Will running a diode laser at 100% power shorten it’s life expectancy?
In the case of a Chinese laser diode, assume that the specified power does not match. If you have a 5.5 watt diode laser you can be lucky and it is really 3.5 watt diode.
The same often applies to CO2 laser tubes, my own 40 Watt tube for example, is really only a 30 watt laser. If you want to cut plywood or acyl you will sooner or later look up for power anyway two 100%, because you do not want to wait so far and ruin your item with 20 turns in the same groove …
So, yes at 100% power you will probably shorten the life of your diode.
However, this is only my experience and modest opinion.
Overheating or over-driving will shorten the life of a diode. If it was purchased from a reputable company, like J-Tech, Opt Laser, etc, and has adequate cooling and realistic power ratings, you probably won’t hurt it by running 100%.
I ran my Jtech 2.8 for 2 years on 100% before i went CO2. That little sucker worked all the time
I was also not afraid to waste my 5.5W diode which I think was approaching the 3.5W, because as you say we end up with a CO2 laser sooner or later.
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