Class 1 laser options?

Discussions on optics for laser cutter/engravers

Class 1 laser options?

Postby cnc74 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:41 pm


I noticed a new kick starter campaign for a "commercial laser cutter gears towards the every-man. Reading the specs they are using a class 1 blue-ray type laser for the lower of the two options they offer and claim it can cut up to 1/4 inch plywood.

I was wondering if there have been any significant developments that would cause "us" to take a second look at other laser types beyond C02 tubes?

Check out the "Glowforge" to see what I am talking about.

Seems to me that there may be less expensive options that do away with the tube, optics, and the alignment issues. It would also allow to build without concern for beam degradation thus unlimited build area should you want to design a wider longer box.
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Re: Class 1 laser options?

Postby rsm5178 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:42 am

Glowforge is a CO2 laser cutter according to their specs. 40W-45W.

Nothing new to laser cutters other than a sweet look,
Integrated software, and a sleek campaign.

Honestly, the price seems to be pretty decent if the soft ware delivers. Not sure the quality of their hardware though. Have to be skeptical with a kickstarter.

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Re: Class 1 laser options?

Postby cvoinescu » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:28 pm

cnc74 wrote:Reading the specs they are using a class 1 blue-ray type laser

A Class 1 laser can not even harm an eye, even when viewed directly with typical optical instruments. If it doesn't cut retinas, I very, very seriously doubt it can cut 1/4" plywood.

Optical drive lasers are Class 3B, and nearly anything over 0.5 W (which can cut thin black paper, slowly) is Class 4.

I would be very wary of giving money to people making a laser cutter if don't know their laser safety classes.

The GlowForge is based on a traditional carbon dioxide laser tube, but the cooling system is contained within the enclosure (no external water pump, tank, or bucket).
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