We'll start with the parts list:
~1-2w 445nm laser diode (Ebay)
~12x30mm Aixiz laser module (Ebay)
~Aixiz three element glass lens (Ebay)
~Slide switch and momentary switch (Radioshack)
~2xAA battery holder (Radioshack)
~7805 regulator (5v regulator). Use a 1A version for about 1W of laser light or a 1.5A one for about 1.5W. NOTE: Using 1.5A regulator will shorten your diodes life compared to the 1A variety.
~2x 14500 3.7v lithium batteries and charger (Ebay)
~ Wire, stranded wire around 26 AWG will work best
~A soldering iron and solder
~Laser safety goggles (Ebay). ***These are ABSOLUTELY needed!!!***
Laser module and electrical:
To start, press your 445nm diode into the Aixiz module using the back half of the module and a vice. Once you have completed that, solder your wires onto the diode (I have provided an image showing pin configuration of 445nm diodes, you'll only use two of the pins). ONLY solder onto the diode when it is in the Aixiz module or a heat sink of some sort! Next, screw the back of the Aixiz module back on, and then replace the the standard acrylic lens of the Aixiz module with the three element glass lens. Now that your Aixiz module is ready to go, you will now solder together the rest of the circuit using the schematic I provided in the pictures as a guide, however it does not need to be exactly the same (the safety switch is optional, for example. I just find it nice to prevent any mishaps when I carry it in my pockets).
The Altoids Tin:
Now that we have completed the electrical side of the build, we can focus on the tin. First, locate and then drill out the locations where you wish to have your buttons/switches and the laser module to be. This part is purely your choice. If you do not have a 12mm metric bit for the Aixiz module hole, a 1/2 inch drill bit should suffice (it ends up being 12.7mm).
Now for the final part of the build: putting it all together! (Its pretty self explanatory)
An optional, yet recommended extra step:
Without a heat sink, the Aixiz module and 7805 regulator will heat up fast and you risk damaging your diode. So, I HIGHLY suggest that you make/ buy a heat sink for your laser. I built my heat sink out of two small square of 3/8 aluminum plate screwed together with a 12mm hole drilled down the middle of it.
***When operating ANY high powered laser, you MUST always wear laser safety goggles, and they should be at least OD 3***
~Star pointing (Be careful though)
~Demonstrations like popping balloons and starting matches
~Light sabre fights?! (Jk... I would not suggest doing this)
A note on using it: Adjusting the lens will cause the focus of the beam to change. Focusing it to a point is great for burning, and into a beam is great for distance pointing.
***YOU ASSUME ALL RESPONSIBILITY BY BUILDING THIS. I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR NOTHING***