How long can the laser work?

  • Hi. Some of my cutting projects require the laser to work for let's say 3 hours straight. I've got the 2.5w laser which is sitting in a ventilated box with constant air flow, is it safe for the laser to work for that amount of time?
    BTW. My cutting settings are 140 feed rate, max laser power at 4 runs, that seems OK but maybe someone has a better preset?

    The second question is about the sight safety. The only contact with the laser beam I have is when focusing it at 1/255 power, my eyes are on the dot 15 cm away for like 10-15 seconds. Is there a physical chance for the laser at such low power to damage the sight somehow?
    I prefer to be a little paranoid in advance ;)

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @LukaszL The laser is just a diode, like LED's used in projectors or car headlights. It can run for days, months, even years without any problems.

    The concern is temperature, and here is the problem. These diodes are often being used beyond their specificaions so will generate a lot more heat. If powered correctly and with a suitably sized heatsink that has adequate cooling it won't be a problem. I often run my 2.5W for 6 hours at a time, but some lasers like those sold as 8W (actually a 6W diode) then it is being over-driven and will fail quickly.

    I hope you mean with the safety glasses on. Never look at the laser without your safety glasses, even at 1/255.

  • @Zax
    Ok, so in that case I think everything os going to be ok, as the box is ventilated.

    Yes, I of course am wearing the protective glasses, but lately I think my sight has gotten worse, especially after adjusting the focus, as I mentioned like 15cm from the beam. So was just wondering if there is such a physical possibility that it may be because of the laser.

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    Not likely, especially if you are only using 1/255. The output isn't much more than a laser pointer and worst case you get a fraction reflected which would be diffused and less likely to cause any damage.

    The typical damage from a laser diode isn't poor vision but rather a "blank" spot on the retina, over time your brain will compensate and you wouldn't even notice it unless tested or examined.

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