3D Printing & Imaging Technology
Experimental reciprocating laser cutter with low-power diode

Interesting concept from Peter over at the RepRap: Builders blog, who has successfully made some cuts in a CD case using an experimental 1W laser cutter with a Z-axis control that allows the laser diode itself to reciprocate up and down, kinda like a saber saw. This action moves the beam’s focus, where it cuts most effectively, up and down through the material at each point along the cutting path. I have wondered about dynamically-variable-focal-length CNC lasers before, and although I’m probably in over my head, here, it seems like there should be some way to do it optically without having to physically move the whole laser head up and down.

Geez, everyone’s a critic! Nice work here, Peter. [via Hack a Day]



I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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