliance and say "Hey, I made toast out of bread". Anyone can do that.
Read the forums and get the parts to build a BluRay Burner yourself.
Buying a laser and burning a piece of paper is old science.

HMike
Well said mike! LOL Im going to try to build a 6X soon :D
 
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thanks for the reply everyone, prehaps i wasn't being clear. but the scope of the project is not building the laser, but rather controlling the laser using a rail and building our own software to control the movement of the laser (in the x and y direction). Also it is important to burn printer white paper (i know it is very reflective, perhaps paper with very low brightness rating)

nevertheless i will look at the topics you suggested, however i was wondering if you had any recommendations or if you knew how many watts is required to make a burn mark on a white paper and cost required.
 
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thanks for the reply everyone, prehaps i wasn't being clear. but the scope of the project is not building the laser, but rather controlling the laser using a rail and building our own software to control the movement of the laser (in the x and y direction). Also it is important to burn printer white paper (i know it is very reflective, perhaps paper with very low brightness rating)

nevertheless i will look at the topics you suggested, however i was wondering if you had any recommendations or if you knew how many watts is required to make a burn mark on a white paper and cost required.
A blu ray laser (405nm) is the only low power and price laser that will burn white paper. depending on the speed you need it to burn I would suggest you get at least 200mW
 
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Hemlock_Mike

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To burn white paper, you will need at least 200 mW of BluRay (I just tried it). That is the only diode emitter color to burn white paper. My 200 mW 808 nM needs a black spot to start.
Otherwise, you will need a CO2 laser and I don't recommend that.
The 405 nM BluRay can be focused to a pinpoint and make nice cuts in paper.

HMike

I recommend a 6x Blu diode, Aixiz module, heatsink, LM317 CC driver and soldering skills.
Sounds like a nice project if you have the time. For an additional few bucks, a 405-G-1 lens will be a true benefit for clean fast cutting. All this stuff is available here plus the info needed for assembly.
 
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Hemlock_Mike

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Robert --- You build it yourself -- This is science.........
The parts quoted would cost about $80 I think. At 200 mW you can burn about 4" / minute -- maybe more using my hand held test at 180 mW. My 500 mW is MUCH faster.

HMike

Where are you located? Maybe there's a member near who can help you.
 
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i'm in the university of waterloo, canada. i'd like to either build it myself or buy one, but because we have limited budget for the project, i'd like to be sure that the one i'm buidling/buying is the one i want first.
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Damn, It would be fun to see you cut snow flakes or maple leaves out of a piece of paper! You can do it with your project!
I saw Waterloo and I thought IOWA!! That is near me -- Oh Well. There are active members in Canada but I don't know how far away.
HMike
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Then cut the power back or increase the speed of the x-y motion. Are you just writing text onto the surface? If writing text, you will need to modulate (switch) the power. That can be done too.
If you are going to use a stationary laser, focus will become a problem as you scan the page.

HMike
 




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