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Old 03-21-2011, 06:09 AM #1
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Exclamation Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

Hello Everyone,

I just signed up but have been browsing the forums for quite awhile now. So anyways, I have recently been really tempted to build a laser, especially one that could burn stuff. I have seen many diys using the AixiZ housing and dvd diode and so on. This was cool and all but I really wanted a little more power from one.. Anyways I was bored today and started digging around the house looking for anything that would contain a laser diode that I could use.. or anything lasery for that matter. lol After tearing apart several dvd burners and taking the diodes, I stumbled upon an old Apple Laser Printer! I started to dismantle it and lone behold EPIC LASER CONTRAPTIONS!

Old Apple laser printer


Although at first I was discouraged to read on the warning label that it was an invisible laser, once I lifted the cover I saw some useful stuff.


The laser housing looks like it could make a great laser with it being a large piece of metal which will act as a heat sink, and the lens that is in it.



So basically I am thinking I could make a really powerful laser out of this? I am a noob so I need your guys help here. What diode should I get for it? I know how to directly wire up a diode but it would be nice to use the circuit board too, I see that it has two of those pot things which I assume I can adjust to get even more power out of it? Also what type of battery and anything else I should know? It would mean alot to me if you could set me in the right direction here. Thanks!

Sidenote: The other stuff in the laser box could possibly make a pretty cool diy laser show??


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Old 03-21-2011, 06:20 AM #2
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradley7r View Post
Sidenote: The other stuff in the laser box could possibly make a pretty cool diy laser show??
Definitely the Hexagonal mirror is awesome for liquid sky effect. Go to rog8811's site to see what i mean. No idea about what laser is in there pretty sure its IR.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:30 AM #3
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

Yes it is IR, but I would like to use the housing and just replace the diode with a nice high powered one
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:16 AM #4
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

I've got a few of those types of laser assemblies as well as the diode holder and heatsink. They do hold a laser diode, but you need to do some work finding a lens that will work with them. The lens is made for IR, so it may not work for anything except for that and red diodes. If you get it to work decently, let us know.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:35 PM #5
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

That's a very nice lens assembly, does anyone know if this is common in laser printers?
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:24 PM #6
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

I suppose they are pretty common in older (bulky) laser printers. I'm not sure whats inside the newer models, but it must be a lot smaller.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:27 PM #7
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

Yea this thing is ancient, so any suggestions on what laser diode to get? Also how would I go about using the circuit board and what battery?
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:23 PM #8
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefan View Post
That's a very nice lens assembly, does anyone know if this is common in laser printers?
If you can't find an old laser printer, you can buy them for $10 at Surplus Shed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradley7r View Post
Yea this thing is ancient, so any suggestions on what laser diode to get? Also how would I go about using the circuit board and what battery?
Try a red first. I'd also forego the circuit board; it's probably made for low-power IR laser diodes and doesn't have much ability to source high current, nor provide sufficient voltage for visible diodes. Plus the mounting usually doesn't require the circuit board and it'll be easy to just put wires on the diode.

Last edited by Bionic-Badger; 03-21-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:41 PM #9
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

Remember that unless you can reverse engineer and figure out how that circuit board works, then you should use a driver that you *know* will work for what you want to do. That said, don't just hook up any laser diode to batteries EVER. You *always* need a driver (with few exceptions). Otherwise, you will end up overdriving and killing your diode. Trust me, it sucks.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:58 PM #10
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

Umm... i was under the impression the diode in laser printers was 1+ Watts of IR?

*shrugs* i'm probably wrong.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:40 PM #11
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

the ir diode is most likely low power, the most fun things you might find in a printer are the hexagonal mirror on a motor and the large plastic piece infront of it, shine a laser into it you get a zig zag laser line in it
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:11 PM #12
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Exclamation Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

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Umm... i was under the impression the diode in laser printers was 1+ Watts of IR?

*shrugs* i'm probably wrong.
That would be a paper burner.

maybe 30-50mW ? if you're lucky.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:47 PM #13
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

I took apart an old apple printer very similar to that one.

All laser printers will have very similar optics. low power IR diode charges the photosensitive imaging drum, that's all the laser does.

best part in that box is the mirror. That cube thing might be interesting too.

Also, the mirror that reflects the final beam will probably be a metalized glass front surface mirror. That you could snap into bits and put one on top of a motor to make a laser tunnel.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:10 PM #14
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

Man that hexagonal mirror would be really sweet for a liquid sky effect!
*puts old laser printer on list of things to pull from garbage*
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:19 PM #15
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

Well at least I got some cool laser show effect ideas. So no go on the laser itself? Like if I bought a red diode that is pretty powerful and used the lens that is in the housing it wouldn't work well? I really want to make burning laser with this or something... help??
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:26 PM #16
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Default Re: Epic Find! Potential Cool Laser Project? Help? Check it out

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Well at least I got some cool laser show effect ideas. So no go on the laser itself? Like if I bought a red diode that is pretty powerful and used the lens that is in the housing it wouldn't work well? I really want to make burning laser with this or something... help??
na-ah dump the laser, your better of with a red diode and aixis module even with the aixis plastic lens........ and a driver ofcourse


OOOH i almost forgot!!! you also need goggles

Last edited by Xtrm2Rick; 03-21-2011 at 08:31 PM.
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