Introduction: Laser Show With Spherical Prisms and Glowing Chemicals With a Spinning Cd.

About: I am a part-time hobbyists biotechnologist with a photonics background. I also have a YouTube channel too. I work full time now.

Hello all.

I like the concept of spinning prisms and lasers that I viewed from other Instructables. I use clamps and rods and lasers (one 200 mw red laser), two 50 mw green lasers, grow light (Violet blue red type) and 200 mw purple laser. Sometimes I use an RGB light to make it spin and give unique patterns too.

The lasers are line lasers that you have to take pictures (trial and error) on how it works on firing the lasers at 45 or 60 degrees C down at the prisms. Different heights of the laser and brightness have different effects on the total outcome of the laser show.

As an intro (Purple laser plus Red) gives a beautiful Red-blue-violet color and Two green lasers shining at a V shape were the start of the V the lasers 50 mw focus into the prism themselves with a dot laser shining down at the bottom. Please see the picture.

Step 1: Irritating and Toxic Chemicals Besides Powerful Visible Lasers That Can Harm the Eye.

DANGER: Here we are working with high powered 405 nm laser that 60 percent or so enters the retina it can cause chemicals to glow under UV but it and 445-450 nm lasers can induce Phototoxic effects of the retina. 445 nm blue is very dangerous and PROPER SAFETY GOOGLES that block 85% min of those wavelengths OD5 must be used.

These lasers if your using flammable solvents ethanol, methanol, etc can cause fires etc and may cause at high power for too long ethanol, Isopropanol alc, and methanol as well as other solvents to burst into flames. They can also hurt and burn your skin too so be careful.

Alcohols can be used as solvents for many dyes including tide soap dye, Palmolive soap dye and other dyes too. Please see my first Instructable for more details on Laser light shows for more detail on that.

Step 2: Materials, and Chemicals Required for These Project.


A black lamp 20 W CFL

10-20 W Glowlight (Violet-blue-red-pink).

A spinning RGB light.

A green LED light.

A Red LED light.

A blue LED light.


A stand several for adding clamps.

A base to hold a snaps tray.

A 9-volt battery for power or a 0-2 amp and 0-30 V power supply (these are expensive 100-500 dollars CAN) *** Optional.

A fan part of the motor of the snaps.

A 50 K ohm variable capacitor and a small breadboard.


50 mw 532 nm laser line from E-bay. Check the ratings before buying some are NOT good quality.

200 mw dot laser 405 nm plug in 110 volts from Ebay.

200 mw line Red 630-650, or other nm wavelength Red lasers.

Optional A Red and a green laser (200 mw and 50 mw (Red, green) laser set at 100 dollars. It quite expensive so that why I am saying it optional.

Safety goggles that block (Indirect hits only of most except for red). If you have the money you can buy a 50 dollar safety goggles but it flashes so fast that I only recommend a simple laser safety goggles for now.

You could for more money combine a 100 mw 520 nm green laser it different than the 532 nm laser but it cost 60 dollars Min on eBay. I am not sure about the quality and it not required for this project and it kind of expensive.


Snaps Motor

555 timer...

CD (reflective side).

Dyes please see Part 3 of setting up lasers and dyes.

Step 3: Setting Up the Lasers on Clamps (It Must Be Fairly Leveled) for the First Part of the Show. Part 1.


For the first part of the show you can set up with the safety goggles on allowing some light at the top of the safety glasses and clamp the lasers into a clamp and attach it to a Lab support Stand. (Each is around 20-30 dollars). You may be able to get good ones (Some cheaps ones exists from China ** be aware of that.) for that Price on Ebay or Amazon or if you want better quality check lab suppliers (Lab individual companies - that if they sell them to individuals).

Do not turn on the lasers (Laser modules themselves - it is Dangerous) clamp them down 45-60 degrees down and then turn on (for example green, then Red at a middle of v pointing downwards and have another laser at the end of the V pointing down again. I will show a few pictures on that.

For a module laser that requires an adjustable voltage, you will need an extra 100 dollar power supply that ranges from 0-15 volts 0-2 amps or a cheap variable power supply. A good operational power on the noob carefully turns it on to zero the knob to prevent spiking the laser and destroying or damaging the power module.

Step 4: Setting Up the Spinning Disk and Prisms With the Laser. Part 2.

Here we are going to set up the laser with the prism attached to the wire (Nylon stainless steel). It depends but the length of the string to the Spherical Prisms 3 to 5 (depend on weight) of your clamp is no more than 7-10 cm. If it too long it may hit or interfere with the spinning cd.

The snaps Fan the motor may need to be epoxied to the fan base to prevent it from falling off. It is tricky if the speed is too high it will spin off the (the cd). Also a brand new CD eventually is required for more clear results. A dirty cd will NOT WORK as well.

Lasers are bright so be aware of reflections off the cd always wear the Proper PPE (Safety goggles) for this.

Another option is with clamps to set up Lights with the lasers including (20 W CFL light, RGB light, green light, red light, etc) on clamps. Note that they may impact color patterns of the spinning prisms. Good luck trying this out.

Step 5: Setup of Dyes Below a Spinning Disk and Rod Clamp With Prisms. Part 3

Here I will show how to set up glowing dyes.

Here are some Options for Dyes...

  • Sodium fluorescein 1 g in 100 ml.
  • Tide dish soap HD 5 ml in 100 ml (concentration of this exactly is not known.)
  • Palmolive soap 5 ml in 100 ml (See tide about concentration).
  • Pink Magic markers ( to remove them see first Laser show I created).
  • Orange Magic markers ( see above about removing them they require a tricky filter and isopropanol use only.)

Under 405 nm light with a purple laser, this is what the dyes look like.

  • Yellow.
  • Dark blue
  • Apple greenish blue.
  • Light pink (laser appears yellowish green *Line*).
  • Bright Orange.

Note that the Quinine may work too it light blue.

You may need screw caps of bottles I am using centrifuge tubes.

You don't want (well it would be disastrous if a chemical got into the motor and ruined the motor itself) so you must use tubes that will allow UV light in (Near UV).

A foot clamp from Amazon will work here were I got mine it tall so it ideal since if it is too small you cannot have the rods, prisms, lasers, and cd altogether. Length of the rod is essential.

Step 6: Final Discussion.

With the lasers and dyes with prisms (Circular Prisms), you can make very interesting laser shows. It cool since it reflects light at different angles, unlike regular prisms. This can give rainbow colors even with red, blue, green and violet lasers.

You cannot do that with a normal prism and these are VERY UNIQUE PRISMS. Just remember laser safety and gloves and goggles when working with chemicals even soaps. Yes, they are irritating to eyes and skin.

Thank you for reading this Instructable.