CNC laser cutter design

  • #1
Summary:
How many additional mirrors and/or additional distance can I have in a laser assembly before I start seeing power losses?
I was thinking of an improvement to the "traditional" diy cnc laser cutter that might entail some extra travel for the laser and/or additional (stationary) mirrors. Is there some way to calculate how this will affect output power?

Many thanks in advance

Joe
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Tom.G
Science Advisor
4,119
2,816
Rule-of Thumb:
Using plane glass (uncoated), you lose about 4% at each air/glass interface.

That's why high power Lasers us mirrors instead of lenses, that 4% cracks the lenses.

You can do much better if using an Anti-Reflective coating for the specific light wavelength. Front-surface mirrors are a good option, but those can be pricey and difficut to clean without damage.

Beam distance thru air shouldn't be a major problem in itself, but you may have to adjust the focal point of the beam by modifying the optics.

Have Fun!
Tom
 

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