Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

What laser cutter to purchase ?

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KTP:

--- Quote from: cwalex on August 15, 2012, 12:57:10 pm ---
Are normal clear plastic safety glasses good enough for protection when using CO2 laser cutters?

--- End quote ---

Depends on the power of the CO2 laser and how long you stay in the beam while the plastic is melting.

I would want more protection if I were working on a 2000 watt Rofin Sinar, since the beam would burn through the plastic, my eyeball, skull, brain, back of skull, and the wall behind me.  For an unfocused 40 watt laser engraver though, I think the plastic will be good protection, along with whatever protective cover the laser has on it.

You can put a power meter behind one of these goggles and measure how much 10,600nm gets through (before the plastic has melted).  It will not be much if any.  Salt goggles would be a bad idea.

The biggest danger IMO in these Chinese engravers is the HV supply and the water cooling.  I much more like my air cooled RF excited Synrads.

cwalex:
Thanks for the info. I bought one of these chinese engravers just to see what I can do with it. Here is link to the one I bought http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/230679580259?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649#ht_13387wt_1093

The laser tube is under a metal cover that you can lift. Would it be safe to view the tube while its operating if you ware safety glasses?

I have only received the laser cutter, I'm still waiting for the box to arrive with the accessories. I hope the OP doesn't mind me asking questions in his thread.

KTP:

--- Quote from: cwalex on August 15, 2012, 02:09:19 pm ---Thanks for the info. I bought one of these chinese engravers just to see what I can do with it. Here is link to the one I bought http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/230679580259?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649#ht_13387wt_1093

The laser tube is under a metal cover that you can lift. Would it be safe to view the tube while its operating if you ware safety glasses?

I have only received the laser cutter, I'm still waiting for the box to arrive with the accessories. I hope the OP doesn't mind me asking questions in his thread.

--- End quote ---

The safety glasses only protect your eyes...CO2 laser burns are very painful on skin and also could set things on fire.  That being said, if the unit is properly constructed, there should not be much if any stray reflections from the beam path.  You also need to consider bystanders, and make sure they have protective gear.  The high voltage across the tube is potentially deadly, so be very careful.

cwalex:
cheers, I'll keep the bystanders away if I need to open it up.

mikeselectricstuff:
I don't think reflections are a serious issue on a small laser cutter - any non- metal will burn instead of reflect,  and the beam is focussed to the cut point, so even if it hits shiny metal, it will be out of focus by the time it gets anywhere.
I don't think the tube bore light is hazardous - none of the 10.6um will get through the glass. 

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