Instructables

Howto: Make a DVD Burner into a High-Powered Laser

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Have fun :-P

hey just wondered i have a few of them old portable CD players as a kid we seemed to reck a lot nd they werent expensive so i have a lot could u use the lazers outa them
it wouldn't be as powerful, though it would probably still work.
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
No it wouldn't.. It wouldn't work for anything, other than damaging your iris, a bit at a time. Those are IR, and really low power at that! Not usefull!
Theyre not all infrared. The one from my cd player is visible. Besides, infrared lasers can burn through things too. And like I said it would still do a bit, just much slower, and much thinner things.
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
How the the hell would you cut something with a diode with a MAX output of 5 mW? What your saying is "hey i'll use this cool red laser i just got bought in the dollar store to cut black tape!" omg..
First of all...calm down. Who said anything about the dollar store? Dollar store lasers are 1mw. A laser used to read cds is more powerful.
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
Fine, i'm sorry i'm not from the states, so i have never seen the lasers in the dollar store.. Regular red laser pointers are 5mW. Cd lasers have 5mW MAX output, you can not cut anything with them.
swagberry Silas2 years ago
You can if you focus it right
fyi, i just tried a cd laser out, straight from the player. I held a battery to the leads, and put it near a plastic bag...smoked instantly.
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
Yeah your laser got smoked..
Is that why the bag melted too?
Hey can you do a video of that please I want to see how well it works.
That was more than a year ago, I no longer have it.
o ok thanks anyways
Slap in the face!!!
without the need of fucusing it ?
It was the whole aparatus, so I'd assume there was already a lens.
Impact2us Silas4 years ago
Silas is exactly right
iR is REALLY POWERFUL it's also cheaper to maufacture it's really dangerous, if it accidently got shone in your eye you could be blind. With IR you have no blink reflexes.
Actually red light is on the weaker end of the spectrum. If you want high power, go for blue or violet. Those have the most energy. IR is only dangerous because you can't see it.
I recommend to buy a DVD burner for cheap and use that laser
Auz108 years ago
I just got the diode out and hooked it up to 2 AA batteries at first it was nice and bright but i dont know if i shorted it or something because now it is weaker than my cheepo $1.50 laser pointer. I had a short glimpse of its potential!! What happened did I ruin it?
swagberry Auz102 years ago
Most likely yes if you don't have a driver for it it will burn out the diode I did it to mine on accedent so now it will never be as strong as it was before sorry
Impact2us Auz104 years ago
no u put toooooo much power into the diode at 1 time......with a module there is a steady flow
Silas (author)  Auz108 years ago
Either that, or static killed it. It's dead..
Auz10 Silas8 years ago
ya thats a good possibility because i never shorted the diode to prevent static damage. I guess I learned my lesson! thanx for the info
Silas (author) 8 years ago
Is anyone making one? I am! Only thing I need is a freaking colliminating lens, and I'm not going to shell out money.. I'm testing alot of wierd lenses, I've got laying around, but no luck yet.. Any suggestions?

This might also be of interest if you want to make this project: Dissection of a DVD Burner
patt39 Silas3 years ago
you can use the dvd writer lens themselves, but have a good luck focusing one (it can be done, but is a bit hard)
Impact2us Silas4 years ago
buy a laser module with a focusable lens round 5-15 us buks
Edgar Silas8 years ago
Best I've Googles was this:

colliminating lens

See the little picture, and then get some lenses like that, out of the ones you have.
What is shorting the diode? Could a magnifying glass make it more intense? If you make a sliding grid to mount this on, you could trace a line drawn styrofoam/cardboard(maybe) to make the cutter mentioned earlier more effective
Also, would a peep hole work for the lens?
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
No. You need a colliminating lense, not a peep hole..
A colliminating lens takes all the light, and focus's it into a a small beam of light. A peep hole does the same thing..so why wouldn't it work?
no,  the "peep hole" idea dosent reflect the beam into 1 spot it just blocks out the other light so the light is still dim.......... its not concentrated into 1 spot
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
Just try it then if you don't believe me. I've tried, i dosen't work..
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
You need to short the diode before you use it, or it will most likely be killed by static. No. No.
But I asked what is shorting the diode. Not why.

If it works with the sun, why not a laser?

And the last bit wasn't a question...it would work.
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
Why would you do it then? It's plain supid! It's CNC!
Silas (author)  Silas7 years ago
All you do is shorting the leads..
could you explain a little further?
no it most likely wont work. when you magnify the sun like that, your actually just condensing a wide beam. lasers are already a thin, powerful beam so it wouldnt do any good.
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
How? All you do is shorting the leads! It's not any simpler..
...never mind...
Silas (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
You connect the leads, with eachother.
Thank you. :D
which thing?
ibo6 years ago
hi we just got a compact disc cd/rw drive from a computer.. we took it apart and here are a couple of the parts that we think we need to use for the laser could u tell us what they are? thnx Ibo
Impact2us ibo4 years ago
Heya! Impact2us
start with the parts... im nooby at instructables so i dont no waht picture............................. but wanted to tell you that you shouldnt use a cd burner cus they are ir burners(infa-red) so u wont be able to see them! and a much more unsafe.I recomend that u go get a dvd burner  from sum garage sale or sumthin or check the computers for a dvd writer -should say on them wether they are or not

from Impact2us
fishfingers7 years ago
After a few failed attempts, i ended up buying a laser from http://www.dragonlasers.com. One of the lower powered ones.

My advice to any one using the diode from a cd drive, be very careful with the input power or you'll fry the diode.
A dragon laser? Serious? Those are like 100s of $
VIRON7 years ago
People gave me burners to disassemble to experiment with this. But, the burning drives are all labeled class one. If you get 250 mw it would be a class 3b or 4, wouldn't it?
Anyone know how to get a diode out of a pressure fit without breaking it? (removed from a RW)
ELF7 years ago
And don't worry, I'm already reading the safety precautions :) Whoa! I need a class 4 laser, those are strong poo :P
ELF7 years ago
Just a small question... Does the infrared laser also produce as much heat? I need a very powerful laser for a 3d printer concept (it won't operate alot at full strength though, I just need the "extra juice) so it can melt a very fine plastic powder in plotted patterns. I can find near IR laser diodes (those that emit same wavelength as remote controls) that can go all the way up to 20W! But I can only find red lasers (650-670nm) with 500mW power output. I might need around 1-2W I think (but kind of a wild guess), so a near IR laser diode would kind of do the trick, but I kind of feel I'm missing something, is there anything else that matters when it comes to produced amount of heat? except the target material's light absorption ability at the given wavelength, and the power output of the laser?
DanYHKim7 years ago
What I would really want is a low-power laser pointer for spotting, combined with a higher-power laser for killing cockroaches.
Edgar8 years ago
OH YEAH! =)
Edgar Edgar8 years ago
Hey, did you've noticed, you can build a Styrofoam cutting CNC machine with this Laser, Lego technic, and little else? 8-)
Do you have a link to that???? I would love to see that
As a mather of fact, there's this guy that makes a laesr cutter with a Pro Laser and a plotter:

Laser&Plotter

So I guess it's a question of using the CD laser instead!
westfw8 years ago
So if you rip apart your sony PS3, you can make a blue/violet laser pointer? (PS3 availability is poor due to yield issues with the BV lasers in the blu-ray disk.)
Silas (author)  westfw8 years ago
Check this: Blu Ray Laser
Homemade Blu Ray Laser
Silas (author)  westfw8 years ago
Sure, check this out for more info : Blu Ray Laser
cazmundi8 years ago
just a question but what about cd-rw lasers if just want to cut abs plastic???
Silas (author)  cazmundi8 years ago
I don't think so.. This one, has somewhat the same abillities as a Pulsar 180, and that can only cut black electricians tape..
hellz yea
its pretty sweet
its pretty sweet
THATS SO FREEKIN BADASS!!!