Building your own high power laser module for engraving

Electronics and electrotechnical stuff
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Downunder35m
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Building your own high power laser module for engraving

Post by Downunder35m »

Not so long ago people salvaged the diodes from Bluray players and such to build tiny engravers with the mechanics from old flopps drives.
Since then we basically only saw how people create useless laser pointers with 7W diodes....

Lately I noticed that module housing are being sold empty on many Chinese market places.
And some of them look almost identical to the complete modules we can by from bran manufacturers and unbranded alike.
So how hard would it be ?

I found a russian post where a guy replaced the burnt diode in his module with a Nichia 7W type.
Not really the recommended way as he had to drill the mounting holes bigger and the housing was for a 3W laser.
But he also added a high speed fan and a TTL driver suited for the 7W diode.
Worked and seem to have made the owner quite happy.

Like it or not, if you go for new parts the diode is still the most expensive part you need - and it is a consumable.
Anyone remembers those old Pentium CPU coolers with the round copper core in the middle?
IMHO they are perfect for a single diode and actually rated for the amount of waste heat produced.
They even have enough space in the fan mount to allow for the diode wires to be tucked away.
Making a it a quite short module.
Sadly also one that is next to impossible to mount LOL
And so I remembered my 3D printer.....

It does not really matter how we get rid of the heat as long as we can do it properly.
Works great in reverse on our printers with the heater block and tiny cartridge inside.
So why not use a heat pipe cooler with a side mounted block for the diode?
I can't find any in my scrap box but have to try this once I find a scrap computer or graphics card.

Anyone tried these empty module or some other solution for a 7W diode yeat that is not a lser pointer?
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
liquidhandwash
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:28 am
Location: Victoria AU
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Re: Building your own high power laser module for engraving

Post by liquidhandwash »

Seems like a lot of hassle for 7watts, I don't know if you noticed but co2 lasers have come down in price significantly, heres is a 40 watt for $115 I've found that they do last a long time if they are cooled properly with a chiller, not a fish tank pump which is the usual crap they supply it with.
copper mirrors also last way longer then the SI type
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/18417839730 ... ctupt=true
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/16110782731 ... BM_pDrpqtf
Downunder35m
Posts: 684
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:32 am
Location: Australia
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Re: Building your own high power laser module for engraving

Post by Downunder35m »

I still have my old 30W CO2 system but my landlord only allows me to use it in the garage, which is out of the question for me.
Sure, 7W is not worth talking about if you compare it to a CO2 system.
But I found that for a lot of jobs a diode is just far easier and still provides great results.
Even at very low poer the IR systems vaporise morethan they discolor but they are also more versatile.
The blue diodes on the other hand do really well for engraving jobs.

I still plan to get the tube combine with the new frame.
The "table" is sized to allow for the tube to be mounted upright underneath.
Basically just a matter of adding some holes and mounts.
And one more mirror.
But due to the sie I would prefer to add a beam expander and to use larger mirros and lenses.
1 by 1 meter is not really what the optics of my China laser were designed for...
In the end it shall be a dual system where I just swab the laser module with the mirror/lens combo for the CO2 tube.
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
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