Project working towards blue high-power diode laser

As part of the German government-funded project EffiLas, Laserline is developing the first high-power blue diode laser sources based on laser bars. In cooperation with laser bar manufacturer Osram, the established power scaling technology for the near-infrared (near-IR) wavelength is applied for the first time for the blue wavelength. This article reviews the motivation, the technology, and the first applications with a high-power blue diode laser having up to 700 W power. Over the last few decades, continuous-wave (CW) powered laser applications have become established as a versatile tool in modern manufacturing operations, covering welding, cladding, surface treatment, hardening, brazing, cutting, and more. The shift from a scientific technology to a common production tool has been pushed by the ongoing research of new laser sources, which have continuously enabled new applications. The first developments in high-power CW laser technology occurred before the millennium—the establishment of carbon-dioxide (CO2) lasers at 10.6 µm and diode-pumped Nd:YAG lasers at 1064 nm. CO2 lasers, however, could not be fiber-delivered and Nd:YAG systems were limited in brightness and power-sc...

Ever dreamed of running your very own laser cutter? Here are five tips to get you

Ever dreamed of running your very own laser cutter? Here are five tips to get you started cutting shapes into everyday items like wood or paper. Laser cutting – sometimes called etching or engraving – is not only one of the coolest ways of bringing a design to life but also, by far, the most accurate. While it might be easy to design and cut out a small sign by hand, a laser cutter can do so much more, such as the kind of multi-layered lettering and design that even a skilled artist would struggle to execute. With so many possibilities, you might be wondering: how does the average person get involved in laser cutting and, more importantly, is it prohibitively expensive? After all, when it comes to laser cutting, my first thoughts usually veer towards the famous scene in the James Bond film, Goldfinger, in which a giant laser gradually edges towards the groin of the British spy. In reality, laser cutters are far less powerful – and a lot more realistic. Yet they still have enough power to burn through most thin wood, paper or plastic to create a design you need. To get a look at one in action, Siliconrepublic.com popped down to the impressive Tog hackerspace in Dublin wh...