<div><br></div><div><br></div>Here are a few thoughts about the final stages of building my laser cutter.
<div><br></div><div>1) Laser alignment: I was thinking of mounting the first mirror, then mounting a block of wood at the location of the 2nd mirror. I can adjust the first mirror by firing the laser into the block of wood till the dot is where expected. Then move the block to the next mirror and adjust another mirror. Eventually the laser will come out of the nozzle.</div>
<div><br></div><div>2) Visible laser: If I want to get a laser pointer and add it as a guide as to where the laser is about to burn, any suggestions for that? It might be nice to have a visible dot where cutting is about to begin. Where to get a good pointer for this? What about other ideas of knowing where the laser will burn. This is just for doing stuff like finding (0,0,0) and such. An alternate idea is to have two small pointers attached on the laser cutting nozzle. They would be angled to reach the focal point. So if the laser is in focus, the two dots converge and we can see the cutting point. If out of focus, we see two dots. Another idea might be to have a post coming down and the laser is a certain offset from that. </div>
<div><br></div><div>3) Stray laser power. The beam starts at about 1mm width. The 50mm focal length lens will then bring it to a smaller cross section for cutting. It will obviously diverge at distances over 50mm. I figure it will be back to 1mm width at a distance of 100mm from the lens. At 150mm, it will cover 4 times the area so the power will start to be more spread out. So if the cutting surface is like 150 or 200mm from the table, then the laser will not heat the table too much. </div>
<div><br></div><div>4) Cutting table. I'm making a cutting table out of some chicken wire like stuff I was given. I'm planning on stretching it over a rectangular frame so that it is nice and flat and rigid. I think that the laser will heat it but not too much as it's metal. I guess it it wears out quickly I should try some different material.</div>
<div><br></div><div>5) The laser high voltage terminals stick out of the glass and are about .2" long. They are about 60 thousands of an inch thick. For testing I used some thin copper wire to wrap the high voltage wires onto it. I then used electrical tape and some thick rubber tubing to insulate. For production, there must be some sort of connector that can slip on the pegs and be okay with 25,000 volts. Any ideas?</div>