Appropriate laser diode for home PCB creation

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by matthew798, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. matthew798

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 16, 2013
    Hello all!

    I am constructing a CNC machine with my arduino. It's main purpose is to burn an EXTREMELY thin layer of plastic from atop copper clad boards in order to eventually etch away the exposed copper. I am, however, not extremely knowledgeable in the field of lasers. I realize this is somewhat of a physics question, but judging by some of the answers I've seen on this forum, the community's collective genius is not limited to electronics.

    I simply want to know, in the IR wavelength, for say, a maximum thickness of 0.1mm (plastic coating, remember), what strength (wattage) of laser would i likely require? I am currently investigating diodes in the 3W range, but I fear I may end up shelling out 40-60$ for something that is not powerful enough.

    I would be willing to use only laser diodes. We have a wonderful CO2 laser at work. I usually stand mesmerized in front of it instead of working.

    Any thoughts, suggestions or resources that may help me?

    Thanks in advance!

    P.S. I am looking at this one, currently:
  2. matthew798

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 16, 2013
    So I just read an article that suggests using black spray paint. If it changes anything, the laser would need to burn paint, not plastic. Seems to me like it would require less power.
  3. circuitfella11


    May 10, 2013
    yes its better on the thing about black spray paint..some use ink, those unwashable ones..then after applying laser, unwashable paint is easily burned off by low powered lasers..