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Laser projector

Charlie M

New Member
Hi there. I am looking to either buy or make a simple and cheap laser projector which will allow me to accurately project a shape / line from my computer onto a wall. I though that I'd be able to find something to buy but I'm struggling to find anything. Does anyone have any ideas where I might find something suitable, or how I can make one?
Thanks. Charlie


Active Member
Do you mean the kind of thing that just scans a single laser beam to create geometric patterns, something like this:

They generally just have two stepper motors mounted orthogonally with a mirror on each; the first mirror sweeps along the second mirror to give you the X scan, and the second mirror reflects out of the fixture to give the Y scan (or with X and Y vice-verca, of course).

It depends on your skill, facilities and enthusiasm for building really - if this is a means-to-an-end, then I presume you'll want the quickest and easiest solution, with the least building involved. Are you interested in the metalwork/fabrication aspect, or is that something you'd rather avoid?

It would be fairly streightforward to build one from scratch if you have the facilities, but if not the quickest option I think would be to buy a cheap disco light like the one linked above and modify it.
The modification would probably involve throwing away the original motor drivers and installing a couple of stepper driver modules (cheaply available on eBay). How to interface that to your computer then depends on your preferences and the features/performance you require.

What interface options are available on your computer, and do you have any experiance with microcontrollers?

Charlie M

New Member
Hi Tomizett. Thanks for your response. Sorry for my slow reply. Quite honestly I have very limited experience with this kind of thing. I am currently working to develop a Proof of Concept prototype for a gadget I want to commercialise and am hence looking to find some experts out there who can help me put something together. If you're interested in potentially helping then please let me know and I can give you a call to discuss further. Thanks


Active Member
I did wonder if you where still here... I'm up to the neck in my own projects (as always) so I'm not really in a position to much other than share some ideas here. My advice would be to put as much of your thought process as you can here so as to let as many people as possible chip in - there are a lot of very knowledgable people here, including design engineers with experience in developing commercial products.

So... if you're talking about a device like the one I linked to that just shines a single laser beam, then I'd recommend that you try to get hold of a cheap one (perhaps even a broken one) to play with. This will give you an idea of the geometry of how they are set up as well as a feel for the kind of precision, rigidity etc that will be needed in the machanical assembly, and the kinds of speeds and moving masses you'll be working with. As I say, this should let you get a "feel" for the problem and help you visualise what you'll need to build - at least in the machanical domain.

As I suggested above, if you start with a ready-made mechanical assembly, you can move straight on to the electronic and software design. The Aduino seems to be most people's go-to choice for prototyping microprocessor systems and I believe that you can get motor controllers which will just plug in to them - minimal wiring required.
I should say though that Arduinos aren't my bag so I can't talk with any authority - I'm sure someone will have a recommendation for the specific boards you should buy?

The reason why I'm trying to pin down exactly what you mean by a "laser projector" is that the phrase laser projector can also refer to something else; that is, a video projector which uses a UV laser as its light source, in stead of a conventional lamp. These projectors are raster devices and use a colour wheel and an LCD (or it it a DLP... not sure?) and are a completely different thing to what I'm visualising.
So before anyone can make any useful comments, we need be certain of which sort of machine you have in mind!

Charlie M

New Member
Hi Tomizett. Thanks for your response and thoughts. The single line laser projector is exactly what I am thinking of coupled with an Arduino/Raspberry Pi. I'll follow your advice, buy one and have a fiddle and then probably be back for more advice


Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
A laser printer has a multi-sided spinning mirror that directs the laser beam. I considered using 9 of these Mini LASER Head, 635nm, <5mw
Sale: $2.25 to project a line of dot matrix text on a wall or larger surface outside.

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