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Arduino Laser Scanner -- am I on the right track?

Galilei

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Hello all! Brand new to the forums here, and to laser scanners. I am currently interested in building an x-y laser scanner using an Arduino to control the galvos. The full project involves a user being able to control the x-y coordinates and characteristics of certain shapes (circles, triangles, squares, etc.) on the screen by "drawing" on a table with their fingers, with the coordinates of their finger being sent to the Arduino. I suspect this will take a lot of time and patience, but I think the outcome is worth the effort :D

Anyways, before a chunk of my money goes missing, I wanted to know if my research has led me to making the correct decisions RE: hardware to buy. And also, I have a few questions along the way. So here is what I intend to purchase:

1. Galvo scanner

This chinese galvo set looks to be the one commonly used for beginner laser scanners.

2. DAC

I'm basing a lot of my purchases on Damo's project detailed here. Thus I am going for the 12-bit MCP4922.

Now, this DAC business confuses me, as I've never used one before. From what I understand, I'll need two MCP4922s, one for each galvo, and I'll need to build a differential op-amp circuit in order to map the 0-5V output to +/- 5V output for each galvo. I think I can handle this. But I am currently trying to understand how to communicate with the DACs. In Damo's project, he mentions using the OLSD Arduino library, and it looks great. But I have no idea how to connect the DACs to the Arduino, and I can't find proper documentation on the OLSD site. Any help with this is super appreciated!

3. Laser Module

Since my project involves shining a laser onto a screen with phosphorescent dye (glow in the dark), I need a violet laser. And it needs to be compatible with TTL-blanking. Thus I am thinking of this 405nm laser module.

Another thing I am a little confused about is how to use the TTL-blanking with the OLSD Arduino library. Again, I can't find documentation regarding this.

4. Cooling system

I'll need to ensure the laser module, galvos, and galvo drivers are all kept cool. Would a bunch of heat sinks be acceptable for this purpose? Any recommendations would be great.



I hope some of you will be able to help me out! I am very excited about this project, I hope to bring this installation to various festivals and blow peoples' minds.
 
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sumnerd711

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this looks really cool. you want a touchpad to draw laser projected shapes? that sounds really cool for youngstrs, subscribed
 

Galilei

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this looks really cool. you want a touchpad to draw laser projected shapes? that sounds really cool for youngstrs, subscribed
Essentially, yea. I was also going to experiment with fiducials for people to use instead of fingers. Then I could read the orientation of the fiducial so that people could control different characteristics of the shape by rotating the fiducial marker. And perhaps bringing two fiducials close to each other could produce a new shape. Could be fun.
 

sumnerd711

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whats the purpose? just for fun and kicks? or did you have something specific in mind
 

Galilei

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whats the purpose? just for fun and kicks? or did you have something specific in mind
I like to create interactive art installations for music and art festivals. This one would be fun for nighttime. It's also going to act as a gateway into all things laser projector for me. I love lasers!
 

Cyparagon

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Looks good so far. The only devices that need heat sinks attached are the galvo drivers.
 

lazeristasUVISIR

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Hello all! Brand new to the forums here, and to laser scanners. I am currently interested in building an x-y laser scanner using an Arduino to control the galvos. The full project involves a user being able to control the x-y coordinates and characteristics of certain shapes (circles, triangles, squares, etc.) on the screen by "drawing" on a table with their fingers, with the coordinates of their finger being sent to the Arduino. I suspect this will take a lot of time and patience, but I think the outcome is worth the effort :D
This reminds of an old video where people draw something and the laser repeated that on a building.

I have a very minimal knowledge of Arduino, but got impression that it was designed to run motors etc. Seeing your huge setup I only :thinking:
 

Galilei

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This reminds of an old video where people draw something and the laser repeated that on a building.

I have a very minimal knowledge of Arduino, but got impression that it was designed to run motors etc. Seeing your huge setup I only :thinking:
Arduinos are good for taking nearly any signals from the external environment as input, manipulating this data, and then outputting the result to an external device in order to control it. They are used for controlling motors, sure, but there are a million other uses for them :D
 

lazeristasUVISIR

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Arduinos are good for taking nearly any signals from the external environment as input, manipulating this data, and then outputting the result to an external device in order to control it. They are used for controlling motors, sure, but there are a million other uses for them :D
Galvos are motors too. (that was my point)
 




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