Tornado lamp made with lasers

[Styropyro] did a great job of taking common parts and making an interesting item. He calls this his Tornado lamp, and it’s made with stuff you probably have around the house — well you might have to substitute more common glassware for that Erlenmeyer flask.

The bulk of the hack is in the base. You’ll find a laser diode pointed at a small scrap of mirror. That mirror is mounted on the center of a small case fan, giving the tornadic effect when spinning. To make everything fit just right, the laser is pointed horizontally, with the fan/mirror at a 45 degree angle. The beam points up through a hole in the project box and illuminates the liquid in the flask. That liquid is water doped with a substance that fluoresces. In this shot it’s some fluorescein, but we did mention you can do this with stuff from around the house. [Styropyro] demonstrates the use of liqud from some highlighting markers as a substitute.

If you’re decoration a mad scientist’s lab this is a perfect companion for a Jacob’s ladder.

9 thoughts on “Tornado lamp made with lasers

  1. That’s got real potential. Turn it in to a magnetic stirring device as well for a real vortex and the laser should just add to it.

  2. Why waste all that time gutting markers or dropping cash on flourescien when some extremely cheap tonic water will give you that exciting Nuka-Cola glow?

  3. Do you get those nice swirling/flickering effects in real life as well or is that just an artifact from the cameras framerate vs the speed of the mirror?

  4. It’s nice.

    He can also narrow the vortex and add a second mirror on the top of the flask for some more effects.

    @matseng
    I would say artifact.

  5. I suspect the cool swirling effect is an artifact of the frame rate of the camera and the rotating beam.
    Then, however, a simple (and quiet) lens that spreads the beam will produce nearly the same effect as the spinning mirror.

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