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Laser Spyro build

hakzaw1

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I bet more here started with this simple build.
The parts are very cheap and it can be simple or somewhat more complex.
here is the uber cool kit:


kinda 'spendy' but but great if you can afford.
My 2nd one was better- it used RG$V $3 pointers- (knife edged) and switches (very hard to find ones made in USA (PM me)) that are center off and two way directional --which adds more options.
I rarely buy ac motors but have a few dozen- they do not really HAVE to match.. I got a bunch from 50 cent to 1$ One -Step Polaroid cameras-- film is harder to find now -- so they have little value. PLUS in most/all there is a 'tombstone' shaped Front Surface Mirror that is easy to cut (thin--almost too easy) and while round mirrors look better --any shape will do as long as the laser does not go 'off mirror'=places like hobby lobby have round mirrors cheap and you can remove the backing with paint remover to avoid the double refection of back sided (only) mirrors. place your mirrors with smallest first--biggest last.
Plastic gear with hole in center that closely matched the shaft of your motor-- you may be able to mount w/o glue.

The 'circle' size is bigger with a mirror 'less' flat-- I have found it very hard to glue one perfectly flat.. 1st one can be very small as you will only be aiming a dot..last one needs to be bigger. trail and error.

SO help your kids make a spyro PJ--OR if you have deep pockets get this kit...
Next project a laser 'bouncer' that moves with the music I made one with two mirrors & two speakers from old large headphones at 90 degrees (already wired!!).. kewler
just be sure to rest pointers-- especially your 532. OR use small 'labbies'.
added 'joy'?? post some pics or vids of your kiddos PJ.
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Ren and Stimpy you 'Iddiot'--lol
Are they alive??
''We are just cartoons--you iddiot''








IMHO these are an excellent project to get young people interested in lasers.
 



gazer101

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Yeah its best to start small, once you figure out the optics with low powers its simple to upscale them
 

Anthony P

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I have built several versions over the years. It truly is a cool project for any laser owner. A few tips:
The 3rd mirror will almost never be used. Motors must be reversible. It is necessary to achieve a speed differential between the two mirrors, one turns slowly and the other more quickly. Almost any motor will work. I have pulled them from everything from old VCRs to Slot cars. All that is needed is a pot for speed control, but you will be much happier with PWM.
 

RedCowboy

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Add a 4th spinning mirror and you can make some really funky stuff.
Here's a couple of mine with just 2 mirrors from years back.
 

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hakzaw1

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can be built in a day-- great way to introduce people to lasers. (of all ages)
For quite a while my only laser (red) was on a nice two mirror spyro build as a present--thanks GIL H.
 

hakzaw1

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Found a single like these new /used NIB - for $30.44 usd shipped. I am pretty sure I could not make one just like these for that cost.
 

Anthony P

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This project is right out of "The Laser Cookbook" by Gordon McComb.
I have never tried the 4 motor set-up, but I will.
With 2, both mirrors running clockwise creates cardioid graphs, and opposite directions creates many spiro patterns including ellipses, and even the "Rush" pentagram star.
A little fog in the room makes the entire cone of light from the mirrors clearly visible... not just the patterns on the wall. This effect can be be seen even with lower power lasers (a few mW). If you let smoke from a cigarette or extinguished match waft through the cone, you will be hooked (Alien 2 opening scenes).
 

FireMyLaser

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I find 2-3 motor spirographs are nicest, 4 motors gets chaotic.
With 2 motors you get flat looking shapes, and with 3 you get a 3D-effect.
If you lay out the parts so the angle of incidence is low, then the patterns will be more round. If the angle is shallow, then each motor will make more of an oval shape. Keep this in mind when building a spirograph. I personally prefer to keep the angle low.

The tilt of the mirror should be relatively small on motor axle 1 and 2, and be the same so each makes an equally small circle.
The third mirror should have approx twice the tilt angle of motor 1 and 2.
spirograpth layout.png

If you wish to make the speed control out of simple parts, then this works well.
Duplicate for each motor and it can run of a powerbank. Only motor 2 and 3 need the reversing switch.
spirograpth schematic.png

Front-surface mirrors can be made out of hard-drive platters
hdd mirror (3).JPG

hdd mirror (9).JPG

hdd mirror (11).JPG

Here are some old videos of the patterns:

 
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hakzaw1

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What a great post Thank You very much..
good job & very helpful..
I agree about 3 motor and why the 4th is not really needed.+rep when SYS allows (lol)
 

RedCowboy

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If anyone reading is interested you can use the fans from our favorite projectors and glue your front surface mirror to the flat face of the fan, they are already set up to accept a PWM control signal, remember to keep your mirror offset angle shallow and make your 3rd and 4th mirrors wider as the image seen on each mirror will grow down the path.
 

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