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259 posts

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#255492 14-Aug-2019 12:03
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Just wondering if you have a laser cutter, and what you have.

 

 

 

I'm about to take the plunge and get a Glowforge but I want to know if anyone either has one or has otherwise gone the Cheap Chinese Laser route. If you've done the latter, who did you get it through and how did you find the experience?

 

 

 

If I go Chinese, would Alibaba, DHGate or Amazon be best to place the order through?





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  #2299136 14-Aug-2019 12:33
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I recently bought a cheap (sub-$400) Chinese laser cutter/CNC machine combo from AliExpress. The shipping was very fast... about a week. I haven't assembled it yet. I chose to go for the 5.5W laser because above that would push the price up into the +GST bracket. I can always put a more powerful laser on later.

 

That GlowForge is in an entirely different league to what I got, with a price to match. But I just wanted something to play around with.

 

Please post here with a review of whatever you get.

 

 


neb

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  #2299250 14-Aug-2019 14:28
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What do people do with laser safety on these, mostly in terms of eye damage? I'm rather nervous about a multi-watt laser controlled by a device with, I assume, minimal to no safety features, hitting some reflective surface somewhere and going where it shouldn't.

 
 
 
 




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  #2299307 14-Aug-2019 15:25
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neb: What do people do with laser safety on these, mostly in terms of eye damage? I'm rather nervous about a multi-watt laser controlled by a device with, I assume, minimal to no safety features, hitting some reflective surface somewhere and going where it shouldn't.

 

There are different classes of laser.

 

 

 

The most common and lowest powered is Class 1. These are too low-powered to do "much" damage unless deliberately pointed at the eye. These printers are best operated with safety filter glasses.

 

 

 

Some are Class 4, which will cause instant burns even by spot reflection. These printers require a closing lid with automatic lock out and so forth.





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neb

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  #2299327 14-Aug-2019 15:43
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I asked because the one referenced has 1 / 2 / 5W laser options, which AFAIK would be Class 4, and no protection features that I could identify.

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  #2299335 14-Aug-2019 15:52
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I read an article earlier today about a lady who was killed in a NZ factory when the machine she was cleaning was turned on.  The guards were up so she could clean it, and there were no safety interlocks on the guards which would prevent the machine operating when those guards were not in place.  The company was fined heavily for not protecting their worker by importing a machine that did not meet NZ safety standards.

 

These lasers can absolutely do your sight significant harm in a very short time.  Importing one is absolutely at your own risk.  If you cause someone harm, deliberately or accidentally, expect it to bite you on the ass.  Hard.





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neb

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  #2299341 14-Aug-2019 16:08
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So the obvious DIY add-on would be a flip-down enclosure triggering a microswitch to disable the laser. And specifically a microswitch to cut power to the laser, not a microswitch to toggle an I/O port for software to read and hopefully shut down the laser.

 

 

Just the thought of running a multi-watt laser out in the open like that makes my toes curl up...

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  #2299344 14-Aug-2019 16:13
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Dynamic:

 

I read an article earlier today about a lady who was killed in a NZ factory when the machine she was cleaning was turned on.

 

 

 

 

Do you have a link on that one please? Be useful for work...





.

 
 
 
 


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  #2299350 14-Aug-2019 16:24
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Item:

 

Dynamic:

 

I read an article earlier today about a lady who was killed in a NZ factory when the machine she was cleaning was turned on.

 

Do you have a link on that one please? Be useful for work...

 

Here ya go...

 

Workplace death: Homegrown Juice Co fined $367,000 after worker sucked into machinery
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12258492 





"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

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  #2299451 14-Aug-2019 20:49
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The worker died by asphyxiation, how does a laser do that ?


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  #2299452 14-Aug-2019 20:50
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neb: So the obvious DIY add-on would be a flip-down enclosure triggering a microswitch to disable the laser. And specifically a microswitch to cut power to the laser, not a microswitch to toggle an I/O port for software to read and hopefully shut down the laser. Just the thought of running a multi-watt laser out in the open like that makes my toes curl up...

 

A microswitch really doesn't cut it for a safety system. Unfortunately red/yellow coloured stuff costs mega $$$. Rather than just a switch though, you'd want an interlock on the lid/door so it cannot be opened when the system isn't safe.


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  #2299453 14-Aug-2019 20:52
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elpenguino:

 

The worker died by asphyxiation, how does a laser do that ?

 

 

@Dynamic is alluding the the bigger picture, machine safety in general. Lasers won't asphyxiate you, but they will blind you, burn, etc.




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  #2299710 15-Aug-2019 11:49
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Jonski:

 

I'm about to take the plunge and get a Glowforge

 

 

So, I got the Glowforge.

 

 

 

If anyone wants a discount voucher for theirs (US$500 off), PM me.

 

 

 

Chur





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  #2299736 15-Aug-2019 12:27
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Jonski:

 

So, I got the Glowforge.

 

 

Which model?

 

 


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  #2299745 15-Aug-2019 12:41
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Jonski:

 

Jonski:

 

I'm about to take the plunge and get a Glowforge

 

 

So, I got the Glowforge.

 

 

 

If anyone wants a discount voucher for theirs (US$500 off), PM me.

 

 

 

Chur

 

 

 

 

I would love one, but will likely not be in a position to make a purchase until March next year!

 

Please let us know how you get on with it and show off your creations!





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  #2299748 15-Aug-2019 12:46
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frankv:

 

Jonski:

 

So, I got the Glowforge.

 

 

Which model?

 

 

 

 

Pro. Gonna be making larger stuff and need the passthrough. Plus it has better cooling etc.





I reject your reality and substitute my own!
- Adam Savage, Mythbuster

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