This is basic instructions on how to build a portable image projector that uses a green laser instead of normal light. The laser permits images to be cast great distances, and doesn't require focusing - it's always in focus.

This particular design is simple in order, more for the sake of keeping my short attention span on track for long enough to actually get this finished!

Let me know if I've missed some detail and I'll correct it.

For more photos see flickr page

Warning: Even a low power laser can cause permanent eye damage. Always wear safety glasses and never point at people, animals, or police helicopters!
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

This method describes absolute basics using lesser quality optics and low power green laser.

This guide shows the set-up for slides made from overhead transparencies.

I will use the Dinkle rails and polymorph pellets.

Materials Required:

  • Green laser module 10mW+
  • 1 solid length of wood (~90cm)
  • polymorph pellets (or a willingness to create lens holders from wood, plastic, etc)
  • concave and convex lens. You can get these from old disposable cameras which camera shops will throw out by the dozens.
  • Hardware for attaching rail to wood (bolts or screws, depending on method).

Optional Materials:

Tools required:

  • Drill
  • Jigsaw or handsaw
  • Hole making bits for drill (if using wood to create lens holders)


I will use the Dinkle rails for this instruction simply because they make alignment so much easier. They also allow a great degree of modularity - being able to swap different lasers, lens, etc in and out quickly.
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Pirat7 months ago

Would you suggest any link from ebay for a laser compatible with this project? There seems to be a lot of 500mw with very different price tags and specs.

prem196710 months ago
is it posible to combine three color of lasers ( RGB ) to get a white beam..?
itge132 years ago
that's the first instructable i comment. i have to say it.. AWESOME :)
how can i make it colored?
Lol. Picture 3 looks like a bomb
It sure does.  ;-) Bomb-like insides, plus a conservative looking briefcase on the outside... I think this just adds to its awesomeness!  Very stylish.  I sort of imagine the theme from Mission Impossible being played while this thing is in use.
ALogan973 years ago
Would one of those small, red pet toy-type lasers work?
any laser would work, but obviously the lower power the laser, the dimmer it would be and the shorter range it would have. echo_anomie here uses a 100mW laser, but states under materials that 10mW+ is needed. 5mW is considered the limit for "safe" lasers, so you can expect a pet laser would be even less than that.
In short, yes a pet laser would work, but it would have a range of probably a few cm in a dark room
Foxfur3 years ago
Has anyone tried projecting using Viewmaster discs? It might be cool. I wish I had my old 'Land of the Lost' discs... I miss that show.
sergutaya3 years ago
cool !!!
baruc4 years ago
hi, i like so much your project, but you know what kind of eye protection do I even need? i have some lens and a 30mW green laser. Thx
biolethal baruc3 years ago
baruc biolethal3 years ago
thx, i'll try to find these here in mexico. Thx
tinkerman923 years ago
i dont know if someone mentiond this already or not but if u put a dish of living organisms in that they wouldnt b living for long. cool tho
now you watch in film viewing
bodhi.evans5 years ago
The pictures in step seven look suspiciously like a bomb...
qmc bodhi.evans4 years ago
Don't worry ... as long as you're not a Muslim, you should be alright :/
Lol, that's what I was thinking! <.< >.> cool project though eh?
mgysgthath5 years ago
SO essentially you're just piping the beam through the slide, after diffusing it with the lens? I've got a 450mW 532nm laser and I'm thinking of trying this one out. I've already got some convex lenses. I've got ready access to plenty of LCD screens and I'm wondering what you're thinking? Pipe a video signal through the LCD and instead of a regular backlight, use the laser? I think with 450mW even with the light absorption, it might work decent.
you know what would be cool...
get a green one, a blue, and a red one all together and have full color laser projection.
That's exactly what I was thinking too! Already wondering where I can scrounge parts from....
I reaaaalllly wonder if this would work
Well my RPL-425 is for sale, if anyone wants a 433mW professional green laser.
Has anyone tried it with a TFT screen? I'm confused to how it would work, I thought TFT screens aren't translucent, or are they translucent enough for a powerful laser to pass through? what would the image quality be like? thanks
It would possibly be possible to do with a TFT screen but have some problems. The TFT screen is indeed transparent. But the screen absorbs at least 50% of the light so to do it with this would be too dim. An idea would be to use either DLP or maybe Plasma. Plasma wouldn't absorb as much of the light but the image quality wouldn't be as good and they don't make plasmas that small. But there is nothing stopping you from trying. A Laser projector would be noval as you wouldn't have to focus it and could project the image extremely long distances. But you will have to face some difficulties like There would need 3 LCD screens and 3 Lasers that would all have to be focused into one image. Using a R G B set up.
I see a lot of old video projectors on ebay pretty cheap. Of course most need a new lamp which runs about $300+ I wonder if you could replace the lamp assembly with a laser set up like this... even at 100mW laser.. it would still use less power than the 150 to 300W lamps... and if your application is monochrome (like projecting a ghostly talking face on a white statue...) Any thoughts on if that would work???
I'm loving the idea of a talking statue right now.
Don't see why that wouldn't work, as long as you don't mind adding a little extra bulk to the setup.
To do it you would probably need a DLP projector because I don't think LCD would be bright enough, by the time you got a laser bright enough it would be too bright and start burning holes in stuff you project it on, lol. Just as a guy you would need 3 Lasers and a DLP projector, then you would need to sync the dlp with the lasers to turn on and off the right color laser at the right time. Thats the hard part, After you get done it might work but I wouldn't think it's worth it. So no probably not. Again even if you do get it all to work most projectors have lamps that are 20,000lumens, lasers aren't that bright...
 20,000 lumens!!!!!  Sign me up for a projector like that!  My DLP is rated at 1,800...  i sucks
 Actually 20,000 is more like a metal halide.  I think most commercial projector, (the small business projector), are only 5000 lumens.  The 1800 rating is the amount of light the makes it out the lens.
I'm not certain Plasma would work, plasma works literally by using exited gas to emit UV light which in turn makes coloured phosphorus glow. They don't rely on a back-lit white sheet for illumination like TFT screens so I doubt a Laser would be able to pass through it in any meaningful way.
jj.inc4 years ago
I wonder if you stick an LCD in front of this, moving green pictures!
macphreak4 years ago
The laser seems to have very little contact with the heatsink. Not sure it would be very effective. Other than that its a cool little project.
yeah the pic 7 seriously looks like it vould go tickey boom... reminds me of the steampunk portable audio amplifer, I made- (it is in a nice wooden case you can carry)- - I need to post an ible on it sometime...
matstermind4 years ago
a MUCH cheaper place to get the laser diode would be from

10mW $7.86

50 mW $16.45
conrad24684 years ago
 looks like a bomb!! not gonna lie

dolbowent4 years ago
I am about to buy a projector soon need info
I tried all sort of G120's and did no like the response time. I mean they are great and work fine but bulky and sort of slow. I looked around at a bunch of stuff coming out of China and they worked well but only for a short period of time then they sort of poop out and die lol...costly!

The reason I started to look at these things is a friend of mine just got me into lasers. I have been an electrical engineer for years and a DJ on the side.

One of my aspirations was to build my own projector. Now I do not have the mula for a new 1/4 or even 1/2 watt diode but I was able to get a Reliant 250M.
It was out of an old Mobolaser unit and I finally got it to run after a few days of pulling my hair out and backwards engineering it to trouble shoot it.

Lol it turned out to be an opto blown.

I will have to beam mix using a 250 mw red but I was able to get my greens and blues now at around 250mw.

I also picked up an old pangolin system. Right now it is in pieces but give me time I will have it worked out soon.

One of my questions is before I start buying stuff for my new / old projector is:

Has anyone used the Skyscan?

I heard it has even a faster smaller mini type of scanner block in it.

I found it here:

Please let me know if you have used one of these projectors. I may go that way instead.
Chimeras4 years ago

It looks like aaxa is starting to retail out similar projectors with RGB lasers. Looks like the same general idea, however. 

I might buy one after I botch the one i'm trying to make. haha. 

saabman6 years ago
Hi, I working on a project of the same idea. I am using a small picture keychain bought for 20 . Its a ttf one. I did remove the led backplane... It seem to work well for now. I missing the final stage lens.... I will send Picture and instruction soon.. Any question welcome.
saabman saabman6 years ago
Here is some picture of my first test Take a look Waiting for your comments Fred
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