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Diode power to cut acrylics?

Posted by penelopeblue330 
Diode power to cut acrylics?
August 26, 2014 05:49AM
Hi guys, I've seen posts and fundraising campaigns in various places, talking about cutters with high power diodes from a hacked reprap. But there are people saying that diodes just don't work, given their low powers, as of a tiny fraction of CO2 lasers (say 1/40 of 40W). So... in short, is a diode powerful enough to cut through acrylics? Or, if not, what can it cut/engrave?

Before I buy one such laser modules for Mendel, any comments from users? Thanks in advance.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2014 05:52AM by penelopeblue330.
VDX
Re: Diode power to cut acrylics?
August 26, 2014 10:14AM
... it's not only the power, but also the absorption of the power in the material -- the beam of a diode with wavelengths in the VIS or NIR range will simply shine through! clear acrylic.

A CO2-laser has the 10- to 20-fold wavelength - 10640nm instead of 455, 808 or 975nm -- for the CO2-laser IR-beam all organic materials are 'perfectly black' ... even clear acrylic.

And this is mostly the mystery behind power and material selection for proper cutting.

So with a diode in the power range of some Watts you can cut all the materials, a CO2-laser with the same power will cut too ... if they are perfect black!!!

For all other materials the laser wavelength, material colour or transparency/translucency are the limiting factors ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org]
Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Diode power to cut acrylics?
August 26, 2014 11:01AM
So a diode cutter is not quite practicable...? (quite a lot of terms, I am afraid I couldn't get the very meaning of your reply)

Edit: well my ideal acrylics are mostly transparent / white... not even black, in short.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2014 11:03AM by penelopeblue330.
VDX
Re: Diode power to cut acrylics?
August 26, 2014 01:29PM
... actual available diodes aren't usable for transparent/bright acrylics, but good for marking/engraving wood, cardboard, coloured (or painted) surfaces and for cutting dark coloured plastic sheets of up to some mm thickness ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org]
Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Diode power to cut acrylics?
August 27, 2014 01:43AM
Yeah that's pretty much the same as what I was told.
I'm quite interested in this L-Cheapo laser attachment for a reprap. In his video, he cut through acrylic of dark red (about 6mm on inspection). It makes me doubtful about this. I thought a 40W CO2 is needed.

[www.indiegogo.com]
Re: Diode power to cut acrylics?
October 03, 2014 06:09PM
The L-Cheapo uses a 445nm diodelaser @ 2W. You should be doubtful that he can cut common 6mm acryllics with that hardware...


LG

Jonas
Re: Diode power to cut acrylics?
November 23, 2014 12:20PM
I own an L-Cheapo laser kit and use it often on my Rostock Max delta printer. I usually cut smaller things with it. I can cut 3mm thick red acrylic (Inventables) just fine with about 10 passes. I stick with red because it cuts the best. The process of cutting is slow but so is 3D printing. It comes in handy for things but it's very limited. It's nothing like the big boy lasers.

Don't take your eyes for granted...ever! Build yourself a safety shield for your printer and wear goggles while in use. Also, some ventilation is needed when cutting acrylic. Just be careful.
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