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Building my first laser pointer


Feb 24, 2018
Hi there! It's been a dream of mine since childhood to build my very own laser pointer. But now that im getting into it im overwhelmed with questions. My goal is to build a 200-500mw red laser. Possibly from a DVD burner. But as for power supplies, heatsinks, hosts, modules and drivers I know nothing about. What sort of driver am I looking for with a 200-500mw 650nm diode? Which portable power supply can I use? And what about the host? I want to make it portable, but can I just strap it into any old flashlight that works and make it fit? If I am to make a custom driver out of an LM317 transistor, what kind of resister do I need? With so many designs out there it's hard to choose on one that'll work.

Also, on another note. are there any companies that sell decent laser safety goggles for under $30 or is anything under $60 just cheap knockoffs that won't protect your eyes...