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Howto: Make a DVD Burner into a High-Powered Laser Answered

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Have fun :-P


What is shorting the diode? Could a magnifying glass make it more intense? If you make a sliding grid to mount this on, you could trace a line drawn styrofoam/cardboard(maybe) to make the cutter mentioned earlier more effective

You need to short the diode before you use it, or it will most likely be killed by static. No. No.

But I asked what is shorting the diode. Not why.

If it works with the sun, why not a laser?

And the last bit wasn't a question...it would work.

Why would you do it then? It's plain supid! It's CNC!

All you do is shorting the leads..

How? All you do is shorting the leads! It's not any simpler..

No. You need a colliminating lense, not a peep hole..

A colliminating lens takes all the light, and focus's it into a a small beam of light. A peep hole does the same thing..so why wouldn't it work?

Just try it then if you don't believe me. I've tried, i dosen't work..

hey just wondered i have a few of them old portable CD players as a kid we seemed to reck a lot nd they werent expensive so i have a lot could u use the lazers outa them

No it wouldn't.. It wouldn't work for anything, other than damaging your iris, a bit at a time. Those are IR, and really low power at that! Not usefull!

Theyre not all infrared. The one from my cd player is visible. Besides, infrared lasers can burn through things too. And like I said it would still do a bit, just much slower, and much thinner things.

How the the hell would you cut something with a diode with a MAX output of 5 mW? What your saying is "hey i'll use this cool red laser i just got bought in the dollar store to cut black tape!" omg..

First of all...calm down. Who said anything about the dollar store? Dollar store lasers are 1mw. A laser used to read cds is more powerful.

Fine, i'm sorry i'm not from the states, so i have never seen the lasers in the dollar store.. Regular red laser pointers are 5mW. Cd lasers have 5mW MAX output, you can not cut anything with them.


11 years ago

And don't worry, I'm already reading the safety precautions :) Whoa! I need a class 4 laser, those are strong poo :P


11 years ago

Just a small question... Does the infrared laser also produce as much heat? I need a very powerful laser for a 3d printer concept (it won't operate alot at full strength though, I just need the "extra juice) so it can melt a very fine plastic powder in plotted patterns. I can find near IR laser diodes (those that emit same wavelength as remote controls) that can go all the way up to 20W! But I can only find red lasers (650-670nm) with 500mW power output. I might need around 1-2W I think (but kind of a wild guess), so a near IR laser diode would kind of do the trick, but I kind of feel I'm missing something, is there anything else that matters when it comes to produced amount of heat? except the target material's light absorption ability at the given wavelength, and the power output of the laser?

What I would really want is a low-power laser pointer for spotting, combined with a higher-power laser for killing cockroaches.


11 years ago

I just got the diode out and hooked it up to 2 AA batteries at first it was nice and bright but i dont know if i shorted it or something because now it is weaker than my cheepo $1.50 laser pointer. I had a short glimpse of its potential!! What happened did I ruin it?

Either that, or static killed it. It's dead..

ya thats a good possibility because i never shorted the diode to prevent static damage. I guess I learned my lesson! thanx for the info


11 years ago

Is anyone making one? I am! Only thing I need is a freaking colliminating lens, and I'm not going to shell out money.. I'm testing alot of wierd lenses, I've got laying around, but no luck yet.. Any suggestions?

This might also be of interest if you want to make this project: Dissection of a DVD Burner

Best I've Googles was this:

colliminating lens

See the little picture, and then get some lenses like that, out of the ones you have.


11 years ago


Hey, did you've noticed, you can build a Styrofoam cutting CNC machine with this Laser, Lego technic, and little else? 8-)

Do you have a link to that???? I would love to see that

As a mather of fact, there's this guy that makes a laesr cutter with a Pro Laser and a plotter:


So I guess it's a question of using the CD laser instead!


11 years ago

So if you rip apart your sony PS3, you can make a blue/violet laser pointer? (PS3 availability is poor due to yield issues with the BV lasers in the blu-ray disk.)

just a question but what about cd-rw lasers if just want to cut abs plastic???

I don't think so.. This one, has somewhat the same abillities as a Pulsar 180, and that can only cut black electricians tape..