View Full Version : Laser Design and info

Pat Riley
02-27-2003, 1:56 PM
I have designed Lasers as a career for the last decade. I have worked on systems as small as 1 watt to as large as several Kilo-watts, in many different wavelegths and media.

Being a long time woodworker, I have played with lasers in wood a great deal. I have done several projects with lasers, and have watched with interest as others in woodworking become familiar with this new potential.

I am excited to have this forum available now. It will be fun to see what people come up with. If you have any questions that the guys who own units cant answer, I may be able to give you a decent explaination from a system engineer's standpoint.


Keith Outten
02-27-2003, 8:58 PM

We are sure happy to have you with us, since this is a subject that is so new to woodworkers we hope to be in the forground of getting the word out and helping people learn at least the basics. I know that with the right approach there will be a substantial interest in the subject.

I have visited almost every laser forum and site I could find on the Net in the last year. Not one site had what I really needed, information geared toward someone who is new to the technology, a place where basic answers to questions could be found and to learn. Most of the sites want you to buy this or sell that...not much information about using lasers.

As this forum and all its posts will remain active for a very long time I hope to grow the subject over a period of time in a logical manner. There is talent out there, several people have contacted me but we could not find a place to gather that would be supportive of the technology.

As fast as I can I hope to start sharing Corel projects we have developed and CAD drawings that are also hard to find.

Pat Riley
02-28-2003, 12:19 PM

You are correct, there is very very little info anywhere dealing with lasers and wood. The vast majority of "industrial" CRC lasers are geared toward large metal cutting operations. I do know of several firms dealing in cutting plastics that do some wood for me once in a while. Those two applications are actually quite similar.

As far as laser basics, the alt.lasers newsgroup is not bad. Especially the FAQ that goes along with that group. I dont actually spend any time at all on that forum, it is mostly laser hobbyists and tinkerers, but for the most part they do understand lasers well, and have alot of info about them to share.

Is your system a CO2 or an ND:Yag unit? Your first week sounds like it may have been an adventure.


Keith Outten
03-06-2003, 3:35 PM

Sorry it took me so long to reply to your post, as you can imagine the pace around here has been tough to keep up with.

My laser is a CO2, 35 watt machine. Your right about plastic being very similar to wood, they both cut well and are raster engravable but wood has more options since it will accept shading where plastics won't.

Van Cloud
03-08-2003, 4:15 PM
I have been using my 25 watt CO2 laser for about a year. Took a lot of that time to learn Corel DRaw. I now use the laser for model making and sign cutouts. I do more work in polycarbonate than wood.

There is virtually no kerf when cutting plastic less than 1/4" thick, and no noticeable slant in the cut, nice smooth edges.

I've found that it's a good idea to make practice runs on thin cardboard or paper. I've found that I can adjust the power and speed to cut paper part way through, thus making for easy folding and testing designs.

Now I need someone to tell me how to take a drawing that has no well defined edges and using Corel, create line edges that can be vector cut.


Scott Erwin
07-23-2008, 1:01 PM
For my success in making projects with my laser when all goes well, and...
For my headaches at 3 in the morning when I have a job to get out and I just cant seem to get right .

Thanks Pat for your contribution to the laser industry and my health...lol