Rich Johnson Garden Railroading & Lasers

Laser Displays

I was asked to  help develope  a  display project........ 

The challenge was to get a laser to shine onto a cone.  ​But inside a triangle of wood. 

​I used a bunch of plywood to figure out how to size and make the cuts for this thing.  Measuring twice and cut once is great but, this took some creative cutting.  The photo on the right is my prototype.

​Now I need to take it apart get a laser inside this thing and shine down in the middle. With a bunch more emaginerring we figured it out.  But then we added a crystal inside to break up the beam and give us the starburst effect.  
The Display Idea came from Charlie Follis.   After it was done I thought .... he wanted it to have an Ebony piano type finish.  That turned out to be quite a challange.  

On the right is the results.   

I think there are a few available for sale from Laser Charlie.


Fast Forward to 2019, I have spent a lot of time learning a 3d Cad program Called Fusion 360.  It is a Autodesk product. 

I wanted to make Drawings of the Displays projects I have made and this has turned out to be a lot of fun for me.

This is actually an image of my Final Assembly drawing.  After that I created the different drawings for all the parts used in this Lamp. 

When you are finished with all the drawings you can "Render" it.  This lets you display your drawing project as an Image.  This is the result from just my drawing.  

You can then take your drawing to the animation section of fusion 360  and create a assembly animation of the project.  

When you are finished with that you can then publish the results as a video.

​Below is the result Video of this project.  This a you tube video so you must click the "X" to get back to this page and out of you tube.

The next two photos are another one of the Display items I have made.  There are two different bases that have been tried, but the one on the left is the better one.   

Above is the final assembly drawing of the Cube display and the "Rendering" of that drawing. 

I did make  drawings of all the parts of this project.

The drawing on the left is the Baseplate with all it's parts drawing.

This is laser Charlie with another (idea) display we are are working on.

​This idea is a acrylic cube with a laced strings inside.  Then shine a laser onto the strings, and then put another display on the back of that box with some kind of motion .....

​At the end of the work bench is a black acrylic cube. 

That "cube" idea has created a couple other display ideas for me.
I wanted to make a smaller display, using the strings ...  Both of the images above are "Renderings" of my drawings.  The piece on the left is 6" tall and 4 " square.  I made a base to hold these and got a laser to light up the strings.  Worked great.  So I messed around some more and made a what if?  Double strings sideways etc.  This also worked great.  BUT!  I want motion.  Lookin at these with a beam in the middle does nothing for me!  I want motion!!!  @#$%^&!  I have a couple of pattermakers that work fine shining a beam in motion on the strings in both of these pieces, BUT little pattern maker is two LOUD, to use.  I am working on a fix using "adruino" to create laser motion.  Got to learn the coding now.

This next project is called "Spectral Sonnet".  In the left photo below is the inside case where all the action is.  Lasers, mirrors, power supplies, and all sorts of other stuff are going in here.  

The photo on the right is the Spectral Sonnet is on display.
​​​The two cones in the middle of this display unit  show the laser beem on the strings.  In the backround of the box is a different laser pattern that is in motion.  Another laser display can be seen at the top and that laser display can be projected to a celing or onto a wall as needed.
​Here is a little about how we do it ...
The beam in the image on the right is a laser beam, but it is "doctored" up, and it is not one of ours.  I found this image a long time ago and kept the photo because it facinated me.  I can see motion with this image.     And I want some .......

Back to the real world, the beam we use  comes from a laser diode.  The laser pointers we all have produce a beam from a laser diode. The diode we use is much more expensive, because of the power and the colors we use.  Our basic colors at  the end of 2017 are, Red, Green, and Blue. 

In the photo below is an example of one of the laser pointers.  I have seen these at the flea market for (seventy five cents) $.75.  I have even played around with them and have taken them apart to get to the Diode.  But they do not have enough power to do what we need.  They also can not stay on as long as we need.
The image on the right is a couple of the laser diodes we use in some of our projects. 

The beam it will produce is in the far right photo.  More power, and brighter.
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