More LASER Talk

My LASER engraving activities started out slowly. I intended for it to be a slow start. It’s not like I don’t have anything else I like doing. It’s been fourteen months and I enjoy doing my LASER projects, Also made improvements to my 5 watt diode LASER.

There is another BLOG where I post about my projects – KautzCraft LASER. Check it out if you want more details.

From my view, the LASER engraver is not a hobby any more than the Table saw in my wood shop is a hobby. The LASER is another machine tool. The engraving or the cutting to make “stuff” is the hobby.

Tinkering with the LASER is part of the enjoyment. Just stating the machine is a tool. The hobby is creating the tangible product it helps create.

The LASER adds design details and graphics to tangible materials. LASER cutting can be used to make (cut) detailed shapes. The hobby/craft item is what is produced from these actions.

After 14 months I have decided I have a need for a bit more powerful LASER. In LASER engraving, the power of the LASER is directly proportional to the speed, and therefore the length of time making the engraving or cutting. 

With my present 5 watts of LASER power, I can perform just about everything a 50 watt LASER does, but it takes at least 10 time longer. I don’t know if the time curve is completely linear, but with my experience, close enough for this discussion. 

I still can’t find justification for a $2000 to $10,000 CO2 LASER (30 watts to over 100 watts). These are the go-to machines for any serious business need. The manufacturers are are very happy to sell them to deep-pocket hobbyist as well.

Today there are lower cost 10 watt and 20 watt (output) diode LASERs just like the 5 watt diode LASER I use now. (They are in the $700-$1400 range)

I was considering the 10 watt machines until I discovered one company in China about to release a 20 watt diode LASER. 

The 10 watt version use two 5 watt diode LASERs and using special optics combines the power of both diodes. The 20 watt version works the same but combines the power of four 5 watt diode LASER modules.

The power out is not a full 20 watts as there are some losses in the optics and the combining but they demonstrated a measured 18 actual watts on a target power measuring meter.  I can live with that.

Prototypes are being demonstrated on YouTube and some product is already in the USA. Delivery next week as of this writing.

Yes, I have ordered the 20 watt version. Expected ship date is about a week away. 

The KautzCraft LASER department is about to get really busy for the rest of the summer…