Make Your Own CO2 Laser

We all remember the diy cnc laser. In my quest to bring you guys fresh stuff, I found an interesting design [archived page](the author says he built his in the 80s) for a home-built CO2 laser. The dimensions are missing, but the design is pretty simple. If you like some textbook style reading, the hyperphysics server is your friend. I finally bought a mini mill to go with my lathe – this could make an interesting machining project. Get a mini-fridge compressor to for the vacuum source, and the gas is easily acquired from the local welding shop. I’d bet Surplus shed probably has some workable optics.

The 25th is the deadline for the Design Challenge. Don’t freak out, just get it submitted before I get up on the 26th, and I’ll call it good.

12 thoughts on “Make Your Own CO2 Laser

  1. Where are your lathe playings?

    It must have been months now since you got that baby

    I realize that you also have another baby of about the same vintage, but you should learn to share you time more fairly ;-)

    On much the same note, does anyone have links to linux programs capable of turning circuit designs into CNC milling patterns, that would rock.

  2. Hi Will O’Brien,
    About your mini mill, you might want to check out, if you haven’t already:

    CNCzone has forums in which a lot of people moding X2s for CNC. The X2s and X3s, are reputed to be good mills, once cleaned and tweaked.

    They have a nice site with mini-mill and mini-lathe notes setup and comments. They also have a review of the belt-drive kit.

    You might want to check out the X2 belt drive kits. I saw a second belt drive kit on cnczone, too.

    As far as lasers, SAM’s laser FAQs is probably the best laser start here page out there:

  3. *aah! my eyes!*

    Looks good, but the lack of dimensions for the tubes and such means that you’ll have to experiment a little with the voltages and such. All the more fun, eh? For the power supply, you could use a flyback transformer from an old CRT. Using a KSE13009 transistor from Fairchild in the flyback circuit, you’d get about 18-20kv. Good luck to whomever tries this.

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