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Help needed with Dead Space 2 Plasma Cutter build.

Martyn B

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Hello everyone, My name is Martyn and I'm building a prop for a friend's costume. He's dressing up as Isaac fron the Dead Space games and I'm making the Plasma Cutter weapon for him. This is the big bucks replica that you can buy-

Highly Detailed Dead Space 2 Plasma Cutter Replica |Gadgetsin

but I'm building from scratch and obviously I want to put 3 blue lasers in instead of the LEDs.

I really need some advice from you guys about how to do this, please.

Ideally the beams need to be blue BUT I could go for violet or (if need be) green :undecided:

They need to be as visible as possible in daylight/lowlight as the expo won't have any smoke.
Also it would be great if they were visible from side on to the prop.

They need to be about 3mm to 6mm wide which (from what I've been reading on here) may require some lenses to widen a standard beam.

The individual lasers don't need to 'shine' more than 12 feet further than the prop, nor do they need to project a pin-sharp point on a surface. If the beam can be altered to provide the side on visibility then that is the more important thing.

Any advice that you guys have would be most apreciated and I know that I'm asking for the moon on a stick.
 

T_Warne

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What is your budget for these lasers?
High visibility means a very dangerous laser will project MUCH further than 12 feet. Please think of this as a real weapon with the possibility of causing permanent damage to vision or blindness if the beam accidentally hits someone in the eye.
To get a 3mm to 6mm beam to exit your prop will involve costly beam expanding optics.

PS: I see the replica you linked uses green lasers, probably <5mW.
 
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Martyn B

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The budget is £100 max. I've seen the high powered lasers and I am aware of the dangers - scary.

This is why I was hoping a 'safe' laser could be widened at the loss of distance and focus.
 

T_Warne

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You do some really good work. That Portal Gun looks amazing.

Do some research on beam expanders. I think it will be the key to what you are trying to achieve.
 

Martyn B

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Ah thanks, that gun took months.

Beam expanders? Are these ready made units and if so could you point me in the right direction, please? :D
 

Martyn B

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Ah good old eBay, they're pretty pricey :undecided:

I'll have a looky a little more.

Do you know if scavenged lenses from CD players, DVD players would survive a blue beam going through it?
I don't want to build it and end up with the lenses melting.
 

Atomicrox

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Wow man, that portal gun is a work of art!

Blue lasers powerful enough to have very visible beams would cost at least 100 usd each. And they would blind any eyes that got in the way instantly.

You probably can make it way cheaper with 3x100mW green modules. It'd be slightly less visible because of the lower power but not much (green is more visible to our eyes and it usually contrasts better with the background, improving beam visibility).

You could try your luck with DX modules (take a look at "the green box" in my sig) that cost about 40 usd. They're a bit unstable but I think they'll work fine for this. They're labeled 200mW but someone here tested and most were around about 100mW. Note that they're still far from being safe, you might want to add IR filters to make them slightly safer and wear goggles while using them indoors.

They should be slightly visible from the side and very bright from a low angle at night.

Cheap lenses will most likely survive green lasers but they'll also decrese power. You can make a cheap beam expander out of binocular lenses :)

Edit: if you remove the outermost lens it will look like a cone. I guess one lens at the correct distance should be able to collimate a larger beam..
 
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With that budget, good luck getting the 3 blue diodes you'll need. They're about $50 each. Then drivers, cheapest are $7 for a single linear driver. Then a power source. With that linear driver you'll need 2x li ions, so 6x4=$24. Then the beam expanders. You're looking at doubling, if not tripling your budget on this one. Good luck mate, it'll look awesome in the long run ;)
 

Martyn B

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Thanks for the advice guys, it's not looking good though is it :undecided:

I'll have a bit more of a look at things but I may have to abandon the idea of lasers altogether noooooooooooooooooo.......unless I win the Lotto.

Thanks again, much appreciated.
 

T_Warne

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Well... Good luck with your build. Please post back when it is finished. I'd love to see how it turns out.
 

tsteele93

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I would order cheap $5/5mw greens on Ebay or Amazon.com, order more than you need and pick out the brightest. You can often find 50mW greens listed as 5mW to get around the rules.

A 50mW green has a chance of being visible. Also, have you considered adding your own smoke? I don't know what the setup will be, but if your friend is going to be in a fixed area then that might be doable with a "nightclub" or "halloween style" smoke machine. You might even consider having your gun make its own smoke.

I got my kids something like this for Christmas and it does a good bit of smoke and could easily be taken apart by someone with your skills and put in the gun you are building.

Amazon.com: Green Zero Blaster - Blasts Smoke Rings Up To 14 Feet!: Toys & Games

As for expanding the beams, that is something else I think you could do with cheap binoculars. You just have to experiment - but again - looking at your portal gun I think you are able to do that.

Finally, for safety - if your friend is in a fixed place and can always aim the lasers at a backstop of some sort, then you can definitely run 50mW of green safely. Even higher if you could find it...

Especially if you do a beam expander that significantly de-focuses the beam.
 

Hiemal

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Alternatively, you could buy 10 eBay greenie pointers, take them apart and then sort them out based off of output, and use the best ones... Only thing after that would be mounting them, since they come with drivers and whatnot!
 

tsteele93

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Alternatively, you could buy 10 eBay greenie pointers, take them apart and then sort them out based off of output, and use the best ones... Only thing after that would be mounting them, since they come with drivers and whatnot!
That was what I was trying to say, apparently not very well though! :D


how does the zeroblaster generate smoke?
Some sort of smoke machine solution. Looks like it heats it and it creates a vapor/fog.

Wikipedia FTW

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog_machine
 
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