I currently own a very nice CNC machine and was thinking of replacing my screaming porter cable trim router with a diy diode laser like the ones you see on youtube.
Does anyone have any info on using a diode laser to cut tiny stuff, like 1/8" lexan? Just wondering how to do it on the cheap with a diode laser.
Any info would be much appreciated.
I got some info on that build a while back. He said the stuff you see on that page was a very, very low feed rate and just a proof of concept. He is now working on a real one.
Lexan is generally not cut on a laser cutter due to the nasty fumes. Acrylic is the preferred material. It's fumes are pretty bad too, but not as bad. I think you are probably going to need at least 10w to cut 1/8" material, I would suggest 35W-40W.
Check out my web site. It is dedicated to home build laser machines.
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziip9Zvi7L4"]YouTube- RickLaser - 2.4W 808mn Laser Diode Cutting Test[/nomedia]
From my experience and for what it's worth I don't think anyone cuts anything with a 'diode laser'. The diode pumped YAG systems work OK but my money is definitely on CO2.
If you can source all the necessary parts (possibly eBay, second user or experienced parts) then CO2 is pretty straight forward to build, it is reasonably safe to operate and it works really well. OK it's not going to be cheap but then nothing relating to CNC and lasers is cheap. There are quite a number of websites now which offer constructional details and provide e-mail or forum help if needed so if you do decide on the CO2 path you will not be on your own.
CNC is only limited by our imagination.
Forget about this diode lasers from eBay - toys for school boys
Here I am agree with you - I always told that diode lasers is excellent educational tool for laser basic - cheap, easy to use, relatively safe.