Class 1 laser systems should be designed to contain any stray laser energy to prevent user exposure and injury. According to the industry standard, laser-safe enclosures are constructed from metal thick enough to prevent laser beam penetration. You should avoid systems made from plastic, because they cannot effectively prevent the beam from burning through the enclosure and causing significant harm.
In addition to the enclosure material, you should make sure all enclosure doors or access panels have overlapping flanges to prevent direct line of sight into the enclosure. These “labyrinth seals” are necessary to prevent any laser energy from escaping. Systems without these flanges cannot truly be considered laser-safe. So, be sure to check all enclosure openings.
-Thea Sander, Universal Laser Systems
This information originally appears in a Universal Laser System blog post.