I have constructed a cost-effective mechanical laser shutter system for our 1064 IR-laser. System contains a mechanical shutter, a control box and a power supply. There are many shutter systems available commercially; mechanical, semi-mechanical, electromagnetic and optical. Most of the systems are expensive and above $1000. These systems are fast (msecs to micro secs) and precise. In our case we needed a shutter which is precise and cost effective but not so fast. So here it is. Some of the specifications of the system:
Another link:http://openwetware.org/wiki/User:Pranav_Rathi/Notebook/OT/2010/10/31/Laser_Shutter_.1
Type mechanical with electronic control. Can also be controlled by a micro controller.
Aperture 10mm.
Open time 1.5 second, .3 second over the beam waist.
Cost $ 30 excluding the power supply.
Operational voltage 3.3, 5 and 12 volts.
Laser intensity upto 10 W.

There might be many ways to make a mechanical shutter; I used eclipsing technique in which a shutter moves over and across an aperture through which the beam passes. To move the shutter I used an electric motor and a gear box. This method is relatively hard because of the motor timing (build all the electronics is not easy). While working on this I got couple of ideas of achieving the same goal in 1/10 of the work and time: A 6 inches audio speaker with/without a micro controller can be converted in to a shutter (I will use this method if I plan to make a shutter for He-Ne) OR simply an electromagnet with a cantilever can be used as a shutter. The advantages of such a systems are, easy to make and similar in speed to commercially available systems.

Step 1: Components

There are three major parts of the system.
Control box.
Power supply.
The components used:


Glade automatic air spray: Air spray uses a motor and gearbox to mechanically operate the spray bottle, which i used to move shutter.
Thorlab Cage System Removable Filter Holders CFH1: To make shutter holder and shutter.
Two 3 inches cage assembly rods: To install the shutter holder on the skin of air spray.
Black aluminum foil: To make the shutter.

Control Box

2 3-pole on/off switch
1 Push on/off button
1 Resistor 100K Ohm
2 Resistor 10K Ohm
1 Resistor 100 Ohm trimmer (pot)
1 Resistor 1.5k Ohm
3 Resistor 240 Ohm
1 1N4148 diode
1 0.1uF 50V Ceramic Capacitor
1 222uF Radial Electrolytic Capacitor
1 npn KD-7B C1815 Y transistor
2 14 pin DIP IC Socket Adaptor Solder Type
2 RED LED 3mm
1 Yellow LED 3mm
1 A-5032 Prototyping Board 300x400 mm
1 12V relay
1.5m red, black, green and yellow wires
1 6X8 cm aluminum box.
3 Banana connectors M&F (yellow (+12V), red (+5V) and orange (+3.3V))
1 Powe Jack M&F

Power Supply

I used 300W desktop computer power supply which i salvaged from an old computer.
Wonderful of you to share a novel use for the air-freshener innards !<br> Why after so many years ?
Thanks Ajoy for liking it. I actually do open-science; means I put all my research work online on openwetware.org. And when I made this shutter I did not know about instructables. But all is well now I am going to start using it. <br>I have seen you also have some nice posts up there, keep up the fun!!! <br>

About This Instructable


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Bio: I am an optical engineer and love to design and build things out of trash for a good use of research.
More by pranavrathi: Fiber light for Olympus microscope Fast shutter foot-switch for lasers Air-freshener based mechanical laser shutter
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