Alright I finally got around to working with at least one of the lasers, this one specifically:
It’s the cheapest I got, the first to arrive and the least powerful in terms of mW. I seriously DO NOT recommend buying it. I’m just screwing around to see if this could actually work.
I have not tried to print with it yet, I have a lot going on work-wise.
Here’s the setup, it’s janky AF but it works. Crappy Chinese no-name laser module that’s too small for the 15mm hole, manual focus adjust, my dirty AF mirrors, and some duct-tape wrapped around the module to give it the diameter it needs to make it all work.
The laser did come with a cover for the back but I soldered on the wires from the FL1+ laser I destroyed without considering it and I’m too lazy ATM to redo the soldering. Order of ops matter, you’d think as a software / firmware engineer I’d know this by now
Extremely annoyingly there is like a tiny amount of current that is there and causes the laser to emit even when not printing. It does drop when the door is open (and not magnetically tricked into thinking it’s closed), however if the door is down even when the machine is not printing I still see the faint dot.
This picture looks terriable because I took it on a smartphone with a long exposure but IRL it actually looks pretty damn great.
Video is better:
The laser has a current adjust pot, which once adjusted by eye seems to be at a similar place to the FL1+ laser, although who knows, I’m super guessing on that.
One of the other lasers I bought does not have a current adjust pot and is set pretty dim. I need to look into it further but so far I’m pretty disappointed in it and don’t think it will be viable.
Annoyingly all the stuff for the Sony T038 diode I paid good money for hasn’t arrived yet. I believe that one, once assembled will likely be the winner but I won’t be able to say until it arrives.
Since making this post I’ve ordered a few more lasers, this one in particular seemed promising but after two weeks those guys just got around to shipping it from China so who knows how many weeks until it shows up.
Given the marginal success I’m having with the $5 craptastic laser, idk I might just go for a print this weekend and see what happens. I’ll happily use it until it dies if it actually works.