Instructables

How to make a powerful burning laser for CHEAP!

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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

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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

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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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rescue911j112 hours ago

Will a LM317T work for this project.

KenH224 days ago

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

zack1956104 months 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
bobr11 month 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 !

yes, cd uses infrared. only dvd players and burners use visible red light. blue ray player uses blue to uv I believe
aditib1 month 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??

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.

I bought a “DH-16A1L SATA LIGHTSCRIBE DVD±RW DRIVE HP P/N
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.

Legobuilder634 months ago

mine just showed a really weak red dot.

sricafort5 months ago

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

makershaker056 months ago

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.

frenchman2710 months ago
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)  frenchman277 months 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.

dhalsim10 months 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)  dhalsim7 months 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.

Ouranos1 year ago
I hope you know that you don't solder on the breadboard
joeismydad (author)  Ouranos7 months ago

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

regr59649 months 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)  regr59647 months 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.

Serves a 200 mw laser diode

Nilpmet10 months ago

This sounds like a stupid questtion but what color will the laser be?

Normal lasers are red. BlueRay are....blue and super high powered ones are usally green

aklreaxmer10 months ago
Hey, do you think a diode from a Blu-Ray player would work for this?
Thanks
Nilpmet aklreaxmer10 months ago

why would you destroy a blu-ray player!?

joeismydad (author)  aklreaxmer10 months ago
I'm sure it would work, I just don't know how much power (mw) your Blu-ray diode can put out, and the driver in this instructable may not be suited for your diode. Also, the color of the laser beam would be blue instead of red.
blindrulz1 year ago
i connected the laser diode directly to 3v power it worked properly 4 1 day !! but de next day it is nt glowin properly! n itz nt burnin anything!! wat is de use of de transistor ??? hw can de laser b burnin?? replz plz
joeismydad (author)  blindrulz10 months ago
Sorry for the late reply. Your laser is not working now because you connected the diode directly to the battery without using a regulator or driver. You're actually very lucky that your diode lasted a day, most diodes will fry in about 20 seconds without a driver. The transistor (LM317) is an adjustable voltage regulator; the voltage can vary between 1.25 to 37v, depending on what you set it to.
guilhermee_12311 months ago
Hello, I wanted to ask you coisa.Ao replace the diode aixiz weak, will still use the circuit before you changed it?
joeismydad (author)  guilhermee_12310 months ago
No, do not use the driver/circuit that came with the module. That driver is used to power the weak 5 mw diode, and will not give optimal results (if any) when used with the new diode.
guilhermee_12311 months ago
When the diode pain replaced by another circuit before modification, ie, the original is needed or the drive is making the necessary
LaserRage2 years ago
Hey, I've been working with lasers for a While now, Love them sooooo much. but anyways to the point. You can get a 20X laser diode for 9 dollars at a place called Modwerx.com, and use a 3 Ohm resistor and you can get about 200-250mW's, you can use a 5 ohm resistor with yours too. and get a good 150-160mW's!
hope this helps!
Thank you for your reply. Could you burn polythelene plastic 3mm with white or opaque colour??
lis.tesla3 years ago
is there anywhere i can get one of those modules besides the internet
Not really. Cheapest is on ebay. Normally about $8. $5 plus $3 shipping.
Here's a link to great modules that have copper to act a a great heatsink.
3 for $16, so $5.33 each. And they are super fast shipping located in the USA,

https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/home/diode-modules
DirtyScurt1 year ago
what ohm resistor would i use if i used a 9 volt battery instead of a 6 volt battery?
This is a proper driver circuit for a red burning laser. You can use a 9 volt battery with it.

http://laserpointerforums.com/f42/diy-homemade-laser-diode-driver-26339.html
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