Laser Wood Burning Pen





Introduction: Laser Wood Burning Pen

Laser wood burning pen, made of a High Power Laser diode and a mechanical pencil.

For this project you will need:
-High Power Fiber Coupled Laser Diode.
-Mechanical pencil.
-Some kind of heat sink and some thermic grease.
-2 AA or D batteries or some kind of "clean" power supply.
-Laser eye protection.


Step 1: Few Word on the Diode

The laser source is a high power IR laser diode with 1W out put. it burns everything except metal. You can get one on ebay .
The diode should work on 2V with constant 1.7A current it emits 830nm +/- 15nm laser radiation
the radiation is mostly Infra red and can be seen with a digital camera. Use glasses that filter 750nm to 900nm radiation for your protection .

I run my diode with 2 AA batteries, but it is not safe or the diode so you should make a small and simple constant current power supply that you can see HERE .

PAY ATTENTION on these diodes the (+) is the case, the (-) is the upper pin ! if you connect the wrong polarity you will probably burn your diode.

To run the diode for long periods of time i attached a heat sink to it so it won't overheat .
i got the heat sink from an old TV .i put some thermic grease on the heat sink to help the heat conduction .
You can use any kind of heat sink as long as you can attach the diode to it.
in commercial use of that diode they use Thermoelectric Cooler Peltier and fans to cool it down and prolong the diodes life because a new diode cost a couple of hundreds dollars.

Step 2: Making the Laser Pen

First take apart the pen and pull the tip out.
i used pilot mechanical pencil, better choice will be a pencil with metal case around the tip .
the tip will heat up occasionally and may burn the plastic around the tip.

Now cut the plastic isolation of the fiber to fit the pencil tip (be very careful not to brack the glass optic fiber) , thread the optical fiber in to the pencil tip and glue it with a small drop of super glue or epoxy .

As you can see the optic fiber is much thinner then the pancil tip about 50 times thinner.
so try to find very fine mechanical pencil and center the fiber in the tip.
sorry but i don't have any good idea how to center the fiber.

Step 3: Final Step

Now thread the fiber with the tip through the pencil. to finish the project put a small drop on the tip and glue it to its case. assemble the pencil and you are ready to run the diode !

Now you can burn everything :) Don't try it on your skin the laser will burn it immediately !


The diode emits 830nm +/- 15nm laser radiation so you should use glasses that filter 750nm to 900nm radiation for your protection .



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    249 Discussions

    I dont think even works homie

    I was just looking into submitting something like this to Quirky, but then I found this... I congratulate you on making my 4 year old idea a reality, however I would propose a self-contained unit, like an actual pen, but the cost to bring it into reality would be extreme......... Thank you for proving my concept, and as they say, great minds think alike!

    Does this thing really work? I don't see any photos of burn lines on wood! A 15 watt soldering iron will burn wood if you hold it there for 10 seconds. I seriously doubt a 1 Watt laser diode will burn anything other than your wallet. Prove me wrong please!

    17 replies

    it does. there's a huge difference between 15 watts of electrical current converted to heat and passed through a soldering iron than a 1 watt laser. 150 miliwatts will pop a balloon.

    there exists actually a device to do such things (to defend gainst malaria mosquitos)

    Look at the grand prize of the epilog challenge.
    It's called a Zing16. The probability is very high, that it has a 16 Watt laser source.
    With a 16 W CO2 laser, you CUT! 6th of inch wood or acrylic with a reasonable speed. The important parameter is the focus.
    Normally you want the cut as narrow as possible, by focusing you also concentrate the 16 Watts on a 100th or 1000th of a inch diameter.
    The entry model we sold had only 12.5 Watt, it's just slower than a 25, 50 or 100W model. (and costs 3 times less...)

    When you only want to mark wood, the speed is much higher as you scan the image area with 500-1000 DPI.

    he said one watt! not one miliwatt!!! learn your metrics! thats about 1000X the power of a dinky laser pointer!!!!!! learn your lasers!

    Hello, have you ever seen a 100 Watt light bulb? One watt is nothing ! Even if light bulbs are only 10% efficent that much light is nothing. Sunlight is about 1.4 kW/square meter. Prove to me that a 1 Watt laser will burn anything.

    Thats 1 watt dispersed across over a large area. this is light thats focused into a highly concentrated beam. like a...magnifying glass.... come on man, this is kindergarten stuff. Don't tell me your THAT dense...

    More precisely, it's focused into a 2-3 mm beam (about 0,07-0,08 inches for those who were not lucky enough to learn the metric system at all :P). Which means that 1 watt of energy is dissipated in an area of about 1.52x pi =7 mm2 (square mm, about 0.01 sq. inches). Quite a small surface for that 1 watt of pure energy, isn't it?

    Real important to remember our species has no blink mechanism for IR. The blindness it will cause will be quick and permanent. I just bought 4 x 1W IR laser diodes for a project. Care is so necessary, I don't know what word to use.


    It goes without saying that at such power levels you should ALWAYS keep the laser WAY below eye level and also to wear some protective eyewear as even stray LASER beams (weakened by reflection/diffraction) can blind you/cause serious harm. And losing one's vision sucks BIG time.

    Ok a 1 watt laser will burn wood, and sunlight is actually just under 1 kW/sq meter, if you where to take a 1 sq meter magnifying glass and focused it into a spot the same size as a laser pointer you could burn more then just ants with it, It would burn holes in aluminum with out much effort ( beer cans can be cut with less ) it would also make this 1 watt laser look like a toy.... So to prove to you what 1 watt is capable of, take a small magnifying glass, about 1 inch by 1 inch so you have less then 10cm2 which will amount to less then 1 watt of solar energy.. And see if you can burn wood with it... Try to be nice to ants while your out there..........

    Sort of off subject but if one had a lense like that what would be safe protective eyeware? Would welding glasses be enough? I have a fresnel lense from back in the day when some were used to place in front of a tv set to make the screen appear larger. I was thinking of making a solar furnace for melting aluminum with it but I'd like to keep my vision too.

    If you're working with solar light, welding goggles would probably be fine. If working with laser light, they would do absolutely nothing. You need laser goggles, made specifically to block harmful wavelengths of light given off by lasers. Welding goggles only protect against the brightness of a weld point. Intensity and wavelength are very different.