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ArcticMyst Security by Avery

How do steerable and laser levels usually work?

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Apr 21, 2016
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Hi, all!

A couple of questions that have been on my mind, and I've been struggling to find good resources to learn about these since there are so many products that fall into these categories. Basically, I have two questions:
  1. How do laser levels generate the laser line?
    1. I assume it's using some kind a slit filter that sits in front of the beam.
  2. How do steerable lasers [or laser levels] usually work?
    1. I figure once you get the laser line, you can just attach the laser to a stepper motor and scan it across whatever surface you need.
Clearly I have my own ideas, but I'm hoping someone here knows better than I do and can explain and point me towards some reference material.

Thank you!
 





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Lines are most often generated by use of a special lens that is cylindrical. Now laser diodes need a constant current regulation because as the diode heats up it loses resistance and a voltage regulator would cause the diode to go into thermal runaway. Often, if one wants to vary the output level the use of TTL pulse width modulators are used with a driver that allows that. Hope this helps in some way.

Edited for spelling error
 
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Joined
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Thanks, Paul! I realize my original question was a bit misleading. Your response about cylindrical lenses to make the line make so much sense that I'm disappointed I didn't realize it sooner.

The misleading bit was that I'm actually asking more about how the laser steering tends to work mechanically/electrically. Do people tend to use stepper motors, servos, something else? If I wanted to make my own, are there any reference designs out there to study?
 
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For laser projectors that can make art they use galvanometers. I wouldn't try to do this by building my own. You should be able to do a Google search to find everything you need on this.
 

Eidetical

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A spinning mirror or prism is used to scan the laser beam around the room, like the first one below. It would be hung on a wall vertically, then aligned using the spirit levels on it. Or, the whole laser is made to spin around an axis, like the second one shown below, with the spirit levels on the base. Persistence of vision makes the moving spot look like a line.

Line-forming lenses are used for things like drill presses and table saws, where the length of the line (or distance from laser to working surface) is relatively short.

Pal 540.jpg

Economy Laser 2000.jpg
 
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I had forgotten, but photonlexicon.com is mainly about projectors that do galvanometer/mirror projections. You might want to look over there if you are interested. I joined there before I joined here, but haven't actually posted there in quite awhile now.
 

Unown (WILD)

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Here are the answers for your questions,

1. How do laser levels make a laser line?

Laser levels use a special laser light to create a straight line. They have a tiny light source called a laser diode. To turn the pointy light into a line, they use a special lens called a cylindrical lens. This lens shapes the laser light into a thin line, which can be projected onto a surface. This line helps in tasks like construction or making sure things are level.

2. How do lasers that can move work?

Laser levels that can move the laser beam around usually have a way to adjust the direction of the laser. There are two common methods:

  • Motorized Platform: The laser is put on a platform that can turn or tilt. A motor, like a stepper or servo motor, moves this platform, changing the direction of the laser beam. This is useful for creating specific patterns or scanning across a surface.
  • Mirror System: Another way involves using mirrors to guide the laser beam. The mirrors can be controlled by motors, changing the direction of the laser beam by reflecting it in different directions.
For more detailed information, you might want to check out resources on lasers, optics, and laser applications in fields like construction. Books or online courses about laser technology and its uses could provide a deeper understanding. You can find these resources on platforms like SPIE Digital Library or IEEE Xplore, which have scientific articles and papers on these topics.
Are you a bot?
 

Unown (WILD)

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That's what I was thinking. Seems odd
 




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