Use my laser engraver outside?

I’m brand new to laser engraving. Was so happy to get an open frame 24x24 diode laser and was feeling pretty smart by assembling it myself, downloading Lightburn, and having great success with my first few very small projects (I’m new to laser engraving but have lots of experience with 3D PLA printing, computerized machines that use SVG, etc.)

So far my projects have been ones where the laser is going for < 5minutes (personalizing a cutting board for example). I have a big window behind unit and open it while running. However, I now realize that’s not near good enough and I need to vent (misleading that photos you see of these open frame lasers don’t show exhaust systems).

Anyway - my question is this. If I were to keep my laser engraver inside the house when not in use and then roll it outside (I have a nice, big & flat fenced driveway behind my garage) when I’m using it - would this work and then I wouldn’t need to vent outside because I’d already be outside? My plan is really only to use it a few times a year for small batches of gifts - for example, maybe personalize 5 or 6 wood keychains at Christmas, personalize a cutting board for someone’s special occasion, etc.

I’m thinking I’d feel safer not running it in my house at all and as long as I worked in a big open outdoor area that might be sufficient for my purposes.

I’ve read so many warnings about toxins and particles and fumes that it’s now making me almost afraid to use something I was originally so excited about.

Anyone else use their machine outside without other venting? Thoughts?

Thank you.

There’s no inherent issue with using the laser outside. Your intuition is definitely correct that it would be preferable to letting it run in an enclosed space.

The only concern I’d highlight is that you’d now be exposed to the elements outside. So make sure you’re accounting for weather. Strong window could be a nuisance. Burning in direct sunlight and in hot weather may have your laser running quite hot which could shorten the life of your laser module. Running in very cold temperatures may result in condensation forming on the electronics and mechanical components.

berainlb - Thank you so much for the response and advice. Since I’m only looking to do ‘batches’ a few times per year, I will definitely look to do this only on nice clear days. We live in Texas, so not a lot of super cold days anyway - but would definitely avoid those. The area in our driveway that I would use has a very large tree canopy overhead so blocks direct sunlight (but plenty tall enough not to be a fire concern).

When not in use, I will keep my machine in my indoor craft room covered against dust.

I think I’m going to give this a try. I have a large rolling table that’s wide enough for my laptop to sit beside it and of course, I’ll never leave unattended (and always wear my laser glasses).

I would still appreciate if anyone else has input and either way, I’ll post back to this forum to let you know how it goes.

Some desktop lasers have “flame sensors” that are just glorified light sensors. They’re calibrated for indoor use and tend to regard sunlight, even through a window, as a catastrophic conflagration.

If your laser doesn’t have such a sensor, then … no problem!

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Using your laser outside will threaten everyone (man, child, animal, vehicle, etc) around you to the possibility of laser light exposure. When I first started, I built a rough enclosure around mine with sheet cardboard to keep my laser light from escaping. On top of the clean and heat issues, the exposure is a very real and great risk to have.



Most -if not all- of the “flame sensors” in budget lasers are not nearly selective enough to even tell the difference between flame and halogen light.
Even some bright and/or flickering LEDs seem to trigger them.

When the summer is over and I probably have time to tinker with mine (xTool D1 Pro), I’ll try to find something to make the flame sensor more selective.
On these xTool products the flame sesor is truly a major PITA.

^And this.

Do Yourself a favour and build an enclosure for Your laser.
With an enclosure, the fume extraction and filtration if needed will become a much easier task as well.


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I build boxes for my diodes laser and put a cheap exhaust fan to a hose then had that hood to some wood that I can close my window to. when not in use I pull it out and close the window. when in use it blows the fumes out of the house. also, I allows for my eye protection. these open diodes are not safe. someone walks in on you and they look the wrong place not good! I have grandkids so I made it where the windows are on the top so the little ones cant look in.

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Thank you to everyone for their very thoughtful responses.

I’ve decided to purchase a laser engraver enclosure with exhaust fan with a 4 inch diameter exhaust that I’ll exhaust out my window. The only thing I’ll have to figure out is where I can get the circle cut out of the wood to hold the exhaust pipe (I read that Home Depot will cut wood purchased there - but only straight cuts - but I’ll contact a local MakerSpace or neighborhood forum to see if maybe I can find someone to help with this).

I did not realize how important it was to have the extra layer of eye protection - I guess I thought as long as I was the only one using it and I always wore my laser glasses that I’d be good - but I’m glad you all set me straight on that!

Thank you everyone!

Note: This enclosure does not have a NOT laser safe window. I hang a heavy towel over the face while the laser is in use.

COMGROW DESKTOP LASER ENGRAVER ENCLOSURE 29.527.535.4" For various 3D printers | eBay