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Diode Lasers - Q & A - Focusing, Lens, Cooling, Diodes, Safety, Parameters & others

That OSHA manual sure gave me a vintage fuzzy like those old instruction videos from the 60s I come across every once in a full moon but hey… At least it shed some light ( slaps thigh ) on the matter most notably:

Page 24:
Class 4 - eye hazard if direct, reflected or diffusely-reflected beam is viewed; possible skin and fire hazard
compared to the wording of:
Class 3a - eye hazard if collected or focused into eye

Pretty much confirms my suspicion towards the beam.

Page 32:
Diffuse-Reflection - Basically means unless I encapsulate the whole X-Carve in an opaque/450nm shield I will get blasted with Laser radiation no matter what - Not likely to happen.

I guess I’ll be adding the 450nm screen I’ve ordered to the poorly covered sides of the goggles and, for now, call it a day.

@JohnChamplain & @xfredericox Asking the “wrong” question does appear to yield a more energetic discussion :wink:

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The question would only have been wrong if it was left unasked :wink:

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Because lasers produce a coherent and parallel beam, the biggest danger is reflections. With normal light reflected from a surface, the light reflected diffuses quickly, so it can be painful to look at, but probably isn’t harmful. Lasers are different: because there’s a chance that the reflected beam will be very coherent and mostly parallel, if it hits you in the eye, and passes through your cornea, the beam can be focused to a very fine spot on your retina, permanently damaging the spot they hit. (you can also have damage from the flash spot, like from welding)

This is why the FAA doesn’t want people shining high-power laser pointers at airplanes - you can actually cause permanent physical harm from that far away, and most people don’t understand that fundamental difference between a laser and a high powered flashlight.

The worst part about it is that because it’s focused to a tiny spot, you probably wouldn’t notice right away - your brain does a good job of masking the holes in your vision from your optic nerve, so you’d have to do a fair bit of damage before you’d realize it, but by then you’d be partially blind, and permanently so.

Short version: Not worth the risk, get proper safety gear. :slight_smile:

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