How to make a homemade cutting laser

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to make a homemade cutting laser
(Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Hobby projects requiring holes and cuts to be made in delicate parts can benefit from a cutting laser. You can make a homemade cutting laser from a laser pointer and a Blu laser diode purchased from a laser supply shop. You will be able to cut through small plastic and wood parts in your hobby projects. You will need a few hardware tools and experience in using a soldering iron, but no special electrical skills. If you are underage, adult supervision is necessary for making the homemade laser cutter and using it.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Green laser pointer
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Flat-edged jeweller's screwdriver
  • Tweezers
  • Blu laser diode
  • Soldering iron
  • Bonding glue
  • Wet washcloth

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a sheet of newspaper on a table. Remove the battery cap from the back end of a green laser pointer. Remove the batteries from the battery compartment. Place the battery cap and batteries aside.

  2. 2

    Hold the green laser pointer by the back end in one hand. Hold the needle-nosed pliers in the other hand.

  3. 3

    Clamp the jaws of the needle-nosed pliers around the front end of the green laser pointer. Twist the needle-nosed pliers to separate the front end of the green laser pointer from the back end.

  4. 4

    Place the front end of the green laser pointer aside. Place the needle-nosed pliers aside.

  5. 5

    Place the back end of the green laser pointer on the newspaper.

  6. 6

    Rotate the back end of the green laser pointer. Stop rotating when the screw and circuit board on the laser assembly, jutting out from the back end, are facing up.

  7. 7

    Hold the back end of the green laser pointer on the newspaper with one hand. Hold the tweezers in your other hand.

  8. 8

    Place the jaws of the tweezers around the base of the green laser diode. Pull the green laser diode out of the base of the laser assembly. Place the green laser diode away from your work area.

  9. 9

    Insert the two pins attached to the bottom of the Blu laser diode into the pin holes just vacated by the green laser diode, using a pair of tweezers.

  10. 10

    Heat up the soldering iron for 10 minutes. Place the tip of the soldering iron against the circuit board that is above the screw on the laser assembly.

  11. 11

    Remove the tip of the soldering iron after 15 seconds have passed. The circuit board limiting the amount of electricity that can reach the Blu laser diode on the laser assembly is now inert. Unplug the soldering iron.

  12. 12

    Place the tip of the flat-edged jeweller’s screwdriver into the screw on the laser assembly. Rotate the screw a half turn clockwise to increase the intensity range of the Blu laser diode.

  13. 13

    Apply fast acting bonding glue around the rim of the back end of the laser pointer. Replace the front end of the pointer onto the back end. Let the bonding glue set for an hour.

  14. 14

    Place the batteries back into the battery compartment of the Blu laser diode. Screw the battery cap onto the back end.

  15. 15

    Demonstrate your homemade cutting laser by aiming the front end at the newspaper from a few inches away.

  16. 16

    Depress the “On” button to activate the laser beam. Release the “On” button when the newspaper begins to smoulder. Drape a wet washcloth over the newspaper to extinguish the smouldering.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear protective eye gear when using the homemade laser cutter.
  • Never use your homemade laser cutter around flammable objects.

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