I'm new to this forum, and new to lasers in general. But I'm familiar with electronics in general.
I have a small CNC (Shapeoko) that I want to convert into a small laser cutter/engraver. Searching through ebay for high power laser diodes, I found this 8W 915nm laser (http://www.ebay.com/itm/110959792691). According to the datasheet, it should be driven at 10A@1.8V. I contacted the seller to explain my inteded use and to see if he could source a low-cost driver that was capable of driving this laser and he told me that the cheapest driver he was aware of cost some $500, which I think is way too high. Though, he did say that he got asked about that frequently for the same use I have in mind.
Given that the laser comes coupled with a 1 meter long 100-micrometer fiber, I think it would be suitable for the kind of application I am interested in (mainly, cutting plastics and engraving wood or soft-metals). The package can also easily be coupled to an off the shelf heatsink to dissipate heat.
How feasible would it be to build a driver capable of driving this diode while also able to be triggered from a TTL line (so it can be turned on and off by a microcontroller) for under $150?
I can design the PCB and build the driver myself if provided with the circuit diagram. Heck, I'd be willing to take the plunge and make a small run of kits for such a driver and sell them almost at cost to get things started. I'm pretty sure there are many other home "makers" like myself who would be interested in such a driver as it can convert their home CNCs and 3D printers into laser cutters relatively easily.