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Reasons to custom build a laser

Rosalita Gata

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Jan 1, 2023
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I was making a list of the parts I would need to make a laser. DTR's Laser Shop has a 4W 465nm Diode in 12mm Module for $65. The No-Diode Host bundle at Survival Laser, capable of driving this diode, costs $240. Jayrob's NUBM07E 465 DMag Shorty costs $307. Total cost is $305 - $372. The Sanwu Chalenger II 470nm 4.5W from Laser Pointer Store Costs $360. I had incorrectly assumed that DIY would be less expensive.

Other than the fun of the project, what is the advantage of a DIY laser?
 
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Darktron

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Dec 9, 2018
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Custom builders like me give you a 470nm 8W+ for 300$ convoy s8 host just uses x1 18650 or x1 18350. G8 or G2 shorty lens included. No battery included.

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You can build a custom laser for cheap. The total expense will depend on how "sophisticated" you want the build to be and how much of it you can do yourself. Back in the day this was the preferred option because the only way to buy a complete handheld laser with a cool wavelength was from a manufacturer of scientific instruments. When this community was thriving, some people were selling kits for very low prices compared to what you see today (<$100). Things have changed.

Here's a brief list of some of the reasons people will build rather than buy:
* it is illegal or impossible to import complete laser devices to certain regions of the world
* it's fun
* the commercially available products are limited
* it can cost much less, depending on the components used and skills of the builder

The best way to reduce cost is to gain a basic understanding of the function of each component and make substitutions, and to decide what you really want the laser to do. For example, if you just want a blue laser and you don't need it to be able to set fire to your desk, you can choose a less expensive diode that is capable of less power. Doing so will allow you to use inexpensive acrylic lenses, less heat-sinking mass is required (copper is expensive), use a low-cost driver from eBay, etc.
 




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