Free Range Technology

Frickin’ Lasers!


Have you ever needed to cut some metal, but all your hacksaw blades are dull, your Sawzall battery is charging, and Home Depot is closed? If you’re TWI Ltd., you just adapt a 5kW automated laser so it can be hand carried! OK, maybe they did it for decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and it’s not exactly “portable”. Still, it’s damn cool. If you don’t believe me, hit the jump and watch the video.

[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″][/youtube]

Ed. A tip of the hat to reader dwegmul for sending in the video! If you see something that you think your fellow Toasteristas would like, send it to tips at atomictoasters dot com!

  • And this solves what problem with using plasma cutters? Instead of connecting a ground strap to the thing you're about to scrap you now get to tote around a Volkswagen sized machine and dress in a silver suit?

    Oh, wait… Right. Because Lasers. Nevermind. Pew! Pew!

  • Five measly kilowatts? Man, we couldn't do anything nearly that impressive with our own Nd:YAG laser even when it was putting out 800 kW at that same wavelength.

    Perhaps this is because ours only achieved that power while spitting out pulses with a duration of 100 ps.

    • jeepjeff

      Yes, but what's the duty cycle on those pulses?

      • I'll put it this way: Without the mode-locking and Q-switching, the CW output was about twelve watts.

  • Renchick

    Welp, that's badass.

    I'm not touching you!!!!

  • The Professor

    Hmph, pretty puny if you ask me, but I suppose that you need a teeny laser you work in tight areas.

  • sawermassey

    Yes, plasma cutters are awesome. However, oxy-acetylene torches have less precision, but can have many more amusing uses when mixed with 40ft lengths of 12X12 tubing and ductape.

    • The Professor

      Sounds like a recipe for a handy cannon to me.

      • texlenin

        Was once proposed as the working fluid in US mortars (circa ww1). We built a working model in Ag class that fired flaming tennis balls. Good times.