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Gary Hair
11-11-2015, 10:08 PM
Anyone know of a source for a safety window/barrier for fiber? Unlike co2, acrylic won't stop the fiber beam. I have found a few sources but at several hundred for a 12" x 24" piece, I'm going to have to either find another source or another option. Alternatively, does opaque acrylic stop the fiber beam? I would prefer to see it working behind the barrier, but I'm ok with blocking it completely if it meant the difference between $20/$30 and $300 or more.

Thanks for any help!

Keith Winter
11-11-2015, 11:07 PM
Would heavy guage sheet metal work?

Kev Williams
11-12-2015, 12:12 AM
This may sound dumb, but...

If metal absorbs a fiber beam rather than reflecting it, how about metal Venetian blinds? If you angle them at 45 up, they'll "catch" any stray beam that hits them at LESS than 45, and you can still see what's going on..

Gary Hair
11-12-2015, 1:27 AM
Would heavy guage sheet metal work?

Sure would Keith. I'm hopeful that I'll find something that I can see through - otherwise wood, metal, pvc, etc., would all work just fine.

Gary Hair
11-12-2015, 1:29 AM
If there is a gap large enough to see what's going on then the beam could still "escape", at least that's how I see it in my mind. Plus I think that there would be some place you could be that the 45 degree angle would still reflect to you.

Dan Hintz
11-12-2015, 8:26 AM
This may sound dumb, but...

If metal absorbs a fiber beam rather than reflecting it, how about metal Venetian blinds? If you angle them at 45 up, they'll "catch" any stray beam that hits them at LESS than 45, and you can still see what's going on..

No no no no.... and no. That's not how light works, even a directed laser beam. Specular reflection will blind you just as fast as a direct beam. Horrible idea.





Gary, I have yet to find a cheap source, and I've looked pretty extensively. That's not to say it's not out there, but I haven't found it yet. A couple hundred $s / square foot is about the going price for that stuff, unfortunately.

Ernie Balch
11-12-2015, 9:39 AM
how about using a video camera to monitor the laser rather than risking your eyesight?

Kev Williams
11-12-2015, 10:15 AM
No no no no.... and no. That's not how light works, even a directed laser beam. Specular reflection will blind you just as fast as a direct beam. Horrible idea.
Told you it might be dumb ;)...

So then explain to me, if fiber lasers are going to blind me, WHY are they completely "open"?

Dan Hintz
11-12-2015, 10:29 AM
how about using a video camera to monitor the laser rather than risking your eyesight?

Make sure you have protection for the camera, too, else you may be replacing it from time to time. Fiber wavelengths are used to cut silicon dice, so you can be sure a reflection will create a "bad" area on the sensor.


So then explain to me, if fiber lasers are going to blind me, WHY are they completely "open"?

Class IV lasers require PPE outside of the laser system itself (such as glasses, shield walls, etc.). Just because YouTube shows wide open systems being used doesn't mean they're safe to operate like that without other precautions. The Chinese systems, for example, are often "open" because they're cheaper to produce that way. They couldn't care less if you lase your eyeball, they're selling the equipment.

Matt McCoy
11-12-2015, 10:32 AM
I'm not familiar with your needs, but would a windshield work? They're about a hundred bucks.

I like the camera idea too.

Scott Shepherd
11-12-2015, 10:45 AM
So then explain to me, if fiber lasers are going to blind me, WHY are they completely "open"?

You have to wear safety glasses when operating them that block out that wavelength. A good pair can set you back $200 or more, or $50 from China.

I windshield isn't going to work. It needs to block out the 1064nm wavelength.

Gary Hair
11-12-2015, 11:13 AM
how about using a video camera to monitor the laser rather than risking your eyesight?

I have a webcam setup for just that purpose, but I need something to protect the unwary passerby that doesn't know better. Murphy's law dictates that they will be the one hit with a reflected beam and lose an eye...

Joe Hillmann
11-12-2015, 11:20 AM
I looked a few years back and if I remember correctly something about the size of a sheet of paper was $200-$300. It doesn't look like the prices have come down since then.

If you don't mind a small window this may be an option this is $50

http://www.lasersafety.com/windows/laser-safety-windows/p5p101/000p5p105005

Down below it says 0d 8+ Would block yag laser. Although I am not sure what that means.

Gary Hair
11-12-2015, 12:19 PM
I guess I'll just go with a sheet of opaque material of some kind, maybe just a piece of masonite... simple but effective.

Glen Monaghan
11-12-2015, 12:56 PM
Down below it says 0d 8+ Would block yag laser. Although I am not sure what that means.

I think OD refers to optical density, the amount of light passed at a given wavelength, with higher numbers meaning more optically dense and so greater blocking (less light allowed to transmit through). If I understand the math correctly, an OD of 1 means 10% transmittance, OD of 2 is 1%, and OD of 8 is 0.000001% at the specified wavelength.

Keith Winter
11-12-2015, 2:57 PM
how about using a video camera to monitor the laser rather than risking your eyesight?

+1 for this idea. A cheap camera like the pie camera Steve used to monitor his co2 laser awhile back could be easily and inexpensively done.

Jack Clague
11-13-2015, 6:12 AM
out of curiosity what do Trotec and Epilog use on their fiber machines, they have a kinda of green tinted lid.

Dan Hintz
11-13-2015, 7:19 AM
out of curiosity what do Trotec and Epilog use on their fiber machines, they have a kinda of green tinted lid.

Acrylic with fillers opaque to the wavelength... the same multi-hundred $ stuff being discussed at the beginning of the thread.

Scott Shepherd
11-13-2015, 8:06 AM
I hope it has a camera on it so I can doodle on metal with a sharpie...... :p

Scott Challoner
11-13-2015, 10:34 AM
I have an old smart phone that I plan to mount over a small hole in the enclosure and use the camera. That way it looks like a window and you don't have to be watching the monitor. I have a web cam too. I have also thought about using our old Ipad to make the "window" larger. I like the idea of Masonite for the enclose. I can cut that with the CO2.


+1 for this idea. A cheap camera like the pie camera Steve used to monitor his co2 laser awhile back could be easily and inexpensively done.

Matt Geraci
11-13-2015, 5:51 PM
I got a small piece of 1064 nm glass when I bought my machine. It is pricey. Also got 2 pair of glasses, always wear a pair when laser is turned on. Extra pair for the wife/customer/guest. Bought it all up front and included it in the total cost of the laser. Spend it all at once....!!!!

Chris Edens
11-20-2015, 1:17 AM
Honestly why be cheap about it? If you catch that beam in your eye somehow it can blind you. I don't know about you but my eyes are worth me spending a $300 for a pair of glasses. I picked up 3 pairs of glasses and where them the entire time that laser is on.

Kev Williams
11-20-2015, 10:49 AM
Echo Chris...

I just found Laser Safety Industries website, they sell a 12" x 24" piece of acrylic for $305, bigger pieces similarly priced. Doesn't sound all that spendy to keep your $20,000 laser from blinding you, especially if nothing else is adequate.

Gary Hair
11-20-2015, 11:39 AM
Echo Chris...

I just found Laser Safety Industries website, they sell a 12" x 24" piece of acrylic for $305, bigger pieces similarly priced. Doesn't sound all that spendy to keep your $20,000 laser from blinding you, especially if nothing else is adequate.

I just got off the phone with Jerome at Laser Safety Industries. For a 30 watt laser with a 1064nm wavelength you need an optical density of 1.5 to be "legal". That will protect you from a 100% reflected beam. Their 420 product is more than adequate.

I have glasses that I wear while running the machine, but I wanted something to protect against inadvertent exposure to myself and others. For both machines it would run $610 plus constructing a stand of some sort - for that much I'll just make an aluminum barrier and stick with the glasses when I need to see what's going on. It's not all about the money, I'd gladly pay the $610+ if that was the sole means of protection, but it's not, I have glasses for that.