Introduction: AFFORDABLE LASER LIGHT SHOW
Second Prize in the
Wicked Lasers Contest
So, I'll show you how I made my very own laser light show that will project either a really cool spider-webby hexagon effect or a crisp triangle effect using a few very common and cheap materials.
Here's a video of what the final results will look like:
Step 1: Gather Parts
You'll need the following
- about six feet of half-inch PVC pipe
- two dowel rods under a half-inch in diameter and about a foot and a half long
- a hack saw
- a ruler or yard-stick
- a sharpie marker
- duct tape
- hot glue gun
- six half-inch PVC T-joints
- one half-inch PVC 90 degree elbow
- one half-inch PVC end-cap
- triangular flood lamp bulb (mine is a Philips Halogen Flood light 75 W 120 V)
- a reflective lens - I got mine from a light-up key chain
- a laser pointer that is around a half inch in diameter, any color will work (The laser I used has a button which is pushed in when the laser is put in the pipe, conveniently turning on the laser)
Step 2: Isolate Reflective Lenses
For this step, you'll need to isolate your reflective lenses.
I got mine from an overhead spotlight and from a reflective dollar-store key chain.
The lens from the key chain is very easy to isolate, I just snapped it off of the toy.
Depending on your source of a lens, this step may also require unscrewing a few screws to get to the lens.
To remove the lens from the light bulb, carefully pry the lens off of it with a screwdriver or knife, or use a hacksaw on the material connecting the cone part of the light to the lens.
An over head light is what inspired me to do this project. The same day that I found out about this contest, one of the two lights over my kitchen counter burst and fell from the ceiling. However, the lens was amazingly in one piece.
My immediate first reaction was to shine a laser through it. When you do this, you get a really neat pattern.
As I was building this project, I decided to look for other items with lenses that had a similar patterned texture. I found the light up key chain and decided to use that as another lens.
Step 3: Attach Lens to Dowel Rod
For this step, you'll need the dowel rod, duct tape, the lens and the hot glue gun.
First, modify the dowel rod. Wrap the end of the dowel rod with duct tape a few times to give extra surface area, so the lens can be glued to the end of the dowel rod.
Now, hot glue the dowel rod to the center of the lens.
Step 4: Measure and Cut PVC
Use the sharpie and ruler to mark the PVC. Then use the hacksaw to cut the marked PVC.
You'll need thirteen lengths of pipe.
Measure and cut 1 of each of the following lengths:
-Two and a quarter inches
-Two and a half inches
-Three and a half inches
-Ten and a half inches
-Twelve inches (1 foot)
Also, measure and cut 6 six-inch lengths
Step 5: Assemble Base
Set pieces out as shown, and assemble. This will be your base.
The middle T-joint allows your light show to be on the wall, or the ceiling.
Step 6: Assemble "Gun"
Set pieces out as shown and connect all joints.
We'll call this the gun.
PVC cement is an option here, I chose not to use it.
Step 7: Assemble Laser Housing
Set the laser housing pieces out as shown.
Once again, connect all joints.
Do not use PVC cement on this assembly, you will need to open and close the housing to insert the laser.
Step 8: Insert Laser to Housing
Dis-assemble the housing as shown.
Place the laser (laser dot should point to the right) in the assembly and put the housing back together. The laser should now be constantly on, kept on by the pipe activating the switch.
Step 9: Attach Laser Housing to Gun
Attach the laser housing to the gun as shown.
Step 10: Align Laser
Here's a video that shows how to insert the laser in the housing and align it.
To align the laser, take the gun with the laser in it and point it at a wall. Look through the top pipe of the gun and move the laser housing from left to right until you can see the laser dot on the wall.
Step 11: Connect Gun to Base, Put Lens Assembly in Top Pipe
Connect the gun to the base, then put the lens and dowel rod assembly into the top pipe.
Step 12: Insert Dowel Rod to Drill Chuck
Loosen the chuck on your variable speed drill.
Insert the dowel rod into the drill chuck, and tighten it until the dowel rod rotates with the drill.
Now turn out the lights and fire up the drill and you have your very own laser light show!
Step 13: Congrats, You've Made Yourself a Laser Light Show!
Press the button on the drill in-sync with music to get a really cool home made laser light show! Enjoy!
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