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High powered laser diodes for engraving

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Deleted member 53642

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Greetings all,
Been lurking awhile here. I'm not really into laser *pointers*, but I use lasers all the time for engraving, both CO2 and diode lasers. I recently bought one of those elekslaser engraver kits that (claims to) include a 2.5W 450nm blue diode for cutting. This is quite obviously a Class IV laser, yet the kit does not include a key switch or safety interlocks as required of a Class IV device by the US FDA (I am a United Statesian).
My question is, was this thing imported under the OEM clause, and do I have responsibility as the kit builder to include a safety switch/interlocks/etc to comply with 21 CFR 1040? I think I'm going to anyway just because safety switches are a pretty good idea with a machine that can impart that much energy directly to the retina.
Similarly, I've worked with some of those cheap Chinese CO2 laser engravers, none of them had interlocks on the lid or key switches. Is there something I should know?

Basically, is it okay for me to have this machine tool in my house?
 



diachi

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Greetings all,
Been lurking awhile here. I'm not really into laser *pointers*, but I use lasers all the time for engraving, both CO2 and diode lasers. I recently bought one of those elekslaser engraver kits that (claims to) include a 2.5W 450nm blue diode for cutting. This is quite obviously a Class IV laser, yet the kit does not include a key switch or safety interlocks as required of a Class IV device by the US FDA (I am a United Statesian).
My question is, was this thing imported under the OEM clause, and do I have responsibility as the kit builder to include a safety switch/interlocks/etc to comply with 21 CFR 1040? I think I'm going to anyway just because safety switches are a pretty good idea with a machine that can impart that much energy directly to the retina.
Similarly, I've worked with some of those cheap Chinese CO2 laser engravers, none of them had interlocks on the lid or key switches. Is there something I should know?

Basically, is it okay for me to have this machine tool in my house?

If it was a kit that you had to assemble yourself, then yes, it'd likely fall under the OEM clause and wouldn't require any of the FDA mandated safety features. Even then... they generally only concerned with the importation of laser pointers that don't meet the regulations.

Even after built, the FDA regulations don't apply to private use of such a system. They come in to play in a public setting or if you intend to make the system a commercial product for sale in the US. At that point you'd need to comply with the regulations and go through the proper channels to get approval from the FDA.

While the safety features may not be legally required for your use case, it certainly doesn't hurt to have them anyway.
 

hakzaw1

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AFAIK -- you are fine- only when you display-- like laser show are you regulated so.. all lasers are spozed to have accurate warning stickers= but that like all else is very 'looosly' regulated --AixiZ has two in the shop ...one mini --I mean MINI-- and a 4$K big one and I assumed it was 450 or 405 but its 1080 I think . I get a demo next visit. I am new to them. (engravers). others will chime in and correct me no doubt... if you were engraving in the public= where persons could get too close -etc ==maybe then.. LPF has lots with interest in engravers. 3d etc.. MarioMaster is one..

good luck!! hak
 

diachi

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AFAIK -- you are fine- only when you display-- like laser show are you regulated so.. all lasers are spozed to have accurate warning stickers= but that like all else is very 'looosly' regulated --AixiZ has two in the shop ...one mini --I mean MINI-- and a 4$K big one and I assumed it was 450 or 405 but its 1080 I think . I get a demo next visit. I am new to them. (engravers). others will chime in and correct me no doubt... if you were engraving in the public= where persons could get too close -etc ==maybe then.. LPF has lots with interest in engravers. 3d etc.. MarioMaster is one..

good luck!! hak
You are correct, but worth pointing out that the regulations would also apply to domestic sales of such a system, potentially even as a kit. (as per my post above yours).

Survival Lasers provides a prime example, they can sell what they like internationally but are limited by the FDA to selling only certain combinations of components for US domestic customers. They cannot offer the same product range to US customers as they do to international customers.

There's a post from SL somewhere about it but it's late and I don't feel like digging it up right now.
 
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hakzaw1

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guess I gotta be quicker..one rule that is ALWAYS TO BE FOLLOWED -- user must have on (or on person while NOT using laser) safety goggles with proper OD for the laser being used.
we want PICS!!
 

diachi

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guess I gotta be quicker..one rule that is ALWAYS TO BE FOLLOWED -- user must have on (or on person while NOT using laser) safety goggles with proper OD for the laser being used.
we want PICS!!
Generally a good idea. Although, with a fixed setup like an engraver I wouldn't be all that concerned about direct exposure to the beam. Having the beam go anywhere other than down would need to be the result of operator stupidity or a very unlikely failure. That said, 2.5W of ~450nm is uncomfortably bright to look at without goggles anyway, and goggles are good to have either way.

There are also laser safety panels available for use on laser engravers and such. Implementing those properly would remove the need for safety goggles. Pretty pricey for that stuff though...
 
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Oh I am a safety glasses junkie. I love me some safety glasses. I've got more safety glasses than I know what to do with. I have special non-polarized prescription aviator sunglasses for flying, I have two different pairs of impact- and debris-proof glasses for the wood and metal shop, I've got OD6+ glasses for the CO2 lasers, and I ordered two pairs of OD6 YAG glasses from Laser Safety Industries for lil smoky here. It's my understanding that the indirect light from the beam can basically overload your rods and cones and cause damage, let alone the horrifying thought of getting hit directly in the eye with the beam. I've read xoul's thread, and realize my laser has 2.5 times the power his did. NOBODY is gonna be anywhere near this thing while it's firing unless they've got proper goggles on.

First thing I said when I got the kit put together was "Wow, this is a cute little death trap." It's an open-frame design, I'm sure you've seen them. I don't think I'm going to put it in heavy use until it's safely in an enclosure with at least a key switch and a lid switch. As you say, even if they aren't required by law, it's a pretty good idea to be cautious with something that can go so wrong so fast.
 




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