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combining uncollimated beams?

May 7, 2011
I am trying to design a custom sled for creating a RGB (using a 5mW osram 450) & after examining & taking apart some old DVD & burner sleds I am wondering what the effects of combining the beams before they reach the collimation & focusing lenses? To me, it seems most sleds try to combine the beams at as small a focal length as possible before reaching the main lens (the one that aims the beam on the DVD). It seems the major advantage of this would be tighter beam convergence & the ability to create a smaller overall build.

I have been exploring a cylindrical sled design that would combine the beams around the axis of the sled. this way A RGB/RGV laser could be made into a maglite style flashlight housing. I admit that I don't have much experience with the actual process, & would appreciate any advice.

Thank you for your time & help!