In this instuctable I'll show you how to make a powerful handheld laser. Almost all parts are easy to find online. There are only one part that must be produced by a lathe, everything else can be made with ease.
Warning: These lasers are powerful enough to burn your skin. In other words, they are powerful enough to take out an eye instantly. Always use protective goggles.
Step 1: Acquire Parts
We need a shell for the laser with a lot of power. I've seen flashlights been used around the net. The one I uses here I bought from dealextreme in china. The laser diode can be found on e-bay, here I made two pointers. One with a 445nm blue and one 405nm ultra violet. As the driver I intend to use can handle a wide variety of diodes you can choose the one you like. The laser diode needs to be mounted and have a lens. The easy way is to just buy a mount with lens.Aurora C6 CreeMicro boost driveLaser mount and lens
Step 2: Taking Apart the Flashlight
The flashlight screws apart in the front and the back. In the front you will find the LED mounted. The LED is mounted on whats called the "pill" thats where the battery connects and a small controller card is located for the LED.
Once screwed out you can de-solder the LED and remove it. On the other side (where the battery touches) you need to remove the controller board. Once that has been removed it's easy to drill out the pill to give room for the laser driver.
The small controller is needed to connect the battery. Just remove all the itty bitty components somehow, I just used a small knife and carefully scraped them away. Next up you need to find out where you can find power. Just search around with a multimeter until you find a point that connects to the ring around the controller and another that connects to the "button" underneath and solder two short wires to them.
Step 4: Getting the Driver in There
When you receive the driver it need to be set up for the correct output. It is tiny and a bit of a challenge to get it right. But once you have it set up you will feel happy about yourself. The instructions comes with the driver.
Once you have the driver set up you need to solder the two wires from the old LED driver to the new laser driver. once they are in place your done with the "pill".
Step 5: Getting the Adapter Ready.
The adapter will hold the small 12mm laser diode/lens holder to the flashlight. This is a crude drawing with all measurements in millimeters that fits the flashlight I got. I had a friend make it in a lathe and all that is needed to finish it is a threaded hole for a small screw. Once this is in place your done with the adapter.
Step 6: Getting It All in There
With the laser in place of the diode/lens holder it is time to put it all together. Now you have to solder the laser diode to the driver with short wires, make sure you solder the anode and cathode to the correct solder points. Slide down the adapter over the laser diode holder and screw down a small headless screw to hold it down.
Now you are ready to screw the whole thing together. Don't forget the to screw down the lens before you get the battery in there to test it.
Step 7: All Done!
Hopefully you should now have a powerful laser pointer in your hands. Just remember to be careful and don't let anyone play with it. This thing will not kill you but it will make you blind in a heartbeat.