Introduction: Homemade Laser Module

You all know that when making a laser device, the most difficult part it's focusing without buying a module.
So here it is, a complet guide about how to make a focusable laser module with parts you have lying around.
Everybody havs heared about aixiz module, but they're expensive, at least if you know you can do something similar for free.

This module is not recomended for laser diodes over 300mW, because lens can melt and it's not the best heatsink.

the goals I wanted to achieve are:
-Make it easily focusable.
-Make it with household parts.
-make it nice and durable.

I'm very happy with the final results, the module acts as heatsink and it can focus the laser to a single burning point or a beam.

Step 1: Materials

The parts you will need are:

-A 6v motor case (best from a dead motor).
-The lens from the sled.
-A 5mm (inner diameter) washer.
-Three long bolts for the motor case.
-Three ballpen springs (1cm).
-A laser diode (no more than 300mW).

Step 2: The Lens Mount

First of all, you'll need to open the motor and extract the rotor, the magnet and the bearing.

When you're done, cut three equidistant notches and round them to the bolts' diameter.

Then, pick the lens from the sled, and carefully put it in the washer hole. Glue it carefully to not drip glue onto the lens; any scratch or glue drop will disturb  the beam.

Step 3: Placing the LD

Solder the wires to the diode ans isolate them with some heatshrink tube.

Now yoh have to press the diode into the case. Inprovise a press and force the diode into the hole.
The hole is 5mm wide and the diode 5.65mm, so, maybe you need to enlarge the hole a bit.

If you add a bit of thermal grease, the heat from the diode will be dissipated better.

Finally, i added a golden brass cover that fits in the motor case and has a 4mm hole for the 3.8mm laser diode.

Step 4: The Bolt Focuser

Now the washer with the lens can move freely from top to bottom, so three springs will keep it while it still being adjustable.
The tree-bolt-adjustment can shape the beam or fix any lens deviation making possible to focus the laser in a single dot.

Step 5: Done!

Now you can save your money and recycle unused parts to make your own laser module for your next laser project.
Remember that this module is not recomended for diodes over 300mW because lens can melt and it is not a good heatsink (it's iron)
If you have questions or upgrade ideas, comment so all can learn about them.

If you like my project, please vote me for the I Could Make That and Weekend Projects Contests.

Comments

author
ArifK41 (author)2017-01-11

wow this is realy interesting but i want to know what kind of lens is used in this module, can we get them from optical store?

author
abuhafss (author)ArifK412017-08-07

Arif Sb. the lens could be found in DVD drive's sled.

author
GuyW12 (author)2017-04-20

Your instructions show the lens as "from the sled" but I do not see where you tell us what the "sled" is. Can you define where the lens comes from and how we might find a similar item?

author
abuhafss (author)GuyW122017-08-07

You could have googled for sled. Anyway, here the sled means the DVD sled in which the laser diode and the lens are housed.

laser309.jpg
author
RobertB497 (author)2017-04-19

Nice work is it possible to make a laser cutter to cut 3 to 4 mm metal plate as it would make working with hacksaws, hole saws and files to cut a lot quicker and if a miss cut can ruin the job . I know I could make a bad cut with a laser but it be a lot of time saved making a new project

author
0zzy (author)2015-06-18

Somone commented about anyone getting injured by a burning lazer well i made one last year as part of an experment all went well until somthing in my garage fell over and it just happened to land on top of my burning lazer and pushing the button that switches the lazer on i was not in my garage at the time but the time i got back to my garage the lazer had set my garage on fire no one got injured but i lost half the contence of my garage costing me just under £8000 so yeah burning lazers ARE VERY DANGEROUS

author
systemwiz (author)0zzy2016-09-20

they can be, but ignorance is always dangerous

author
Ryzler (author)2016-09-06

How do you vote? Just hit favorite?

I like your projects, very resourceful.

author
Tom French (author)2016-07-01

Where do you get the lens from?

author
sandoreduardo.pereyra (author)2016-01-29

Excelente !! También lo estoy intentando. Gracias por el aporte.

author
u971 (author)2016-01-29

Now that's some good recycling right there,thanks for the idea.

author
Sailormanenzo (author)2015-12-24

And where can i find a lm317 source and a limiter circuit set?

author
Sailormanenzo (author)2015-12-24

Could you please tell me how to make the driver?

driver?
And tell me

author
Sailormanenzo (author)2015-11-06

1.) What do you use to power it?
2.) What driver are you using, and how to you get or make one. 3.)
I see that the diode has three metal points coming out of the ends, which one do you connect the positive and the negative to?

Thanks for the awesome project and I agree you don't need all these warnings.

author
pinomelean (author)Sailormanenzo2015-11-07

I use a lm317 current source as supply, a current limitter circuit set for 150mA for a 200mW laser diode.
When you already have the driver made, connect the negative lead to the case of the diode and try which other pin is the correct one.

author
SamN2 (author)2015-10-13

what kind of driver are you using. would a lm317 driver work ok for most lasers (with a pot of course)

also is that the motor from the cd drive?

author
pinomelean (author)SamN22015-10-14

Yes, i use alm317 as current source,and yes, i used the case from the dc motor.

author
Ismegordo (author)2015-08-31

Thanks for a great Instructable, I found it both Informative and Thought Provoking which I believe is an aim of the Website, to try and get peoples Imagination going and finding out that not everything is Impossible.

as for the other stuff Well.....

I believe that the Website has a "Be Nice" Policy and you are ASKED to ONLY say COMMENTS That are POSITIVE and CONSTRUCTIVE. Now bringing 'Suggestions' up is great BUT NOT BY EVERY OTHER PERSON.

So once again Thanks for sharing as you are a lot braver than I as one of my biggest fears is being Scorned at across the Net and people because of it start Doubting what they can Really Do. So I think I may wait a little longer just to make sure everything is addressed to everyones Standards, I am truely Sorry for the way you seem to of been attacked, I mean its not like your forcing anyone to do the exercise.

Thanks

author
BattleBlimps (author)2015-07-19

what sled (lens)

author
Luziviech (author)BattleBlimps2015-08-21

from a cd-driver - author has some other ible how and what to salvage from a cd driver

author
Fik (author)2015-07-01

Simple, elegant and do-able by people without access to aixiz modules (I thought that this was going to be another "DIY laser module" that goes and lists an aixiz module in the part list).

As for the missing laser warning, it would have been nice ... but, do anyone building a laser-whatever need to be warned that something that burns need to be pointed away from the eyes? Do matches come with a warning that says "Do not stick burning match nor flying spark in eye"?

author
galen (author)Fik2015-07-01

No they really don't.

But for the fun of it... "Warning, do not look at laser with remaining eye"!

author
Gilo (author)2015-06-18

Hi Pinomelean.

You'd better add a "Warning Make at Your Own Risk" " and liability waiver on your piece before somebody gets hurt.

Accidents
can happen. I remember Grant from mythbusters almost got a laser
accidentally beamed at his eye in one of their episodes. And Grant is
quite experienced working with this things.

I like this instructable , though.

I do not agree w Mr. Cmarcus about not teaching something because it has risks (in the context of an instructable).

What is a good eye protector when working w lasers?

author
diy_bloke (author)Gilo2015-06-29

Apparently Grant knows about the danger of lasers and still almost got his eyes zapped, so what to do? ah yes, an extra warning. As Pinomelan said before, warnings are just for liability and have nothing to do with risc containment

author
pinomelean (author)Gilo2015-06-23

I bought a pair of protectice googles for 600-700nm (red) lasers, and i use them with my 300mw laser diode.

The thing is, even with glasses, if you point the laser right into your eye, you will be injured, they only protect you from brief exposure, like a passing beam.

author
SPLatManOz (author)2015-06-18

A 300mW laser and no safety warning?????!!!!!!!

author
pinomelean (author)SPLatManOz2015-06-23

Come on, we all know what lasers do. Do you really think there's someone who thinks that a laser capable of burning wood, engraving plastic and igniting matches is safe to point at your eye?

author
SPLatManOz (author)pinomelean2015-06-23

A laser can quite inadvertently reflect off a nearby reflective surface, such as a window or even a shiny bit of metal, straight into someone's eyes. Warnings should always be given when using lasers. Period.

author
diy_bloke (author)SPLatManOz2015-06-29

The reflection of shiny surfaces isnt changed by the warning. Everybody knows a laser is dangerous

author
pinomelean (author)SPLatManOz2015-06-23

If this dangers are not obvious to you or anyone else and you need multiple warnings all over the page, maybe instructables isn't the right place for you.

author
SPLatManOz (author)pinomelean2015-06-23

Dear "pinomelean". I have worked with lasers and radioactive materials. I have worked on iron ore crushers and on top of gigantic tanks of caustic soda in alumina refineries. I have worked on oil rigs and with powerful radio and radar transmitters. For 34 years (twice your age) I ran an electronics company with employees whose safety I was responsible for.

But I am sure you know best. Stay safe.

Over and out.

author
pinomelean (author)SPLatManOz2015-06-23

This instructable was meant to be only for entertainment purposes, i mention a 300mw diode as the maximum power i recommend to use with this setup, but it was meant to hold 1-15mw diodes which are far more common.

whomever uses this with a high powered diode should already know what he's doing.

I won't cover my instructable in warnings of all kinds just to make sure i don't get sued for any damage it may cause, i find it stupid.

The people who know what they're doing, are going to do it safely, and those who don't, will still do what they want, no matter how dangerous i say it is.

As a employer/boss it's your duty to keep your workers safe, but i'm not in charge of keeping safe the idiots all over the internet, and as i've said, a little warning isn't going to stop them.

author
beedude (author)pinomelean2015-06-24

No I don't think its safe I even have a warning on the rewriter I mentioned that says Class 3B visible and invisible laser radiation when open.

AVOID EXPOSURE TO THE BEAM.

Obviosly they're NOT toys.

author
billbillt (author)2015-06-18

What is the "sled"?...

author
pinomelean (author)billbillt2015-06-23

The sled is the part of a dvd/cd drive that moves lineally accross the disc. It contains the laser diodes, the reading sensors, lenses and mirrors.

author
beedude (author)pinomelean2015-06-26

AHH! Thats what you ment.!

author
billbillt (author)pinomelean2015-06-23

Thanks for the reply..

author
beedude (author)2015-06-24

Hey! I pulled apart a LG Super Multi DVD rewriter Model GSA-H22N anyone know what their power requirements are?

author
jferva (author)2015-06-18

GHlh psdihfshdv s d8¡'924 chpdcoiu ad78e r8¡'9e8r hpoa8'2j cjik (comment written after looking straight at a home-made laser)

author
pinomelean (author)jferva2015-06-23

Very smart of you, sir.

author
tvarghese2 (author)2015-06-12

I jus got a laser diode with me from a dvd drive..can i use they same lens from the drive for focusing the laser?

author
pinomelean (author)tvarghese22015-06-23

Yes, just be careful to not scratch them.

author
zappenfusen (author)2015-06-22

Sharp Instructable. Hilarious comments.

author
JTracker (author)2015-06-20

Nice Job !!!

Thanks for not providing a warning.....

Please..., for all the people that have claimed a knowledge of someone injured by building something on Instructables, based solely on the exclusion of a "hazard warning", please provide the members information and the incident to which this apparently occurred. I can guarantee you - "GUARANTEE YOU :-)", that none of you complaining - have this information.

Based on MY years of experience (my position is), that regardless of the listed complaints - warning labels have not save any lives or limited injury (smoking included), but have simply limited industry liability. Over use of unnecessary labels is the consequence of whiners needing jobs on some safety committee - not for the safety of the supposed "interested parties".

author
FerreiraN (author)2015-06-19

I just saw that news and I can not stop thinking about cmarcus1

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/05/man_who_tried_to_concoct_hash.html

author
cmarcus1 (author)FerreiraN2015-06-20

Man, you need to calm down and stop interpreting everything as personal attacks.

author
dougstrickland (author)2015-06-19
-A 6v motor case (best from a dead motor).
-The lens from the sled.

Okay, what SLED?!

author
GreenMoon (author)dougstrickland2015-06-19

From a computer's DVD burner. Explained in a comment below.

author
FerreiraN (author)2015-06-18

Why am I so stupid?
Why I do not know how to protect myself?
Why I even read instructions?
What would it take for me to be as smart as the critics?
Thank you for protecting us, the ignorant people, oh, wise masters of knowledge!

author
cmarcus1 (author)FerreiraN2015-06-18

It has nothing to do with stupidity, and everything to do with ignorance. I guarantee you - GUARANTEE YOU - that people have been seriously injured because of this stuff constantly being front-paged on sites like Instructables. All it takes is a moment of carelessness or an unexpected reflection to blind someone for life. People authoring these kinds of articles for the general public have a responsibility to at the VERY LEAST surround it with warning labels.

There's a reason why we don't leave guns in places where kids can reach them - every time a kid comes in contact with a gun, there is x% chance that something will go terribly wrong. This is exactly the same thing.

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