Industrial laser developments in China’s Wuhan Optical Valley

After decades of development, China’s laser industry has become a high-tech industry with industrial scale. After decades of development, China’s laser industry has become a high-tech industry with industrial scale. Domestic laser enterprises are mainly distributed in the provinces of Hubei, Beijing, Jiangsu, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, with four laser industrial bases centered in them—the central China base, Bohai Region base, Yangtze River Delta base, and Pearl River Delta base, which have about 300 enterprises combined. Our estimate of the output value of the 2015 laser industry is nearly 80 billion yuan (about $12.2 billion), including 35 billion yuan (about $5.3 billion) from laser equipment and 45 billion yuan (about $6.8 billion) from the heavy, electronic, light, medical treatment, and military industries. The major laser industry enterprises in Wuhan are HG Laser, Chutian Laser, Unity Laser, Golden Laser, and Raycus Laser. Shenzhen’s major enterprises are Han’s Laser, Sunshine Laser, GD Laser, and UW Laser; in Beijing, there is Daheng Optics and BIOET11; and in the east of China, there is Unity Prima and Eastern Laser. The eight Chinese-listed laser ...

A while ago, [Marco] mounted a powerful laser diode to a CNC machine in an attempt

A while ago, [Marco] mounted a powerful laser diode to a CNC machine in an attempt to etch copper clad board and create a few PCBs. The results weren’t that great, but the technique was promising. In a new experiment, [Marco] purchased a very cheap laser engraver kit from China, and now this technique looks like it might be a winner. [Marco] sourced his laser engraver from Banggood, and it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect for a CNC machine that costs under $200. The frame is aluminum extrusion, the motors are off-the-shelf steppers, the electronics are just Pololu-like drivers, and the software is somewhere between abysmal and terrible. Nevertheless, this machine can cut wood, leather, fabric, and can remove spray paint with a big blue laser diode. To create his PCBs, [Marco] is first cleaning a piece of copper clad board, coating it with spray paint, then blasting it with a laser. The preferred software for this is LaserWeb, and the results are pretty good for a cheap machine. There are a few extra steps to creating the PCB once the board has been coated with paint and blasted with a laser. This process still requires etching in either ferric chloride or some other m...