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.
45 thoughts on “RGB Laser Projector Is A Jaw-dropping Build”
I’m thinking rear projection…
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!
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.
I love seeing amazing analog stuff like this.
Way better than the Pink Floyd laser show we used to go to at the Ft Worth planetarium in the 80s.
And he is from Poland, woo!!
Also, those are some powerful lasers, especially the 300 mW Green diode.
“epic” doesn’t evem begin to describe how awesome this is. amazing.
Green diodes are not commercially available yet. The green lasers he used are DPSS, so the diode is IR really.
I’d love to see someone playing Vectrex games with this on a huge wall.
Yeah! I may be a bit rusty, but if the world ever needs me to climb into a triangle and shoot asteroids, I’m ready!
HAH! sounds awsome, i did not know many people still knew about the Vectrex. I still have mine, even though it needs a repair :/
The vectrex was amazing! So many hours playing Solar Quest and Spike!
Laser vs. DLP/LCD projector is like …
OLED vs. LCD
Vector graphics vs. bitmaps
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.
By the looks of it the lasers aren’t modulated, they only turn on and off. Which is why you only see red, green, blue, magenta, yellow, cyan and white. It’ll probably be too slow for PWM, and I’m not sure if the lasers he used are compatible with direct analog modulation.
That is, if you wanted a raster display. If you were thinking of a vector display you could use some kind of real-time vectorisation algorithm. Or you might be able to hook directly into OpenGL or DirectX and display beautiful wireframe Crysis ;)
as you can’t pwm the lasers, maybe use electronic shutters to pwm the beam. Not sure if theyd be fast enough tho.
wire frame crysis… you may have just created a new genre
Just out of curiosity. Is there a way to set the sample rate on a camera to sync up with the screen or projection being recorded? You do get used to simply writing off a flickering image to sync rate issues but its still annoying.
Thats where a DLP chip comes in handy.
sync that with some beats and you’ll be a rave god.
IMO, this is more impressive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_CHXwXvWvs
And it was done over a year ago…
It has only one colour :) I can’t really see what should make it more impressive.
It has analog power control, so it has many more colors. All of them are shades of green, though ;)
(Yes, an RGB version is on my TODO list)
very impressive build. Does it mention what the max resolution is?
I’m not an expert but… it’s analog so…
It uses an 8 bit controller for the galvos so it would have 256 vertical positions and 256 horizontal positions. As Savannah said, it’s sorta analog.
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?
Youtube video of another example RGV laser from LCD projector parts. Simple hardware store parts.
Looking around, if you want to buy laser diodes of various colors, check out this re-seller:
the site is way overpriced for DIY projects
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.
LaserBoy is still alive and well!
I really don’t understand the motivation behind a post like this.
Poster says he uses LaserBoy to convert ILDA frame sets to wave files. This alone is not at all trivial. It requires converting a set of vector image frames into time optimized samples with control over scanner velocity, dwell time in corners and proper time delay between the scanner and color signals. That is not a joke.
LaserBoy IS ALSO a laser art creation tool. You can draw in full color 3D vector art, render math figures and text in several different fonts. You can also apply frame and frame set effects to create animations.
LaserBoy also opens DXF files and folders full of DXF files.
It compiles and runs in Windows, Linux and Mac OSX and provides the exact same interface on all platforms.
LaserBoy is the original project that started the whole idea of using an inexpensive, DC modified, multi-channel sound card aka LaserBoy DAC.
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?
The best thing to come out of Poland since Kielbasa (hey I like meat), this must be adapted to play Battlezone now!
That is pretty awesome.
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.
That’s just amazing.
strange driver circuit
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.
WHAT?!?!?! Am I seriously the only person who instantly thought of the Star Wars arcade game running on some version of the ZVG?
Of course you’re not the only one to think that.
I was thinking along the lines of Tempest. :)
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!
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
Just wondering how he gets the blue beam when he’s using a violet laser. Have I missed something?
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