Introduction: How to Build a Laser Turret

Picture of How to Build a Laser Turret

Hello! Today I will show you how to build an amazing laser turret.

Step 1: Parts

For this Project you will need:

  1. Makeblock Orion microcontroller (1)
  2. Benbox class 3B laser(1)
  3. Power regulator (should be included with Laser)(1)
  4. Makeblock Aluminum stock : 5x2 holes (2); 4x2 holes (2)
  5. M3 machine screws (8) and corresponding nuts (8)
  6. Zipties (I used around 10, but you could use more or less)
  7. PhantomX turret kit (this is a really great turret kit, but there are much cheaper ones that would do the same job, I'll link some other options on the bottom of the page)
  8. 9v battery pack
  9. AC/DC adapter
  10. FTDI cable

You will also need Arduino IDE version 1.0.6

Here's a link to Trossen for turret option: http://www.trossenrobotics.com/c/robot-turrets.aspx

All of the Makeblock components can be purchased here: http://makeblock.cc

WARNING:

Make sure to wear proper eye protection when the laser is in use. This laser is powerful, so keep that in mind when you ar e working with it.

Step 2: Assemble the Turret

Picture of Assemble the Turret

The assembly of the turret is very straightforward. It's a basic pan/tilt servo set-up and should be an easy build for anyone who has done similar projects. I'll include some pictures to help, and that ought to be enough.

Step 3: Software Downloads

Picture of Software Downloads

Now that your turret's assembled, it's time for the software. you will need to download the Arduino Ide and FTDI drivers. Make sure to download the correct version of the IDE and the FTDI drivers for your operating system.

Arduino IDE 1.0.6:

https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/OldSoftwareReleases#previous

FTDI Drivers:

http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

After you successfully installed those programs, follow the steps on the Trossen Robotics website for testing the board and setting up.

Here's the link:

http://learn.trossenrobotics.com/index.php/getting-started-with-the-arbotix/7-arbotix-quick-start-guide

Complete the guide and move on to ID-ing the servos in the turret using Dynamanager, which you can also download at Trossen. The website does a great job of walking you through the steps to make ypur turret completely functional. Using the guides, you can program the servos to move in a preset pattern or through a joystick (which is what I did).

Step 4: Laser Carriage

Picture of Laser Carriage

Now it's time to assemble the laser carriage.

  1. Mount the Orion board on one of the 5x2 beams using two M3 screws.
  2. Assemble the rest of the stock as shown in the first image on the step.
  3. Zip tie the Benbox laser to the 5x2 beam not holding the Orion. Make sure it is fastened tightly.
  4. Wire the Benbox to the Orion as shown in the diagram.
  5. Attach the Power adapter for the Benbox to the 4x2 stock piece.

Now zip tie the carriage on to the turret as shown in the images.

Step 5: Getting the Laser to Work

Alright, you will now need to download the mDraw software from Makeblock's website. Here's the link:

http://www.makeblock.com/xy-plotter-robot-kit .Download the "All in one package" and ignore all of the kit instructions. Just focus on the mDraw software and the Benbox software, because that's all you need.

Familiarize yourself with the interface so all of what I say after this sentence makes sense.

Once you have downloaded the mDraw software successfully, you will need to set the device to the XY plotter.

You will also need to change the add-on from the pen option to the Benbox option.

After you have done all of that, you still need to do one last thing. You will need to import an image of a large black square into the mDraw software. Make sure the square fills up all of the space in the gui (if any of this sounds confusing, just comment below or go to the Makeblock help page). Hook up the Orion board to your computer, upload the program and you now have a working laser turret.

Hope you had a good time making this, because it took a lot of work on my part to get this project functional. As always, Happy Making!

Comments

ThothLoki (author)2017-06-07

word of caution. The laser used in this bile is most likely a 500mw. That will burn wood, plastic and skin. A typical laser pointer is usually 5mw or less and they will blind a pilot 10,000 ft in the air. The reflection from this laser will blind you!

Love your design. Great ible. If possible, please throw a caution at the beginning on these lasers (I have a 2000mw and a 2500mw laser module similar to yours)

DerpyCyclops (author)ThothLoki2017-07-02

Will Do! Thanks for the comment!

ThothLoki (author)DerpyCyclops2017-07-03

Thanks

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