Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Laser chisel

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The laser chisel is a hand-held tool, connected fibreoptically to a very hefty CO2 laser. Within the body of the chisel, the beam is first broadened before emerging from a cylindrical lens with its axis at 90° to the length of the chisel.

The lens arrangement ensures that a line of intense laser light is formed a couple of millimetres in front of the tool. Beyond this distance, the light diverges again, becoming relatively harmless a few centimetres away from the tool.

The laser chisel brings to bear all the traditional skills of sculpting, but can be applied to metals, plastics, stone, wood - indeed anything that can be vaporised.

[Use for hair removal or tattooing not advised. Keep out of the reach of children, and do not let them use the laser chisel either.]

MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 12 2015


       If it would vaporize marble it would really take the work out of cleaning up after a day of stone carving. Better have a good respirator.
cudgel, Sep 12 2015

       I volunteer to field test this for you.   

       So no hammer then or just really photonically small taps.   

       Aside: A better society would have it's children using more dangerous tools with care, respect and exceptional tuition. But then the goal isn't to lift your fellow citizen higher than yourself is it?
wjt, Sep 12 2015

       Yes, well. What this idea lacks is an opening rant about the loss of craftsmanship in the maker generation.   

       You would want to use a fibre laser, not a glass tube. I think handheld fibreoptic lasers do exist, used in some (retinal?) surgeries.
mitxela, Sep 13 2015

       In order to reach cutting intensity, you're almost definitely going to have to go with a point, not a line. The way to turn this into a chisel would be to scan this line across the width of the chisel at an appropriate cutting speed. (Combined with appropriate water cooling for the mirror and fiber optics.
MechE, Sep 14 2015

       I'd go with that.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 14 2015


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