RGB laser projector is a jaw-dropping build

We can think of no better way to describe this laser projector project than Epic. [C4r0] is a student at Gdansk University of Technology and he’s been working on this projector for at least a couple of years. It uses several different laser diodes pulled out of DVD burners, Blu-Ray drives, and entertainment equipment (the green diode is from a disco laser).

In order to direct the beams he built a series of brackets that hold dichroic filters which reflect some wavelengths of light while allowing others to pass straight through. Each diode also needs a driver, most of which he built from scratch. And once the hardware has been designed and tested, what does one do with it? If you’re [C4r0] you build it into a money case with professional-looking results.

Don’t miss the video demo after the break. And make sure you have a rag ready to wipe up the drool before you look at his forum post linked above.

[Thanks Kodex]


  1. EllisGL says:

    I’m thinking rear projection…

  2. Grovenstien says:

    Very nice build. Clean and Tidy. I to have used a tool case to build x2 Green lasers, Check them out here at Photonlexicon. http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/showthread.php/15172-3-Day-Aluminium-Tool-Case-LASER-Build!?highlight=tool+box Was gunna send it to tips at HAD but didn’t think it worthy!

  3. Matthias Welsh says:

    Wow. The analog control loops and stuff this guy has put together for driving the scanners and like are incredible. I did a project for senior design working with LiDAR underwater and had to tackle a lot of the same problems but I wimped out and threw an xmega and a specialized timing chip. Awesome build.

  4. mattster says:

    I love seeing amazing analog stuff like this.

  5. Mike says:

    Way better than the Pink Floyd laser show we used to go to at the Ft Worth planetarium in the 80s.

  6. Someonecool says:

    holy crap!

    And he is from Poland, woo!!

    Also, those are some powerful lasers, especially the 300 mW Green diode.

  7. kukuta says:

    “epic” doesn’t evem begin to describe how awesome this is. amazing.

  8. Rafa says:

    Green diodes are not commercially available yet. The green lasers he used are DPSS, so the diode is IR really.

  9. abobymouse says:

    I’d love to see someone playing Vectrex games with this on a huge wall.

  10. Chris says:

    Laser vs. DLP/LCD projector is like …
    OLED vs. LCD
    Vector graphics vs. bitmaps

  11. Polymath says:

    What would it take to turn something like this into a regular display for a PC? Sort of a minimalist projector. I guess you would need a video driver to translate the images on screen to an all wire frame format. Puts me in mind of all the “futuristic” displays from the 80’s.

  12. steve says:


    sync that with some beats and you’ll be a rave god.

  13. warthog says:

    IMO, this is more impressive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_CHXwXvWvs

    And it was done over a year ago…

  14. raged says:

    very impressive build. Does it mention what the max resolution is?

  15. xeracy says:

    EIKI LC-X986 video projectors (and other models) use a dichroic cube prism to mix red, blue and green images (from single-colored LCDs). I did a test with laser pointers and was able to combine all three into a white(ish) beam. I would love to make a laser projector with this, but i feel like it is out of my range of ability/fabrication. Someone tell me its not as hard as it looks?

  16. cfavreau says:

    Youtube video of another example RGV laser from LCD projector parts. Simple hardware store parts.

  17. DMPhotog says:

    Looking around, if you want to buy laser diodes of various colors, check out this re-seller:


  18. Stan says:

    I made one of thees several years ago, however all I had were gas lasers: a 100mw multi-line argon-ion from which I obtained blue and green, using dichroic filters, and a 50mw Helium Neon. I had to use AOM’s to modulate the beams.I used a modified (dc coupled) 8 channel sound card to drive the galvos (20k) and aom’s through a home made amp board. With thees large power hungry lasers it was definitely not portable.
    However, all the hardware aside, my biggest frustration and stumbling block was to find good (free) software to draw the ILDA vector files. All I could find was laserboy which, in my opinion, is a joke (as in no GUI – no mouse support – in a drawing program? Really? :) ), but it does convert ILDA to .wav format for my sound card.
    Anyone have any software in mind, linux preferably, that would be cool.

  19. john says:

    yes, but can it blow up planets?

    no, seriously- this is an amazing build! seems to me something only an optics student with some academic resources could accomplish, so i’m not going to begin to wonder ‘gee, wonder if i could make one myself…’

    i am wondering- how far away can the surface be and still produce a visible message? could i spew my political agenda in virtual graffiti onto highway overpasses with one of these hiding in the bushes?

  20. Hirudinea says:

    The best thing to come out of Poland since Kielbasa (hey I like meat), this must be adapted to play Battlezone now!

  21. Kyle says:

    That is pretty awesome.

  22. The Timmy says:

    for anybody that doesn’t recognize that bit at the end, youtube search:

    Gigi D’Agostino – The Riddle

    also, “Bla Bla Bla” is a fun video too.

    very nice work, I’ve been wanting to get into DIY laser projectors beyond the simple spirograph displays.

  23. Luciano says:

    That’s just amazing.
    Impressive work.

  24. therian says:

    strange driver circuit

  25. Stevie says:

    I’m not sure why we’re allowed to leave a single word comment of ‘epic’ but aren’t allowed to leave a single word comment of ‘crap’ but anyway, I digress.


  26. KeithFromCanada says:

    WHAT?!?!?! Am I seriously the only person who instantly thought of the Star Wars arcade game running on some version of the ZVG?

  27. anyone says:

    wow just when im about to stop checking this site (because it’s 95% shit) they post gold like this.

    i’ve got like a million questions for this guy! great post hackaday!

  28. c4r0 says:

    Hi All, it’s me, c4r0

    I’m glad you like my project. You might be interested in checking my website: http://c4r0.skrzynka.org This particular project presented here is not published there due to lack of time, but there’s some interesting stuff though. For example the predecessors of this laser projector, as well as some high voltage toys and home-made x-ray :D

  29. Greenaum says:

    Just wondering how he gets the blue beam when he’s using a violet laser. Have I missed something?

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