So this Christmas I'm treating myself to a laser. Nothing crazy, probably a 1.5watt or 2.5watt laser diode for engraving and light cutting. I'll either strap it to the printer or make a machine specifically for it.
The problem is, Safety Googles seem expensive to come by. RS components sell them for £100+ and I'm debating whether I can trust cheapo Chinese brands with vague descriptions. What are people's thoughts? Anyone purchased some decent cheap ones?
Any advice on these lasers is also welcome. I'll likely be hooking it up to a ramps board or a duet.
... you can build a light-tight housing and use a cheap web-cam for visualisation.
On the other hand - with the diode pointing down and if you don't place reflective parts into the beam and place your head above the working laser, even the cheapish chinese safety goggles will protect your eyes.
But better check the shielding ability with defocussed beam by placing the goggles into the beam and check, if/what's passing through the goggles onto white paper.
The biggest hazard is not the visible laser light, but toxic fumes ...
I'd like to add that some lasers are not of the visible laser light variety, and those are even more dangerous.
I'm with VDX, go straight for an enclosure, much, much safer. Build one for $20 out of plywood or MDF, later you can add a tinted panel or go with a camera like VDX suggested. A second benefit of an enclosure is it makes it easier to vent fumes. Remember that the laser is literally burning the material, whether it's cutting or engraving, and that makes fumes. Make sure this thing is in a well ventilated area and with a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher nearby.