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# Which Laser Pointer Do I Need for my Patented Idea?

#### jfitzd23

##### New member
Hi all,

Laser noobie here working on a new invention. The idea is in the provisional patent stage, so I will keep details vague.

The idea requires a laser pointer capable of the following:
• fits inside a fiberglass or hard plastic tube (< 2" in diameter)
• projects through the transparent fiberglass/plastic without damaging the materials over time
• projects a circular outline on grass in daylight
• does not burn or damage grass over time
• battery-powered with at least 10 hours of continuous battery life
The research I've done so far has suggested a green 532nm device, but I am not sure if that fits all of the above criteria and what mW level is needed. I appreciate any ideas or suggestions. I want to avoid dumping tons of money into different lasers to do my own trial & error.

Thanks,
Jeff

#### gazer101

##### Well-known member
Green on grass might not be the best idea if you are trying to actually see the projection from a distance, how big are these circles? Their size will determine the power level needed for said laser to be eye safe

#### jfitzd23

##### New member
Green on grass might not be the best idea if you are trying to actually see the projection from a distance, how big are these circles? Their size will determine the power level needed for said laser to be eye safe
The laser does not necessarily need to be green, but I had read that green laser frequencies are visible in daylight. The circle would need to be 3-4 feet in diameter.

#### gazer101

##### Well-known member
Using some basic calculations (https://www.laserpointersafety.com/safetyinfo/safetycalcs/index.html) one can see that your laser, assuming it is pointing straight downwards onto a flat surface and nobody peeks into it from close by, can at most be 16.64W in order to be even marginally eye safe

Again, this is in an ideal world where nobody looks at the laser before it has dispersed into a massive circle that is >3ft in diameter

NOTE: This is just a shoddy calculation and you are legally obligated to do your own testing if you plan on commercializing this in any way

#### RedCowboy

##### Well-known member
Why the hell would you use a dpss ? Why not a single mode 638nm to make a 4 foot wide circle on grass ? Of course any product has to be safe for the general public so there's also that.

#### Encap

##### Well-known member
Why the hell would you use a dpss ? Why not a single mode 638nm to make a 4 foot wide circle on grass ? Of course any product has to be safe for the general public so there's also that.
Exactly.
Lets see, a 16.64W or 16,640mW 532 DPSS lab laser would be an aprox. \$28,000 532nm DPSS with adjustable power supply -- not exactly a pointer and absurdly dangerous if it even could meet his other requirements. see: https://www.ultralasers.com/proinfo.php?productid=837&cat=3&page=1&featured A little over the 5mW or less FDA legal limitation lol

It helps to know something about what you are wanting to make, imagining can be made. Even if possible, importantly, you need to know the legal considerations, and safety considerations and so on. That you are asking a hobbyist laser forum means you don't have a clue or any experience based knowledge in the field of lasers
It's most likely not patentable --putting a laser pointer in a box or tube with a window probably does not qualify as a patentable anything. so...

"Under US Law, you cannot patent an idea." and "You cannot patent an idea for an invention. The invention itself has to be produced or a patent application containing the invention must be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While all inventions start with an idea, not every idea can be called an invention." see: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/can-you-patent-an-idea
It is just an imagining/idea from what you say.

Either way, your imagined device would never be allowed to be legally sold/fly as a product in USA under US FDA laser laws, rules and regulations as a product with an output over 5mW due to safety considerations.
FDA Laws, rules and regulations limit any product to 5 mW or less as follows:
"Laser products promoted for pointing and demonstration purposes are limited to hazard Class IIIa by FDA regulation.
21 CFR 1040.11(b) and 1040.11(c), limit surveying, leveling, and alignment, and demonstration laser products to Class IIIa. This means that pointers are limited to 5 milliwatts output power in the visible wavelength range from 400 to 710 nanometers.. Pointers may not exceed the accessible emission limits of CDRH Class IIIa or IEC Class 3R."

Even light show laser projectors that could make a circle are limited to 5mW or less ... see: https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitt...-and-entertainment-products/laser-light-shows
US FDA Laws, Rules, and Regulations do not allow "laser show" projectors over 5mW to be legally used for "laser shows" without a "Variance" to deviate from the Regulations. Variance approval for any particular laser show to be run specifically requires all details of both the proposed equipment and the proposed use. You can see what is involved here: http://www.laserist.org/us-regs.htm You would not be given a "variance" if there is/was any chance of anyone being put in harms way/directly exposed to a laser in use.

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#### jfitzd23

##### New member
Exactly.
Lets see, a 16.64W or 16,640mW 532 DPSS lab laser would be an aprox. \$28,000 532nm DPSS with adjustable power supply -- not exactly a pointer and absurdly dangerous if it even could meet his other requirements. see: A little over the 5mW or less limit lol

It helps to know something about what you are wanting to make, imagining can be made. Even if possible, importantly, you need to know the legal considerations, and safety considerations and so on. That you are asking a hobbyist laser forum means you don't have a clue or any knowledge in the field of lasers
It's most likely not patentable --putting a laser in a box with a window is probably does not qualify as a patentable anything. so...

"You cannot patent an idea for an invention. The invention itself has to be produced or a patent application containing the invention must be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While all inventions start with an idea, not every idea can be called an invention." see:
You don't have to pretend it is patented or a patent anything at this point. It is just an imagining/idea at this point.

In any case, your imagined device would never be allowed to be legally sold/fly as a product in USA under US FDA laser laws, rules and regulations as a product with an output over 5mW anyway due to safety considerations.
FDA Laws, rules and regulations limit any product to 5 mW or less as follows:
"Laser products promoted for pointing and demonstration purposes are limited to hazard Class IIIa by FDA regulation.
21 CFR 1040.11(b) and 1040.11(c), limit surveying, leveling, and alignment, and demonstration laser products to Class IIIa. This means that pointers are limited to 5 milliwatts output power in the visible wavelength range from 400 to 710 nanometers.. Pointers may not exceed the accessible emission limits of CDRH Class IIIa or IEC Class 3R."
see:

Even light show laser projectors that could make a circle are limited to 5mW or less ... see:
US FDA Laws, Rules, and Regulations do not allow "laser show" projectors over 5mW to be legally used for "laser shows" without a "Variance" to deviate from the Regulations. Variance approval for any particular laser show to be run specifically requires all details of both the proposed equipment and the proposed use. You can see what is involved here: You would not be given a "variance" if there is/was any chance of anyone being put in harms way/directly exposed to lasers in use.
Appreciate the response.

The idea does have a provisional patent, which is just a placeholder for the idea for 12 months until deciding if I want to file with the USPTO. I obviously understand that you can't put one invention inside another invention and call it your own invention. However, there are "use" patents that allow you to use a product for a purpose outside of what the original patent owner intended.

I am speaking with people in the relevant industry to see if they are interested in the concept while also checking on the feasibility of executing the idea in its imagined form. A laser ultimately might not be the solution needed to execute the idea - it is just my starting point. But it doesn't hurt to explore options without dumping money into research unnecessarily.

Again, am thankful for all the information. This forum has a lot of enthusiastic members that know way more than I can gather from simple online searches.

#### CurtisOliver

##### Well-known member
LPF Site Supporter
16W 532nm??? I have a 4.25W and it is insanely bright and dangerous. And you want to recommend something 4x that for drawing a circle on grass. Until you physically own or see one in person you can’t appreciate how ridiculous that is. You can’t just throw numbers out and expect it to be ideal in the real world.

Edit: Have you also calculated based on the area, and not based on a perimeter?

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#### kecked

##### Well-known member
Is that circle an outline or filled in? If it’s an outline much simpler design lower power. Still in broad daylight on grass there isn’t a laser around that can do what you ask and not burn the grass let alone be eye safe. Think elliptical led light. Better choice.

#### CurtisOliver

##### Well-known member
LPF Site Supporter
It is an outline and not an area fill. OP lists the requirements

#### gazer101

##### Well-known member
For an outline, the eye safety power quickly drops to something on the order of 5mW * (perimeter * thickness of usual beam)

#### CurtisOliver

##### Well-known member
LPF Site Supporter
This product could of been done easily and safely with a 5mW diode module/dpss module and a galvo which is the funniest part. Not a 16W \$28k laser spotlight. I actually agree with the colour choice. My reasons why are a bit more technical.

Chlorophyll in grass is reflective to 532nm. The initial wavelength is also sensitive to the eye in daylight conditions. An eye safe laser would at the best of times struggle to compete with the suns luminosity. I believe that the reflected green laser would be brighter despite the lack of contrast than a partly absorbed red laser that is of contrast. This product is a dud already due to safety regulations. Real world testing of 5mW 635nm and 532nm modules and a high repetition galvo is needed. If the op really wants to spend out they could look at 5mW DPSS 556/561nm to increase the efficacy. Do I believe this product will be functional whilst meeting safety requirements? Short answer: no.

If the laser is projected and a person can come into contact with any portion of the emission. Then the power at any point that can come into contact must be <5mW. So Anything below 1.8m will have to already have dropped to safe levels.

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#### trussmonkey25

##### Active member
What is the purpose of the circle? Why can't you use a scanning laser from a dj's party machine?

#### Anthony P

##### Well-known member
LPF Site Supporter
For just a circle, a mirror can be mounted on the tip of any small motor shaft... perpendicular to the shaft. See "The Laser Cookbook" by Gordon McComb.