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Old 03-20-2017, 09:22 PM #1
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Default How would you build a 500mw laser level

Thanks for looking guys, I am hoping you will be able to offer some recommendations. I need steering. I want to build a laser leveler that:

1. shoots a single (horizontal) line at min 500mw (532nm) visible on a wall outdoors, visible in indirect sun at least.
2. that can be powered continuously for hours. Assume needing a corded laser
3. A mount with which I can tilt the beam up or down as I work up the wall (with siding/tile/stone) but will remain level horizontally.

I would be very grateful for how I could make this work! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.


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Old 03-20-2017, 09:54 PM #2
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

Quote:
Originally Posted by willinger View Post
Thanks for looking guys, I am hoping you will be able to offer some recommendations. I need steering. I want to build a laser leveler that:

1. shoots a single (horizontal) line at min 500mw (532nm) visible on a wall outdoors, visible in indirect sun at least.
2. that can be powered continuously for hours. Assume needing a corded laser
3. A mount with which I can tilt the beam up or down as I work up the wall (with siding/tile/stone) but will remain level horizontally.

I would be very grateful for how I could make this work! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
You might wanna check the laser levels that are available already, the cheap ones are crap but if you spend a decent amount you can get some good ones.

Why 500mW? That's way too excessive for a level IMO.

A 50mW 532nm module might be your best bet if you're really set on building it yourself. What kinda tool selection do you have access to? Personally I would go about designing something in CAD and then 3D print that would be useful to your application, that way everything is done to a couple hundred microns of accuracy. You shouldn't have to worry about the heat from that thought if you really will be running it for hours continuously you might wanna consider a fan or some other sort of cooling idea.

Another idea that comes to mind is machining an aluminum enclosure, though that would require some precise tools if you're trying to make a level, making a hole with a hand drill and calling it done won't cut it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willinger View Post
A mount with which I can tilt the beam up or down as I work up the wall (with siding/tile/stone) but will remain level horizontally.
What comes to mind when you say this is a plumb bob. You might be able to rig that kinda concept in your laser level to use gravity as your guide.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:59 PM #3
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

This is dangerous, VERY expensive, and unnecessary. Use a string and a level instead.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:11 PM #4
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
This is dangerous, VERY expensive, and unnecessary. Use a string and a level instead.

^^This.

People have been managing just fine with old fashion levels for a long time. No need to throw technology into the mix, especially when the result can result in a very dangerous tool.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:07 PM #5
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

Quote:
Originally Posted by willinger View Post
Thanks for looking guys, I am hoping you will be able to offer some recommendations. I need steering. I want to build a laser leveler that:

1. shoots a single (horizontal) line at min 500mw (532nm) visible on a wall outdoors, visible in indirect sun at least.
2. that can be powered continuously for hours. Assume needing a corded laser
3. A mount with which I can tilt the beam up or down as I work up the wall (with siding/tile/stone) but will remain level horizontally.

I would be very grateful for how I could make this work! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
I can't direct you how to build one, but if you search mining and alignment lasers to may get some ideas. One thing I do know is this type laser for this application will have a low diverging beam. They come in red or green output. https://www.lasertoolsco.com/accesso...lignment-laser

Last edited by steve001; 03-20-2017 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:12 PM #6
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

Explain your intent.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:08 AM #7
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

I need to clarify that I do not have technical ability or equipment, think more MacGyver, like taping a laser (that can run for hours continously) to a short level with some kind of lens on the end to refract into a horizontal line. No CAD, no machining. Also, in sunlight 500mW is minimum needed, firm. Thanks again for suggestions as per model of laser, lens for line, and idea for mounting on something. Manually leveling OK, no need for auto-level. Think primitive! Thanks again guys!
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:19 AM #8
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

If you tip the rotating laser upward, it will start drawing an arc
which will increase as you tip it up farther. Line generating
lenses are available.
You may be able to modify an existing level with a more
powerful laser but don't look back at it.
HM

A lab laser with heat sinking is expensive. Edmond optics has
line generating optics and a C clamp would hold it to a level.
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Last edited by Hemlock_Mike; 03-21-2017 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:37 AM #9
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

I would like to mention you won't be seeing 500mW's of 532 outside in bright sunlight, at least not easily. As suggested, string method is much safer!

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Old 03-21-2017, 09:33 AM #10
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

Yeah, we already had a thread about this. Even 3-4 watts of 532nm is barely even seen in sunlight.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:29 AM #11
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

500mW spirit level. I've heard it all now. Why? Listen to Cyparagon and Diachi. It is expensive, over-engineered and mostly dangerous. Oh and just to be clear, you are asking ideally for a 500mW+ laser for this. I love your comment by the way.
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Think primitive!
There is nothing primitive about a 500mW+ laser.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:44 AM #12
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Default Re: How would you build a 500mw laser level

There are two approaches to using a laser level for this kind of work.

You could project the line onto the wall from a distance, which would require insane amounts of power to be workable in sunlight, and hence be dangerouns and impractical.

Another way is to point it from the side, just like you would a string. You can run the beam between two marked height points and have a perfectly straigt line between them, without the sag of a string over a longer distance.

Using that you can assert the correct height with a low power laser and just sticking your finger in the beam. This will work fine as long as your wall is pretty flat.
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