Boredom + Lasers = Projector!

[Krazer], a post-doctoral researcher at MIT, loves him some lasers. When out of boredom one afternoon he hatched an idea for a laser projector, it grew until a few years later he wound up with this RGB laser for a projector — Mark IV no less.

In addition to 3D-printing the parts, the major innovation with this version is the ability to re-align the lasers as needed; tweaking the vertical alignment is controlled by a screw on the laser mounts while the horizontal alignment is done the same way on the mirror mounts. This simplifies the design and reduces the possibility of part failure or warping over time. An additional aluminium base epoxied to the projector aims to keep the whole from deforming and adds stability. With the help of a mirror for the final alignment — sometimes you must use what you have— the projector is ready to put on a show.

True to the spirit of the art [Krazer] used all open source software for this iteration, and sharing his designs means you can build your own for around $200. As always with lasers take extra precautions to protect your eyes! This 200mW setup is no joke, but that doesn’t mean fun and games are out of the question.

7 thoughts on “Boredom + Lasers = Projector!

  1. Such a nice project… Gives a great inspiration to do something with my laser array.
    With a single mirror Galvo per X/y axis, using this for vector graphics would make a good light show…. or game… Remember vector graphics gaming?
    “As always with lasers take extra precautions to protect your eyes! This 200mW setup is no joke,”

    How about a commercially available 50W laser “Digital Light Processor” (DLP) projector (OK 10W per laser and 20W for the control/power circuits)?
    I’ve fixed one for a colleague that had a failing laser module (10W single silicon Slice diode) and would draw too much current from the boost/buck converter and ate through a few sets of MOSFETs during repair…. I raised the current sense resistor to lower the current 0.02-Ohm and it lives (albeit less green)… Still enough to give a permanent Disney tattoo on the now displaced retina.

    Another unit had a failed (by self Laser etching) DLP micro-mirror array IC, It has an array of 2W per laser and I have yet to find out how many colors it has… seems to have 5 per color set… Including Purple/UV for the phosphor wheel.
    It also has a 20W LED cooled by a peltier-effect cooler …. I suspect the laser array is around 60W… I’ll find out before lunch is over. However this unit is for parts and laser fun… I’ll try to keep both my eyes or the remaining one ;)


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