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Laser cutter Answered

My dad has an old plotter that I plan on converting into a laser cutter, and I was wondering how powerful the laser needs to be in order to cut thin metal (its ok if it can do it in multiple passes). Where could I get a cheap one? Thanks LinuxH4x0r

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Holi laser cutting Machine / Y Z X Problimes Help me

if you want a co2 burning laser, head on over to information unlimited at www.amazing1.com they got all kinds of aesome tech stuff including co2 lasers (but im afraid that they are too big for your plotter)

It doesn't matter, I'll use fiber optics to make it work (or maybe mirrors)

The laser at instructables HQ is 35watts - just FYI...

Here's a water cooled 35W diode on eBay for relatively cheap ($300) eBay -- nice in that it doesn't require kV to start - just 24V...

only 35 watts? Can that cut sheet metal? I know 35 watts is nothing to laugh at, but I've been seeing watts in the 100's for cutting sheet metal It doesn't require HV because it's a laser diode, not like a co2 laser. I like diodes better because they don't require gas and they take less energy.

I don't know if it will cut sheet metal... Methinks no (maybe super thin metal?)... Metals can be tricky - especially if they have reflective properties.... That being said - the machine's bed was well engraved :)

At that price I'll stick to cnc. Maybe I'll make a laser cutter after I graduate and get a job that pays a lot. Damn! I was hoping there would be some in the $100 range.

no! no! I'm starting to hate kipkay! Ever since he posted those crappy laser instructables all you come up on google for laser info is him! He gives the worst advice possable! Hooking up a laser diode directly up to a battery, BAD IDEA! Hooking up a laser diode with a resistor between the battery STILL PRETTY BAD IDEA! If you want a real laser power supply that won't kill your diodes, check out www.laserpointerforums.com A power supply for most hobby lasers only cost like 2 dollars to make. Checkout the experiments and modifications section at laser pointer forums

He's got a "ha ha - it still works" type of attitude.... It will get him far :)

I saw that on the comments for the Telephone Electricity iBle he did.

Me too. He gets on my nerves a lot. Thanks for the link!

That kind of defeats the purpose of doing it myself. I might just make it a cnc router.

you'd probably need a co2 laser, they suck up a lot of power, make sure you have good laser eye protection gear, like real bonafide laser glasses, sunglasses will do nothing.

Where could I get one and about how much would it cost (aren't you building one or only a cnc)? I already knew about the glasses (high amounts of uv produced), but I plan on doing it in a case so the light isn't visible. Thanks for the info.

right now I'm only building a cnc router, and if I make enough money (I'm going to be offering a prototyping circuit board service later) then I might buy a laser attachment. I'm still looking into lasers for cutting sheet metal, but after my 30 minutes of research it seems they draw a huge amount of power, and in my current setup I'm drawing almost all the power I can, between my stepper motor power supply, crt monitor (all I could aford, it was only 5 dollars, I knnow I had an instructable saying how inefficient they were, but it's in a workshop and if I upgrade my pentium 2 computer driving it, I'll change my monitor), the router, and my computer, it's almost 13 amps! I'm in a remote part of my house, so there isn't really any outlets, so I'm running a extension cord rated for 15 amps with it's own power breaker. lot and lots and lots of power! P.S. I'm still looking into lasers, I'll post here if I find anything. P.S.S. My cnc machine will have no progress until I have a big enough chunk of time to rent a welder and weld everything up, to save money. I tell you, cutting a bunch of angle iron by hand is tough!

They have good ones at the 99¢ store. Just kidding, hahahaha.