Eye protection specifications?

Just in case my Pro unit comes sooner that I expect ---- What are the specs on the required eye protection goggles? I assume a pair will not be sent with the Pro.


If the glowforge legal team won’t let them answer, the tech specs say, “Custom CO2 laser tube operating at 10,600 nm averages” so look for laser safety glasses that block around that wave length. I found some pretty quickly that block the 9000 - 11000 nm range by searching for CO2 laser safety glasses. As a bonus the site has a wide selection of very dorky and unfashionable frames, but that describes me well so I’m happy.

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ThorLabs makes good safety goggles. The LG6 are the ones you want for a CO2 laser. Some suitably dorky styles available.

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$152 a pair still seems a pretty steep add on.

Here’s a site that has some pretty reasonable prices. Laser Safety Industries.

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Your eyes, your choice!

Can we have the exact wavelength @dan?

Even though you’ll probably be all ok without protective glasses, I think its common sense to wear protection around a laser at any W, even if its shielded. Its not like you get a second chance if something happens.

My prescription eyeglasses have polycarbonate lenses; will they provide usable protection when using the pro?

From flying shrapnel… quite probably :grin: However they haven’t been tested for specific wavelengths of light. If you’ve bought a pro and will be leaving the doors open you should either test your glasses (no idea how that’s done) or pick up some laser glasses rated for the correct wavelengths.

So this is actually on teh technical specs page:

Custom Laser — Custom CO2 laser tube operating at 10,600 nm averages 40W for Basic Model and 45W for Pro Model Laser Quality — TEM00 tube produces smaller spot size and greater power density, increasing engraving precision and cutting speeds Fixed Alignment — Factory calibrated optical system does not require user calibration Sealed Optics — Enclosed optical path with cleanable and replaceable windows protects the laser optics to avoid cleaning, replacement, or realignment

You can find it part way down under Laser System so I’d say 10,600 nm

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yeah, added it to tech specs at the suggestion of folks here.

I can’t say ‘use the cheap ones’ but I can say ‘definitely do some research before spending $150 on plastic glasses’.


^^^^^ hahahahahahaha ^^^^^^

Best answer ever. :smiley:

Thanks :slight_smile: I didn’t know that they updated the tech specs.

Ran across these… not super expensive and OD 7+ rated for 10,600nm wavelength: http://www.certified-laser-eyewear.com/co2-laser-safety-glasses-modern/

Those ought to be fine, right?

Prefer the fit over style so I can wear my regular glasses at the same time. Added side protection too! OD7+ is really good rating.

I am compelled to ask again about the prescription glasses; polycarbonate is polycarbonate as near as I can tell, and it is also my understanding that polycarbonate is opaque to UV light. . In fact, the lenses my glasses have were marketed as providing complete protection against UV-A and UV-B. I don’t want to take unnecessary risks, but also don’t want to pay a ton of money for something that won’t give me any better protection than the ones already perched on my nose!

@B_and_D_T That’s the wrong end of the spectrum. The glowforge operates in the Infrared portion of the spectrum. If it helps the spectrum goes from xrays at really short wave lengths, through ultra violet to the visible colors of the rainbow violet,indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red then to Infra red at longer wavelengths.

decreasing wavelength would reverse that order and for the visible spectrum probably be the order most of us memorized.

The UV rating is meaningless in this context since CO2 laser operate at the IR end of the spectrum and that is what you need to be concerned about. The Glowforge spec is 10,600 nm, and what we call UV is usually considered the range between 400 nm to 100 nm.

I don’t think anyone here is going to feel comfortable saying “you are safe with those”, so you will be best off doing your own research. If you feel concerned then I would recommend you buy glasses whose manufacturer has specified them for this use.

Geez, I knew that too! :blush: However, I don’t think my question is entirely without merit in spite of that misdirection; I was sure I saw somewhere in these threads that the reason polycarbonate can’t be cut nicely with a laser is because it absorbs the wavelength too completely, and even that the ‘glass’ lid of the unit itself may actually be made of polycarbonate.
That said, I did do a bit of research, and it does appear that for protective eye wear, the secret sauce may be as much in the coatings on the lenses as in the material of lenses themselves. I guess I need to find something that will go over my glasses. .

The price on the “Laser Safety Industries” is reasonable, until you factor in shipping. Shipping for one pair of $39 glasses to Canada is $149.00.

Has anyone found a supplier of safety glasses in Canada?

Is anyone in the Ottawa region and want to order a few of these and only pay shipping once?