Old 08-26-2009, 05:44 AM #1
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Lightbulb Laser sculpture

Hey everyone this is my first post and I hope you guys could help me out with a little project. Basically I am making a metal sculpture that is basically a 1'x1'x6' square column. Inside the column I would like a laser that will reflect off of many mirrors that almost seem randomly placed and contain the laser within the column. I plan on either putting water misters or a small fog machine at the bottom of the column so the laser will also be visible in the daylight.

Now that you have an idea of what the goal is its time to get some recommendations.

I need something affordable, and something that can be left on for a little while. (preferably at least 30 min) Also multiple lasers are not out of the question.

Any suggestion is a good one so have at it!


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Old 08-26-2009, 11:27 AM #2
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Default Re: Laser sculpture

well a 50mw green laser will be pretty visible in the daytime.. especially with the fog. green lasers are very easy to see with the human eye and i think it will stand out very easily... but with this kinda power you dont want stray beams hitting any one (can easliy blind some one in a fraction of a second!).. so you might want to think about beam placement. I would also reccomend a labby style host.. so that it can effectively dissipate the heat. it will be running for half an hour, so this host is essential.

you can buy premade lab lasers or you can build it your self. modules can be found all around the place, if you need more info i can point you in the right direction. the cost wont be too high but dont expect a $20 bodge job.

as for different colors.. you would need a lot higher power of say.. red or blue to even compete with the green. it all depends on your budget.

so the answers i need is what contry do you live in? whats your budget? can you build it your self? how big can the laser be? i need a bit more info to go off.. but thats your basic answer above!

hope that helped -Adrian
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:45 PM #3
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Default Re: Laser sculpture

Hmm. A Class 1M rating laser counts as, and I quote from Wikipedia, the most respectable source on all the internets and beyond: "A laser can be classified as Class 1M if the total output power is below class 3B but the power that can pass through the pupil of the eye is within Class 1."

So if you made a enclosure for all this, maybe trapped the beam in with plastic sheets or something so there was no way you could stick the beam in your eye, then you could get this off as a Class 1M laser. Sure, you can still see the high powered beam, but there is no way it can get in your eye due to the beam being enclosed! So if you have restrictions about high powered lasers in public (or in general) in your area, it might be worth looking into that and seeing if you can get a Class 1M safety rating from whoever gives these out (FDA?). Class 1M is almost always fully legal everywhere.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:20 PM #4
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Default Re: Laser sculpture

So if i get this right, which i think i do, you want to build essentially and "my life size laser column" ! lol.

Thats an awesome idea, i really think i might experiment with this! =D haha!
looks like i might buy some mirrors.

Anywho, I think you need to really focus on the duty cycle of a laser you buy, to ensure it will not overheat, as suggested a lab style host would be appropriate, and 50-90mW Green will be perfect! Especially with fog!

Also, consider your mirror setup, you will need lots of mirrors! lol. Be cautious though so that you are not shining the beam anywhere outside of the column!

Good luck with the project! I might try this!

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Old 08-26-2009, 06:48 PM #5
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Default Re: Laser sculpture

a (plexy?) enclosure would help with the fog too. for eye-safety, you could as well place the mirrors so close that noone could stick his head in between of two mirrors.
the fog will be something to think about. watermist would wet the mirrors with bad effects (beam distorted and worst case stray beams).
you should get front-surface-plated mirrors, else you will have lots and lots of weaker additional beams.. get a big mirror and cut it into pieces yourself. there even are tutorials how to "convert" a rear-surface mirror to a front-surface-mirror by stripping the protective coating from the rear side. people got good results with that.

heat-dissipation and powersupply shouldnt be a problem at all, with the space you can use. a fat metal heatsink (=labby laser) will be sufficient. use a bunch of NiMh-cells, and you have more than enough capacity (and any voltage you wish).

bonuspoints: let the beam flicker at random, or dim. more points: green and (quite inexpensive) additional red. doesnt have to be overlapping. but then thats not difficult neither, for many shades of red-yellow-green.. :-)

oh, so many possibilities!

manuel
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