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Laser shielding material for low powered diode, enclosure tips...

Posted by Dalius98 
Laser shielding material for low powered diode, enclosure tips...
September 03, 2017 05:04AM
Hello. I have ordered a ~600mW 405nm laser to play around with. Plan is to mount it on my CoreXY and "engrave" PCBs for etching.
While I have also ordered a set of goggles to go along with it, I don't think I'd want to wear them all the time while working around the machine, plus I can't guarantee that someone won't come around unprepared.

That's why I would like to enclose the printer with some see-through material. I would like some help with choosing the material as well as to get a basic idea of how the enclosure should look like.

Would tinted acrylic/plexiglass be enough to protect against random reflections? I'm thinking yellow/orange should be the right color. That would be a cheap option compared to "proper" laser shielding plastic, and since the laser is not that powerful I'm thinking it might be enough?

As far as enclosure goes, I think I'll make the sides out of plywood, and a box shaped lid out of acrylic... but then there's the whole ventilation thing... I have no idea how to go about it. Would appreciate any tips/photos you may have smiling smiley
VDX
Re: Laser shielding material for low powered diode, enclosure tips...
September 03, 2017 07:22AM
... the orange acrylic from Evonic, I'm buying in German tool stores, is good enough -- tested it with my power-meter ...


Viktor
Re: Laser shielding material for low powered diode, enclosure tips...
September 03, 2017 08:54AM
Thank you, Viktor.
Have you tested any other materials/manufacturers? Would be good to know if absorption(?) differs depending on the manufacturer for the same color plastics... What about recommended thickness?

And one more thing... can anyone comment on light transmission values? What would be a good number so I wouldn't need to put my face right in front of the sheet to see what's going on? It's tempting to just order online, but I might need to see the stuff in person if I can't figure this out .

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2017 09:08AM by Dalius98.
VDX
Re: Laser shielding material for low powered diode, enclosure tips...
September 03, 2017 09:08AM
... the sheets from the tool-stores are normally 3mm thick -- have some "proffessional" shielding material with 3,5mm and slightly darker, but it seems to have nearly same shielding values for 445nm ... and they are all even better suited for 405nm winking smiley

AFAIK this "orange" sheets were developed to block UV light, so should have "totally blocking" characteristics for all wavelengths below 500nm ...


Viktor
Re: Laser shielding material for low powered diode, enclosure tips...
September 08, 2017 01:49AM
I've been reading a lot about ventilation/filtering and been led to believe that filtering will be difficult and costly with all the HEPA and Carbon filters (plus replacements) and that the best option is to just vent it out the window... However, most of the info I've found was about high powered CO2 lasers cutting nasty stuff like MDF/Acrilyc. Since I only have this small diode, I probably won't be able to cut anything more than the thinnest balsa plywood, and engrave other stuff. Considering the low usage, would you say filtering may still be an option?

At the beginning the plan was to use either a small diameter tube and a pump, or a bigger diameter "hose" and a blower to both cool the print when in 3D printer mode, and to suck the fumes out when in laser mode. Would only need to swap one end of the tube from blower to something that sucks smiling smiley
At the same time, if I were to use filters I could be printing with ABS or other "smelly" filaments and went out the filtered air inside... So far only PLA and PETG for me...

Another option is to just move the printer outside to the shed, but it's unheated and not insulated and the temperatures get close to -25C in the winters, so I would need a chamber heater and an insulated enclosure... plus I'm not sure how everything would handle the cold when the machine is off... and would need to avoid condensation, etc... doesn't seem like an ideal solution to me.
VDX
Re: Laser shielding material for low powered diode, enclosure tips...
September 08, 2017 03:50AM
... if you simply vent out the window, then "smelly" fumes from laser-engraving (with the small diodes too, not only CO2-lasers) will bother your neighbours ...


Viktor
Re: Laser shielding material for low powered diode, enclosure tips...
September 08, 2017 04:02AM
So you're saying the best way would be to filter and then went it outside, right? While I'm not too concerned about neighbors, wenting outside has some difficulties too. Especially in the winter.
Ugh... should have figured all of this out before buying the laser, but I really wanted to try it out smiling smiley

I remember seeing your setup posted somewhere, Viktor. I believe you said that you filter and went outside too... Can't really find the post right now, and I would love to see what you have done in more detail... Would you mind sharing a few photos of your setups? I believe you've tried dozen of various diodes already, was that on the same machine, or do you have multiple?
VDX
Re: Laser shielding material for low powered diode, enclosure tips...
September 08, 2017 06:21AM
... used and using a lot of different laser types.

For filtering and absorbing I've got an old industrial charcoal-absorber:




- and this is my "venting out the window"-setup with two inlets, which I'm using for soldering fumes too:




Viktor
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