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DIY laser cutter

Discussion in 'Project Construction Technologies' started by jasperzap, Dec 30, 2011.

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  1. jasperzap


    Dec 29, 2011
    I'm in the process of building myself a CO2 laser cutter from scratch. It's all up and running but it's a bit dangerous at the moment as all of the live contacts are open and the infrared laser beam is unshielded.

    I'm trying to design a casing but it needs to have a transparent lid so I can see what's going on inside. Has anyone got an idea of what material I could use for this? It needs to be something that would block stray IR radiation. W

    See it in
    and on YouTube:

  2. Resqueline


    Jul 31, 2009
    Well, the wavelength of CO2 lasers is extremely long, so it'll be blocked by most anything. Safety glasses for them are made from ordinary "green" window glass.
    I'm quite confident that any thickness of plexiglass will block any stray radiation sufficiently, but you may want to do some research on that just to make sure.
    Anything but a focused hit will be quite harmless anyway, as the radiation will be spread & stopped in the cornea & skin, and you'll feel the heat in time to react.
    But you'd want to wear safety glasses nevertheless while cutting, so you should be safe no matter what. Here is one laser eye safety paper discussing matters.
  3. jasperzap


    Dec 29, 2011
    Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it. We have a small laser cutter at work and it just seems to have a polycarbonate/perspex top. Next stage is adding an air pump since the fumes from cutting acrylic are pretty acrid!
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