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Thread: About to buy a laser, will an open laser be dangerous when using powerful lasers?

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    Default About to buy a laser, will an open laser be dangerous when using powerful lasers?

    Hello!

    Total noob-question: i´m planning to purchase a large, open, laser: a redsail 1325 to be precise. The laser is Reci S6 (150W Peak) CO2.

    I am going to be using the laser in my garage, where my children and other people spending time while the laser is working. My question: Is there any added risk in using an "open" laser without the enclosure in regards to eye-damage when being near the machine? And any other advantages / disadvantages you guys see in using an open machine? I have opted for it because i plan to cut large amount of plywood and prefer to just insert the standard size boards instead of always having to cut the plywood beforehand.

    Big thanks in advance!!

    Jonatan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadros View Post
    Hello!

    Total noob-question: i´m planning to purchase a large, open, laser: a redsail 1325 to be precise. The laser is Reci S6 (150W Peak) CO2.

    I am going to be using the laser in my garage, where my children and other people spending time while the laser is working. My question: Is there any added risk in using an "open" laser without the enclosure in regards to eye-damage when being near the machine? And any other advantages / disadvantages you guys see in using an open machine? I have opted for it because i plan to cut large amount of plywood and prefer to just insert the standard size boards instead of always having to cut the plywood beforehand.

    Big thanks in advance!!

    Jonatan
    Of course it's a danger. Kid putting hand in the beam path or reflected off a shiny surface. Get some protective safety glass for yourself and lock the doors when in use. Make sure the power switch for the machine is lockable.

    LightObject 40 Watt Laser, MakerGear M2 3D printer, 20 Watt Ray Fine Fiber laser... Master Electrician - Retired.


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    Default Re: About to buy a laser, will an open laser be dangerous when using powerful lasers?

    You have one less mirror because the tube is on the gantry. The machine will probably not be great for engraving due to the tube power.
    I would always were proper spec protective glasses around an open laser and I wouldn't have any kids around while the machine is working. Only takes a sec of distraction to have an accident happen.



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    Default Re: About to buy a laser, will an open laser be dangerous when using powerful lasers?

    Quote Originally Posted by epilotdk View Post
    You have one less mirror because the tube is on the gantry. The machine will probably not be great for engraving due to the tube power.
    I would always were proper spec protective glasses around an open laser and I wouldn't have any kids around while the machine is working. Only takes a sec of distraction to have an accident happen.
    I am very grateful for your feedback. If i can ask you a few more questions: what practical effect will it have that the machine have one less mirror? And about the tube-power, what would you consider optimal for speed and performance when cutting and engraving 3-4 mm birch plywood?

    Good point about the glasses, we will definitely purchase these.

    Reply if you have time, i´m very grateful nonetheless.

    /J

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Of course it's a danger. Kid putting hand in the beam path or reflected off a shiny surface. Get some protective safety glass for yourself and lock the doors when in use. Make sure the power switch for the machine is lockable.
    For sure, good points about safety-precautions. Will definetely adhere to these advixe.



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    Default Re: About to buy a laser, will an open laser be dangerous when using powerful lasers?

    One less mirror is a good thing as it makes alignment easier. A 130W tube will not engrave well. You can only turn down the power so much on a CO2 DC tube. To counter that, so you don't burn through the wood, you have to move the head really fast. Steppers cannot keep up so you need servos and the cost goes up a lot. For a happy medium between cutting and engraving stay below 100W or have a machine with two tubes, a powerful tube for cutting and a 40W tube for engraving.

    I'd still keep the kids away while the laser is working. Your focus should be on that, not the kids. If the material catches fire you won't have an enclosure to contain it to some extent.

    One downside to open lasers is that you need very powerful extraction to avoid fumes in the workshop. Powerful usually means loud when it comes to extraction.



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    Default Re: About to buy a laser, will an open laser be dangerous when using powerful lasers?

    Quote Originally Posted by epilotdk View Post
    One less mirror is a good thing as it makes alignment easier. A 130W tube will not engrave well. You can only turn down the power so much on a CO2 DC tube. To counter that, so you don't burn through the wood, you have to move the head really fast. Steppers cannot keep up so you need servos and the cost goes up a lot. For a happy medium between cutting and engraving stay below 100W or have a machine with two tubes, a powerful tube for cutting and a 40W tube for engraving.

    I'd still keep the kids away while the laser is working. Your focus should be on that, not the kids. If the material catches fire you won't have an enclosure to contain it to some extent.

    One downside to open lasers is that you need very powerful extraction to avoid fumes in the workshop. Powerful usually means loud when it comes to extraction.
    Thanks again for the feedback. Ok, so in regards to the open design and the laser on the gantry there is advantages to this. I have planned to enclose the whole machine in a plexi-glass enclosure - i hope that this and the standard extraction will be enough to keep the environment in the workshop ok. I have looked into ordering a 80W tube instead since we will almost exclusively engrave and cut thin plywood. Do you think 80W is a good fit?

    Mange tak!



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    Default Re: About to buy a laser, will an open laser be dangerous when using powerful lasers?

    80w will be fine for thin ply. Given that your 80w rating is probably closer to 65w... they lie

    I too am looking at a larger machine but I came to the conclusion that an enclosed machine with a passthrough slot would be better, given my environment, etc.

    I also want to be able to cut larger pieces, up to 2400x1200 full ply sheets, up to 25mm, so any machine with a 1300mm wide bed and a passthrough slot will allow my cutting of the occasional full-sized sheet, while remaining safe, with good extraction, etc. and a significant cost saving on a full-sheet-sized machine, which is really designed for a factory, not a workshop.

    Maybe if I grew significantly to where I could justify an industrial unit, then I would get a 1325 or 1630 sized machine, but given the hassle with extraction, etc., a 1309-size with a passthrough slot is much more family-friendly than a 1325.



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About to buy a laser, will an open laser be dangerous when using powerful lasers?
About to buy a laser, will an open laser be dangerous when using powerful lasers?