How to make a powerful burning laser for CHEAP!

Picture of How to make a powerful burning laser for CHEAP!

After watching many videos on youtube of people burning things with high power lasers, I wanted one.Those lasers can cost a lot of money though, something I don't have. So I made one, and in this instructable, I will show you how to make one for less than ten bucks. This is my first instructable, so if I did something wrong, please tell me. This laser outputs between 50-100 milliwatts(I think), and can burn electrical tape, light matches and melt thin plastic.I was messing around with this laser one day, and I shined it at a mirror,  and the laser shined back in my eye for a second. I heard a popping sound and I couldn't see anything for a couple of minutes. Now, I was LUCKY that I did not get permanently blinded, but if I shined it a second longer I probably would have been. Now with that said, NEVER point a laser at another person, animals, or any other living thing.

Okay, Now lets make the laser.

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Step 1: The Parts needed

Picture of The Parts needed
You will need:

1. A old DVD drive (free)

2. A LM317 ($2.00)

3. 10 ohm resistor ($0.10)

4. An Aixiz Module from here: ($5.00)

5. 6-volt battery pack from Radioshack ($1.99) 

Tools Needed:

A soldering iron (free)

Screwdriver (free)

Total Cost : $9.10

Step 2: Get the diode

Picture of Get the diode

Remove all the screws on your DVD drive, take off the rails by removing the screws that hold it in place and take off the laser tray. There should be two diodes on the laser sled, one of them is infrared. You can test for the red diode by hooking the diode up to a 3 volt battery pack. Then remove the weak 5 mw laser module from the Aixiz housing and add the new laser diode from the DVD laser assembly. Solder 2 wires to the positive and negative of the laser diode according to the diagram.

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JesperK9 days ago

Hello guys.

It is important to get the right old dvd, it has to be a Class 3b laser inside and not all dvd especially the new ones have lasers in lower classes. Look on the backside of the dvd drive a yellow badge shows what class laser it has. It has at least to be Class 3b, Class 1 is even not dangerous to the eyes. try this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_safety

And a heatsink is also necessary or the laser will burn out in no time.

Sorry for bad gramma and spelling.

Have a nice and laserbright day

AdamN1216 days ago

Could you use a 9-volt battery instead or is that too strong?

how do you get such a huge cylinder from a cdrom laser head ???

i made my laser according to the instructions but it won't burn anything and it is dim.

Could the dvd drive have been preused and is already kind of burnt.

Are you sure it's a DVD writer and not a DVD reader or a CD drive? Those are less powerful...

MiloO12 months ago

radioshack? why do you suppose all people live in USA?

69696969 MiloO12 months ago

well, most people know what radioshack is i would think. so you could most likly find a similar store close to you.

3XTR3M1ST3 months ago

Saw quite a couple of these instructional videos and everyone's saying to extract the diode and build a driver for it on another heatsink/casing.

But I just wonder why not just leave the diode as it is in the laser carriage assembly and simply power it up with whatever ribbon cables it is attached to?

Saves all the trouble don't it?

joeismydad (author) 7 months ago

Okay everyone, I'm finally back on Instructables :)

Looking back at this instructable...reminds me of my early days :P

do you know if a laser from a lg gsa-5169 dvd/cd burner would work for this project? I'm fairly new to this kind of laser fun, but I'm loving figuring it out.
ctaylor764 months ago
is this laser ok to use its from a Sony cd tape player
andytangtsk5 months ago
I hooked mine to two AA batteries, after a while, the laser dimmed, I couldn't make it go bright again even after changing the batteries, did I just "partially" fried the laser diode?

Is it safe to hook the laser directly to a small CR2032 battery, or is that enough to fry it? (The Chinese do it all the time.)

is there any substitute for the 10 ohm resistor, because i can find much that arent expensive. (I live in europe not america btw) thanks

This is the first time I’m trying anything laser diode
related so I could just be totally wrong, but it seems like not every DVD burner
has the type of laser diode with the metal cap on it needed for this project.

5188-7537” from EBay and took it apart to find both laser diodes had no caps on
them (the crystal was exposed).

And I bought “Toshiba Satellite C655D Series CD-RW DVD±RW
Multi Burner Drive TS-L633” from EBay to find a diode that did not have much of
a body at all. It had the flat round
back with the pins like normal, but after removing the heat sink material that
should have been encasing the front of the diode I realized that the heat sink
was the body of the diode with the crystal resting in it.

Can someone who has completed this project successfully please
suggest to me a make and model DVD burner that works for this project.Thank you.

Well, the diodes that you got from the DVD burner(s) should work just fine for this project :)

The diodes with no caps are known as "open-can diodes".

They should work just fine, they are made without caps because the manufacturers want to save money. It should still fit into an Aixiz module, but just be very careful not to touch the exposed crystal.

For more information, check out this link:


KenH29 months ago

would it work if i connect the battery pack directly to the laser diode?

joeismydad (author)  KenH27 months ago

You COULD, not very healthy for diode though.

rescue911j18 months ago

Will a LM317T work for this project.

joeismydad (author)  rescue911j17 months ago


zack1956101 year ago

Do you need the Aixiz module or can you get by without it? If not, why?

it's a heat sink, and audio houses the collimating lens that focuses the bean into a dot
bobr110 months ago

I opened up a radio/CD player, and found the 3 pin diode and tested it with 2 AA batteries. But when I attached the wires, there was no visible light coming from the diode. Is it possible this thing is in an another spectrum like Infrared ?

Please help !

discostu956 bobr19 months ago
yes, cd uses infrared. only dvd players and burners use visible red light. blue ray player uses blue to uv I believe
aditib10 months ago

i too tried connecting the laser directly to a 3v battery .... and its heated up fr some secs and then stopped working .i saw ur ansewr to the problem. my question is that can i use a capacitor to regulate the voltage?and not only a capacitor is it ok to use an old capacitor which was used in circuits??and will the laser spoil if i do not use a resistor??

mine just showed a really weak red dot.

sricafort1 year ago

I can just improvise with my module.. its all in the focusing of the lens right?

nice I like it good job

What is the use of Aixiz Module? And can I make it without Aixiz Module?

You could make it without the module, but then it would be more like a flashlight then a burning laser. The module helps focus the laser into a beam, which is why it can burn things.

Hi I remove the laser sled and I see one diode. On your picture the diode is encased. Do I need to remove everything around the diode? Where is the positive and negative on the diode? Thank you for your help.
joeismydad (author)  frenchman271 year ago

Yes, you want to remove everything around the diode; the diode should look like this: http://www.futurlec.com/Pictures/LASER_RED.jpg (pins won't be that long tho). For me, there was a piece of metal in which my diode was encased in, I had to carefully break it off or else the diode wouldn't fit inside the module.

Oh and about the positive and negative connections on the diode...it is shown in the first picture.

dhalsim1 year ago

Hello i took parts from a old radio cd player

10 ohm resistance ( i have been lucky only 1 in it lol )

and transistor ( not lm317 ) but 2SD882

A laser diode from a ps3 bluray kem-450 DAA , 3 pins .

All seem to work with a 6V battery but i need at least to buy the module .to focus the light .

Because for the moment it look like a flashlight not a laser .... ( blue light )

brightness is very low, I have made a mistake? or should i buy a module then try again ?

Thanks :

Dhal from France

joeismydad (author)  dhalsim1 year ago

The brightness is low probably because your diode is not getting enough voltage/current. Since you are using a different diode than I am (Bluray), the needs of your diode are probably different from mine. Also, the fact that you are using a transistor may be the problem...I'm using a voltage regulator lol. The module is only used to focus the light, if you have very low brightness then it must be something wrong with the circuit itself.

Halphinian1 year ago
I hope you know that you don't solder on the breadboard
joeismydad (author)  Halphinian1 year ago

Yea, I didn't want to solder cuz I was being lazy...lol

regr59641 year ago

im making this for a school project. do you have any tips or tricks on how i could make it stronger, diffrent colored, etc...?

joeismydad (author)  regr59641 year ago

If you want to make it stronger, you could decrease the resistor values by a little (don't overdo it) and the laser should be brighter. If you want to change the color, you would have to get a different diode because every diode comes with a set color that cannot be changed.

Will a LM 1738 work??? Also I cannot find the diode. On the laser tray(that slides about) there is something I managed to pull out somehow but how to check whether or not its a laser??? Also from where I can give it power??? Please help!!!

I don't know what an LM1738 is...but I'm sure it's a voltage regulator of some kind. The LM317 works great because it's an ADJUSTABLE voltage regulator, meaning you can adjust the voltage coming out by using 2 resistors. To check if the "thing" you pulled out is a laser, you should first check the appearance; A laser diode should look something like this: http://www.futurlec.com/Pictures/LASER_RED.jpg

Then to test it, briefly apply 3v to the positive and negative pins (shown in image), the laser should be red.

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