123Splat: I can relate to that, there is no shortage of other people out there trying to cut & melt with cheap or recycled parts. Thank you for the link for me to explore. I would actually need a separate room in my house filled with optical tools in order to build a big-boy laser myself.
Boardburner2: A simple fan can remove the gas and smoke away from the surface of a burning surface, I don't know why I see so many demonstrations and that's not done. It would take some control between vacuuming the smoke just enough so it does not cool the surface thats trying to be burnt.
I know how a good CO2 machine is made, and it takes a large space to house the power supply, and maintenance is also needed for the mirrors that must be calibrated. I am not exploring a CO2 option, to buy or build, that project is outside of my tooling means and exceeds my budget.
I am interested in knowing more about the fibre coupled uv light source. I am confused. How would photo-emulsion activate WITHOUT a light source? Are you saying I can just use a simple uv diode though the fibre, instead of a laser diode ?
Here are some successful inspirational links:
Laser rastorize PCB using cheap diode and linuxcnc spinning joint
2 laser diodes focused to 1 beam
My favorite: 900 ma laser diode 453nm burns a visible pattern
I have some more examples and links I can give, I can't find right now and can post them as I find them again. From the 3 I posted, you can get an idea what I'm looking to do from those examples. Yes, there could be some "SMOKE AND MIRROR" trickery, of course. But none of us can dismiss, a cheap burning laser diode is strong enough to cut electric tape, burn wood, and melt black plastic.
I feel with enough trial and error in different substrates, acrylic, latex, enamel, etc... There are so many untested chemistries of paint, glue, emulsion, wax.... So instead of building a more powerful expensive laser, I will be just testing the reaction to different coatings on the copper.
HEAT and ambient room temperature effect the power on burning lasers. Everything has a flash point, and if it's just heated below flash when laser hits will cause a reaction, just the same way the X & Y axis uv-curing lasers work on the additive 3d printing in submersed liquid uv curing epoxy.