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Laser optics puzzle

dgoulian

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I am trying to construct an inexpensive laser flatness detector to bring on my trip to Egypt.

Because of their optics, lasers all tend to be round, so the beam will never exit at the surface that it rests on (yes, you can aim the laser below the edge of the surface, but that won’t work for inner surfaces).

Is there a way to refract the beam so that it skims the surface of and object? Attached diagram illustrates my question.
 

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  • laser beam2.png
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FireMyLaser

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I don't know how you intend for this device to detect flatness, but whatever.

laser mirror.png
 

dgoulian

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Seems reasonable, but I suspect details on the the mirror design you propose would be complex. Care to show zoomed in detail on that mirror?
 

Encap

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Google "laser flatness measurement" and see how it is done in the real world and the equipment and techniques of doing.
No need to attempt to "reinvent the wheel".
 
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FireMyLaser

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Not complicated at all. Just a front surface mirror with the edge ground to a sharp 45 degree angle.
Or you can get the exact mirror from a dvd optical assembly.
kes400a-b.jpg
 

gazer101

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If you can make a sturdy rig off the edge of the material whose flatness you are trying to measure and make a laser mount on it that's parallel to the laser, you could just mount your laser normally and at a lower height
 

dgoulian

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If I'm understanding your answer correctly, that would not work for interior surfaces (see original attached diagram).
 




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