66% or better

Win a laser cutter by playing with light

Buildlounge and Full Spectrum Laser have decided to give away a laser cutter to whoever comes up with the best project involving light.

The contest is in part sponsored by  adafruit industries. The focus of the contest is light – just design something around light, submit it, and you’re in the drawing for your own laser cutter. A solar oven, photophone, solar fiber-optic lighting and hacking apart an old overhead projector are suggested on the contest page, but the winning project will probably be much cooler.

Entries are due by January 1st. First prize is Full Spectrum Laser’s 40 Watt laser cutter, second is an awesome green laser pointer from Wicked Lasers, and third prize is an EL wire starter kit from Adafruit. Entries are due by January 1st, so we expect to see a lot of awesome submissions on the Hack A Day tip line between now and New Years.

Comments

  1. adam says:

    does it have to be the visible spectrum or is the entire EM spectrum open for the contest?

    lol darn optoelectronics class

  2. jordan says:

    Well now I have no excuse not to finish the writeup on the laser project I’ve been doing this year. Cool!

  3. jeditalian says:

    i have good idea, probably been done but i haven’t seen it in action. it involves red green & blue lasers and spinning mirrors. yellow lasers too if you can get ahold of those. Homemade Laser TV. vivid colors, high visibility, and the ability to project on surfaces such as clouds, fog, mist, smoke (which a normal projector could do, but lasers = cooler.) sure i want a laser cutter, but I can’t make the laser tv/projector and it’s something i’d really like to see on HaD.

    • jordan says:

      The challenge with that idea is that you have to set up dichroic mirrors for combining the coloured beams into a single one, and fabricate perfectly aligned mirrors. then prohibitive cost of coloured lasers that can be rapidly modulated arises as well. standard green DPSS lasers don’t respond well to being turned on and off really quickly so you end up needing expensive units with TTL or analog controllers.

      you also don’t need yellow lasers to accomplish a full colour spectrum, just good diodes of the right RGB wavelengths.

      I have been pondering this sort of idea for a while but until I graduate I don’t have the funds for fancy laser units.

      • xeracy says:

        Instead of dichro glass, find an old lcd projector that combines Red, Green, and Blue images with a prism block. I gutted one from an Eiki LC-x986, though im sure you can find a similar model for parts on ebay. I tested this with red, green, and blue-ray (purple) laser pointers and was able to get a cohesive beam.

      • notmyfault2000 says:

        Instead of modulating the lasers themselves, what about modulating a filter of some kind for each beam? You won’t get as good a contrast then, though, depending on the filter.

      • jordan says:

        @xeracy, great tip! i will keep a look out for prisms like that :D

    • meatman says:

      Tv and projectors use Red Green and Blue. only the wierd Tv’s use yellow.

    • evs says:

      I’m not sure you’re aware that that already exists? that’s how there are cellphones that have tiny little projectors in them, they are three lasers representing 3 primaries, combined with a prism block, scanned with a small mirror mounted on horizontal and vertical galvos, and modulated with an acoustic-optical modulator. all of that could be done relatively cheaply for the hobbyist except for the modulator.

  4. grenadier says:

    I can use special light?

  5. ferm says:

    I only paid $150 or a little more for the shipping of my Full Spectrum laser… Not 300-500.

  6. thelackey3326 says:

    I regularly use sunlight to heat up the inside of my car. Been doing this for years, now. Should I just leave my shipping address here? When can I expect my laser thingy?

  7. third says:

    Woohoo! A contest that’s open to people outside the US! A light hack it is!

  8. clint eastwo0d says:

    i’ve got sunshine in a bag!

  9. Kirill Obraztsov says:

    how about an ultraviolet decontamination system that consists of a spherical chamber with a door and a glass bottom but the glass platform is slightly below the middle of the sphere. on the interior walls, there would be a sled mounted UV laser with a lens that forms the beam into a line. this laser can go 360 degrees vertically and horizontally. the glass platform will have 2 notches in it so the laser can go through the bottom. the laser will be just above the platform when moving horizontally.note that the wide angle beam should cover the whole object. lets say you want to disinfect an apple. you would put it in the chamber, turn it on and the laser will scan the apple from all sides and will disinfect it. perhaps in a larger scale this could be used as a type of decontaminater. im not a student at some fancy collage or anything, im just a guy with creative ideas. i don’t know if this will work or not but don’t hate lol.

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