Introduction: Simple Laser Show

About: Currently looking for a summer internship in engineering! Interested in everything from djing to trebuchets, coilguns to kiteboarding. I am an avid skiier, and am currently studying integrated engineering. I …

Fist, the disclaimer: I am not liable for any damage you cause to your eyes or any other part of your body, someone else, or anything by reading this Instructable. Lasers are dangerous, and they will permanently damage your eyes if used incorrectly. do not get any laser above 30mw, unless you are experienced and familiar with the risks of a stronger laser. do not point the laser at anyone or yourself.

Anyways, this is a simple laser show i thought of when I was trying to diffuse an led and i heated a piece of acrylic until bubbles formed. When i got bored of testing led diffusion methods, i shined a laser through it and noticed a nice, 3-D pattern. I decided to utilize this and make a laser show out of it. About 30 minutes later, i had a nice looking laser show. I tried to make this Instructable as easy as i could, please comment.

Step 1: Materials

You will need the following: 
- A laser pointer or module, see This. don't get anything above 30mw!

- A bunch of legos, make sure you have a motor, a battery box or power source and a worm gear box. (any small, slow speed motor will give you good effects).

- a small piece of acrylic at least 1/8th of an inc thick (available at home depot or Lowes, or pretty much any hardware store). be sure not to get polycarbonate, it turns black or tints when heated, which is not what we want.


the tools you will need are:
 - a drill + drill bit
 - Saw to cut the acrylic
 - a heat source
 - something that i probably forgot to mention

Once you have all of these things, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Preparing the Acrylic

To make The laser diffract and make those cool patterns, you will need to shine it through a special acrylic plate. To make this acrylic plate, you will need to take a small piece of acrylic, no thinner than 1/8th of an inch, and heat it until it forms bubbles.

However, you cannot just heat the acrylic with anything, because something like a candle will just char the acrylic and make it very dark, which will result in a very dim laser effect or none at all. You need to use a clean-burning heat source, such as ethyl alcohol in some heatproof metal container (be careful with this as you cannot see the flame in daylight and if you try to put it out with water, it will just spread the flames!), a heat gun (i got mine at harbor freight tools, $20 or something), or a gas stove.

Cut yourself a small piece of acrylic, about 2 by 2 inches. Carefully heat it until you see bubbles appear. A good idea is to hold the acrylic with pliers. Be careful not to set the acrylic on fire.

After your bubbles have formed, set it down on a  heat-proof surface and wait for it to cool. in the meantime, try to find a drill bit the size of a Lego axle. if you cannot find the right size, get something slightly bigger and wrap tape around the Lego axle to mount the acrylic securely.

Step 3: The Lego Frame and Drive System

The Lego frame is the Main part of the whole Project. Build what is described in the picture. it is allot easier than it looks.

Step 4: Final Things...

now all you have to do is hook up your laser to your  power source or turn it on. Then, start the motor by connecting the battery box, and dim the lights. project the laser beam against a wall and enjoy the 3-D patterns!

currently trying to get the video up.