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How expensive are lasers really?

Dindondooly

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Hi there,

I've been looking into lasers as a bit of a hobby and came across the use of lasers for medicinal purposes. One of the main companies offering medicinal lasers is THOR laser in the UK. They use class 3b 810nm 200mw diodes.

My question is this. They charge just under £1000 for this (ttps://www.thorlaser.com/downloads/probe-specifications/810nm-200mW-single-laser-probe.pdf) diode. I can buy the same diode from eBay for £15 here (ttps://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/808nm-200mW-Imported-Laser-Diode-LD-Near-Infrared-Laser-Head-/362873910016?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292). What's the difference between these two diodes that causes such a large price difference? Neither come with a power source or driver.

From my (very basic) understanding, I need a laser diode driver, a power source and a diode. So if I used the eBay diode and this cheap driver also from eBay (ttps://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/282390093452). I can make my own laser for hundreds of pounds less?

Thanks
 



CurtisOliver

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There are many factors for why they cost more. Sometimes manufacture modules are more expensive simply because of their R&D and brand. However they also do a lot of work in maintaining laser stability, maximising beam specs, and making sure their products meet user requirements and safety regulations. You pay more for this. The other big factor for some but not all is you are paying for accreditation for medical usage. Also not every laser and especially not every laser diode is alike.

Let me give you an example. 532nm DPSS can be used for laser tattoo removal. Does this mean however that if I bought any high power 532nm I could then use it? The answer is no.
 
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Dindondooly

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There are many factors for why they cost more. Sometimes manufacture modules are more expensive simply because of their R&D and brand. However they also do a lot of work in maintaining laser stability, maximising beam specs, and making sure their products meet user requirements and safety regulations. You pay more for this. The other big factor for some but not all is you are paying for accreditation for medical usage. Also not every laser and especially not every laser diode is alike.

Let me give you an example. 532nm DPSS can be used for laser tattoo removal. Does this mean however that if I bought any high power 532nm I could then use it? The answer is no.
So what are the main differences that affect the diodes? I assume it's to do with different specs such as power density and beam divergence?
 

CurtisOliver

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For single mode lasers we note the gaussian characteristics (Being perfect TEM00 and being a true gaussian) which if good allows excellent M2 factors. That is the ability to have very tight spots and thus better power density. Beam divergence is dependant on the emitters fast and slow axis. These vary per manufactured diode.
 

paul1598419

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Those 808nm diodes are near IR and are not very visible mW for mW with the direct diode lasers that are in the visible range. The closer you can get to 555nm or green the better they will be visible.
 

Encap

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You can purchase 200mW 808-810nm modules complete with driver on eBay for GBP13 + shipping.

That being said, obviously is not a very bright idea to make and use your own medical or veterinary medical treatment lasers lacking all approvals, testing, proven efficacy, knowledge, and experience anymore than practicing medicine without a license or medical degree---unapproved rogue use and treatment is just that.
 

Dindondooly

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You can purchase 200mW 808-810nm modules complete with driver on eBay for GBP13 + shipping.

That being said, obviously is not a very bright idea to make and use your own medical or veterinary medical treatment lasers lacking all approvals, testing, proven efficacy, knowledge, and experience---unapproved rogue use and treatment is just that.
Yes, I actually own a THOR laser but was just wondering why the price tag was so high. Like you said, if I made my own it would be very hard to prove that it works anyway.
 

CurtisOliver

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Well as answered, you know why they are expensive now. Making your own is not advisable. If an accident was to occur then you would be liable for using a tool not fit for purpose or intended for medical use. DIY lasers are for your own personal use, they can not be used for business or medical practises without conformation to safety standards.
 

gazer101

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Lasers get really cheap (cheaper than a decent flashlight) when you build them yourself and get your components from the source (not through some middleman).

But when you buy a professional laser, you are paying for the manufacturer liability that comes with it (do NOT buy limited liability/untested lasers); if someone sues you, you can point to the manufacturer and say "they sold me a defective product"
 




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