Introduction: 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.

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.

Step 3: Build the Driver

Picture of Build the Driver

Solder the positive wire from the battery pack to the right pin on the LM317. Solder the 10 ohm resistor between the middle pin and the left pin. Then solder the laser positive to the left pin, and the laser negative directly to the battery negative. The   picture shows a 5 ohm resistor, but it should be a 10 ohm. If you use a 5 ohm, it will still work, and the laser will be more powerful, but it will shorten the life of the diode.

Step 4: Burn Stuff!

Picture of Burn Stuff!

Put in 4 AA batterys in the battery pack, and fire it up! The laser dot is really bright. I like to shine it through my neighbors bathroom window and scare the crap out of him(not a good idea). But anyway have fun, be safe, and don't get caught.

Oh yeah this is my entry for the wicked lasers contest, so if you like this instructable, please vote for me.


TechA7 (author)2017-11-10

What if I just join laser Dodie with battery

electric guy (author)2016-01-13

a10ohm register. I was wondering can this laser burn grass?

erickgra000 (author)electric guy2017-09-13

dry, yes wet maybe not.

JesperK (author)2015-07-26

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:

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

PiperB (author)JesperK2015-08-05

How can I add a heatsink?

erickgra000 (author)PiperB2017-09-13

use a screw to add into the hole of a heat sink. if it dont have one, drill a hole and then use a nut and bolt to hold it in place.

JesperK (author)PiperB2015-08-10

To make a heatsink get an old heat sink from old grafikdrive or old amplifier drill a hole with dimension so the laserhead just fit in apply a little drop of heatpasta to the laserhead before puting it in the drilled hole, thats all.
The right laser is all about what class it is on the back of all drives is written what class it contains it has to be class 3b at least.

PiperB (author)JesperK2015-08-19


JosephW33 (author)JesperK2016-02-14

Sorry JesperK I don't have any confidence with the information from Wikipedia. I am a electronic technologist and even if I looked something up about electronics it doesn't always give me the right answer. The last time I was to my ophthalmologists for a eye exam I asked her about the danger of laser pointer and if I need safety. And she told me as long as I don't look directly into the beam I will be alright. But you can ask your eye doctor ,and if they tell you something different please let me know. Thanks

mce128 (author)JesperK2015-12-27

FWIW, quite a number of CD/DVD RW drives have a Class 1 rating on the sticker on the drive even though the laser diode they contain would, if not enclosed within the drive be a Class 3b. So, it is entirely possible and even fairly likely to extract a Class 3b laser diode from a drive labeled as a Class 1 device.

JesperK (author)mce1282016-01-03

Yes, you are right on that.I have investigated a little and to my surprise I found a class 3b in a device labeled with class1.

DiegoT32 (author)2016-04-22


erickgra000 (author)DiegoT322017-09-13

from a computer shop

sergei7d8 (author)DiegoT322017-02-25

were ever you can find one

vulcano9111 (author)DiegoT322017-02-14

From garbage yard.

Deathstick (author)DiegoT322016-11-12

See above comment.

Rileyd5 (author)DiegoT322016-05-09

Form any computer or device that says it is a dvd drive/ CD burner (literally means burn)

BrianG146 (author)DiegoT322016-05-03

You should be able to go to a goodwill or somewhere similar and find an old one. Or just buy a cheap one from Walmart.

BrianG146 (author)BrianG1462016-05-03

Also, an old computer tower if you have one.

erickgra000 (author)2017-09-13

From a computer shop. ask them for an old cd-rom or a dvd driver

abhilash_patel (author)2017-03-09

I want to use these laser for low power (5-50 mW), can you please guide me how to achieve it?
thanks in advance

KuldeepS64 (author)2017-02-22

how to make small laser hair removal machine. Like this handy machine or very laser hair removal machine

RoxasH (author)2017-02-18

I want a lower wavelength. Around 200-440nm is good. Where would I get one?

PM7 (author)2017-02-06

You CAN'T burn with a laser from a plain DVD drive. It MUST BE from a BURNING drive. A DVD-RW drive.

A plain DVD or CD drive uses a very low wattage laser because the laser beam is only used to reflect off the disk to the & not burn it

vulcano9111 (author)PM72017-02-14

You right, thanks a lot.

BarryW45 made it! (author)2017-01-14

Hi, my son and I built this laser as instructed for his 6th grade science fair project. We purchased online a 250mw 650nm red laser diode. It produces the laser but it does not burn anything. We used an infrared thermometer to measure how much heat it is producing and it is only 77 degrees F. We followed the instruction to the tee. Any suggestions?

DIYLover182 (author)BarryW452017-01-18

Your standard, off the shelf 250mw laser pointer will not be enough to burn many things. To see decent results, you will need to salvage a laser pointer from a CD drive (the exact power depends on the model of the drive, but it will be a far cry more powerful than 250mw). Alternatively, you could try pumping more than 250mw through the laser (i.e. 1w) and see how it fares, but depending on what type of pointer you purchased could lead to it catching fire.

BarryW45 (author)BarryW452017-01-14

PS. It doesn't look like the laser is totally focused into a point. There is a little adjustable screw tip on the housing and we played with that to get it as focused as could.

sappalangi (author)2017-01-07

Hi guys ,I got a laser diode from my lite-on DVD drive.I powered the diode using multimeter it won't that spoiled?

Deathstick (author)2016-11-12

Places to get free CD burners in the US:

*Schools/Community Colleges/Universities that E-cycle.

**Walmart/BestBuy (Ask friendliest looking person at GeekSquad)/K-mart or any other box store, the electronics department usually has a bin for E-waste. You are saving the environment!

***Any local large company with over 50 employees is bound to have some old computers in a dark corner they'd gladly give you.

****Any computer repair store, the smaller the better.

*****Craigslist is the easiest, they will come calling, literally! Post a Wanted ad in "Wanted" and in "Computers" (Everyone does it!!!). # Maybe even post in "Barter and Trade", if you have something "priceless" you are willing to dig out of a drawer. While on site look in "Free" and "Barter and Trade".

------Hint: Go ahead and post an "Wanted: old microwave" while there, then look for an Instructable on "Homemade Welder".

******Local Landfill (The Dump). They will have an E-waste area. Bring some E-waste with you to have a reason for going into that area. Most have a separate complex for E-Waste now, or there are 3rd party companies that handle this, might be off-site.

SHOE0007 (author)2016-09-22

Here is an example of a good heat sink for a laser. One like this that may cost 50 dollars or more.

SHOE0007 (author)2016-09-22

A good idea is to add a really good heat sink to the lasers. Some cheap 250 mw burning lasers from e-bay do not have this. So without a proper heat sink the laser even though I added one only last 4 hours max.

AaronG99 (author)2016-08-10

yes, PLEASE listen to this about how dangerous lasers can be., I am now permanently blind in a small 1mmx1mm up close spot that progressively gets bigger the farther away at a max of 5mm. This was caused not due to stupidity but a freak accident. Sadly its dead center of the eye almost but its been almost 2 years. it seems to hopefully be getting better, but I doubt it. PLEASE take lasers seriously. They can be a fun toy but can be very hazardous. You've been warned!

KobyB (author)2016-07-26

can i use a blue diode? if yes can someone please send a link to buy a cheap blue laser diode in australia? thx

dsanco (author)KobyB2016-08-08

Try a bluray drive similar instructions

MarkA176 (author)2016-04-20

is there a place to buy the laser diode?

YigitS3 (author)MarkA1762016-07-17

ebay is the best for diodes and modules.

SoterisN (author)2016-07-02

will this remove rust ?

boxfreind (author)2016-05-30

Will it burn paper and/or kindling?

jameel.shammout (author)2015-01-11

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

ZoefMan (author)jameel.shammout2016-04-15

I think that a led lamp is good too. Just make sure that its resistant is 10 ohm. Or a wire with a higher resistant. Or dont use a resistor, but you'll fry your diode fast

VishalP67 (author)2016-04-14

cant understand circuit daigram....?

how to join positive and negative connections.

and can i find laser dioed frm computer dvd drive?

pls help me

Hitechcomputergeek. (author)2015-01-16

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.)

If it works for the Chinese.

itsruthanitha (author)2016-03-24

Green laser pointers are perceived by the human eye as significantly brigthter than red laser marks.

Recently I bought this Brightest Laser Pointer, it's so bright, and it has many uses from experiments to demonstrations to emergency safety. Signaling searches in an emergency, 5 hours of consistent use per charge. Use this code

bobr1 (author)2014-09-25

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 !

Exx0n (author)bobr12016-03-20

Yea, lasers in a cd player are infrared (invisible to the naked eye). You need to use one from a dvd drive.

discostu956 (author)bobr12014-10-14

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

Ninjahlol5264848o4 (author)2015-12-28

Is there anyway to focus the laser to a beam or something like that because it looks like a blurry dot, but if im mistaken i ask if anyone can tell me.
Thanks guys

Exx0n (author)Ninjahlol5264848o42016-03-20

I used a lense that I found in a dvd drive.

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