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photonaholic

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Ever see an old copy machine on the curb on trash day??

Pick it up and take it home!

Copiers, laser printers and old fax machines all have a ton of optics in them.

An old PC copier has 5 front surface mirrors, a lens and an AR window inside.

Just take a #2 Phillips screwdriver after them and remove the top glass, under that you will see a bunch of great playthings.

Make sure you take off the "dark box" (The cover behind the lens) there are more goodies in there as well.

If you are good with breadboarding electronics, there are servos and moving auto focus parts in there too, not to mention a whole bunch of unique LED lamps in the control panel.

Every laser printer has a laser head, a scanning mirror and motors inside.

Regulated 24 volt supplies, wire harnesses and countless other goodies.

You can score the back of the mirrors with a dremel cut off wheel and make many little squares, then use JB weld to glue them to relays, solenoids, motors or whatever your imagination can muster!

Your wife will hate you as the junk piles up, but you will certainly have fun, just be careful of toner spills.
 

bobhaha

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This is great! The AR glass, FS mirrors, power supply and motors are def. worth the effort! I have done the same for an old all in one printer, and got some nice optics too!
 

Krutz

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very true! this is the only (cheap) source for those (5-side spinning) polygon mirrors. and these produce the nicest laserline (for liquid sky), a lot nicer than cylindrical lenses or the aixiz-dropin-linegenerator.
the (many!) frontside-mirrors are of high quality, but a bit thick and heavy. noting to be accelerated fast. but a good choice for a fixed setup or rotating them on a fan..

ah, laserprinters, thats how it began here with me. i was so clueless, back then, and expected hell of a laser in there.. still have the parts of my first laserprinter here, from the last century!

manuel
 

HIMNL9

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About laser printers, look what i just found in an old Aficio color printer that i had to waste (and ofcourse dismantled, first, heheheh *evil grin*) ..... at first sight, i tought that was one of the usual "LED" types, but instead .....



lots of FS mirror strips (7 strips and 2 small ones), a pair of cylindrical lenses, an 8 faces FS mirror with motor and driver integrated, two displacing prisms, and a block with 4 IR diodes with optics and holders (the diodesassembly was marked class 3B and i tried one of them, getting 100mW of IR without any significant increase of temperature, but had no time for more tests)





I'm planning to cut away the mirrors part from the assembly, put one of the AR windows in front of the aperture, put one (or more :eg:) modules in the space where there was the original diodes, and make a compact variable-color "liquid sky" unit :D

And also gained two high power motors with integrated drivers, some solenoids, some electronics, and a board filled of high voltage transformers, as bonus :eg:

Worth always the effort to lost a bit of time dismantling items, before waste them ..... sometimes, you find some good surprises, inside them :D
 

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Krutz

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actually yes, it seems like! for this the diodes have to be of different wavelength, with dichroic coatings on the prism? newer saw such one! could come handy! :)

manuel
 

HIMNL9

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No, unfortunately not combiners (otherwise i was too happy :p)

They just make the beams parallel, coming from a single line (as if the diodes was stacked one over the other, in a row, but spaced approx 3 mm, where instead the modules are approx. 12 mm diameter each one ..... this is made cause, in this way, all the beams hit the mirror in the same point (cross point of all the beams, the mirror faces are only 3mm high), and then become reflected all at the same vertical line, but with 4 different angles (or on 4 different horizontal planes, if you prefer) ..... this way, each one hit his proper mirror strips without interfer with the others.

Not a bad solution, technically, it save a lot of other correction optics :D

Edit, i attached some pics for show what i mean ..... i painted the beams in different colors only for show the different paths, in the horizontal plane view, but ofcourse all four are the same colour :p

modules and prisms are aligned in this way



and these are the paths of the beams (a bit schematic, but i hope is understandable :D)

 

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photonaholic

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My first "laser cone" was created by gluing a small piece of one of these mirrors onto the end of a small motor shaft..

Vibrated like crazy, but it worked.

A word of caution, if the glue lets go, you will have a high speed chunk of glass flying wherever it wants... so this may not be the safest way to do that.

Recently scored a small "battery operated laser show" on ebay for $7 with free shipping! when it arrived it was OK, but super boring with a 1-2mw 650nm laser module in it, so I picked up a 30mw 532nm module from China and installed it in place of the red module, what a difference!

Glad this thread got so much interest so quickly........
 
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Krutz

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..now let me guess what your avatar is, photonaholic ;-)

thank you for the diagram, himnl9! too bad its no magical beam-combiner, but just a real one ;-)

manuel
 

Elgranto7

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Ahh man, we just got rid of our old all in one printer :(

The thought never occurred to me that i could get some optics. Sighh lol
 

Krutz

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hmm, let me see..
it may be.. perhaps.. it looks like.. uhm.. oh right! it reminds me of a small piece of mirror glued to the end of a small motor shaft! in this case it might vibrate like crazy. so take care for high speed chunks of glass flying whereever they want..

manuel
 

photonaholic

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Wrong

Cut glass "crystal" (diffracts the beam) sitting on a book.

The "liquid sky" appearance is reflected light off a bed sheet.
 
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I just took apart my old printer and there is a lot of cool stuff in it. I have no idea what to use it for but its cool.
 

photonaholic

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the spinning mirror is awesome for making sheets of light with a laser.

There are small lenses and mirrors in there, great for optical experiments...

and the electronics, If you like to make projects, there is a gold mine in there.
 




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