Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2011 22:01:29 -

Author: Kenn L

Subject: Re: cutting thin plywood with laser?

Post:

Brian-

To number 3: This is perhaps my favorite laser ever, and was very
well worth the price when I bought it. Being able to produce a 1W
beam of strikingly blue light, it is extremely visible at night, even
when on low power. The beam itself is visible from the side for a
fairly large distance too, upwards of 20 meters to the side. I've
used it in class, to show energy transfer as it pops through balloons
at roughly 10 meters and lights matches, it very nicely shows off
scattering, interference demos, and just about anything else I can
rationalize using a laser for. There are a few downsides, though.
Being 1W, it is extremely dangerous; just looking at the scattered
light from a light-colored surface tends to leave you with a yellow
spot in your vision for a good while. Were this to shine directly or
even reflect indirectly in your eyes, you can just about guarantee
blindness. Safety glasses are an absolute must with this laser, at
all times. Additionally, though 1W is fairly ridiculous power-wise,
it will certainly not cut through even balsa wood, unless the wood is
darken in color and you are willing to leave it pointed at one spot
for several minutes at a time.
Perhaps the biggest issue, though, is that the FDA has been stopping
all packages sent from Wicked Lasers for the last several months, due
to the ease with which the average person can purchase such a
potentially dangerous tool. I was able to get a Senator to intervene
on my behalf, and only after a few months of trading emails and phone
calls, and showing proof that I was working in the Physics department,
was I able to receive mine. It was not a pleasant wait.

If you are willing to gamble on getting the laser through the FDA, I
would say it is well worth the money- even if just for having such a
nifty piece of technology. But, the chances on it getting through are
slim to none.

Kenn

On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 9:34 PM, Brian Holton wrote:
> I was thinking of making some kits made of ¼” wood for some local schools,
> and thought, hmmmm, might be nice to cut this stuff with a laser cutter. I
> wonder if you can get a laser strong enough, them build some computer
> control…..
>
>
>
> So, question 1. Anyone do this yet? Advice please.
>
>
>
> Question 2. Any ideas on a laser to do so (price IS a consideration)
>
>
>
> Question 3. What do people think of this laser in general
> http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/Spyder_III_Pro_Arctic_Series-96-37.html
>
>
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Brian



--
Kenneth Lonnquist
Assistant Coordinator, Introductory Physics Labs
KennLonnquist@gmail.com
970.491.2540
Physics Department
Colorado State University


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