Alternative Laser Writing




Introduction: Alternative Laser Writing

Hi, as many of you, I'd love to have some kind of laser projector to write messages or draw pictures.
But it's ether expensive or tricky to realise an XY laser show.

Anyway, it doesn't stop me from writing with a laser.
I just do it a different way!

My idea is to create a path for the laser, which illuminates letters or shapes.

Step 1: Components

For this Instructable you'll need:

- a Laser, of course. mine is a 100mw Green laser.
- a switch.
- power source for your laser.

- a pair of glasses to protect your eyes from the laser when setting up.

- small magnets. (white bard magnets)
- a bigger magnet
- a mirror (explanations to choose well the mirror)
- a transparent glass (optional)
- super glue. I used loctite

Step 2: Getting Back My Laser

I previously mounted my laser into a dead airsoft gun.
I made it for a "space cowboy" costume long time ago.

So, to get it back, here is a reversed instructable (destructable?) of what it was.

Step 3: Choosing Mirror

Choosing mirror is important.

You want to get a mirror with its silvering immediately outside the mirror, and not behind a layer of glass.

In fact, in the first case you have only one reflection on the metal, where in the second case you have 2 reflections, one from the silvering and one from the glass.

There is different ways to have it.

I used a mirror scavenged from a scanner. (2 first pictures) it has the good shape.

you can see one side is immediately reflecting. the other one has glass before.

You can find this kind of mirror in overhead projectors also. ( 3 last pictures )
Or try with normal mirror to remove the backing varnish with acetone.

Step 4: Cutting Mirrors

Now we need small mirrors to be mount on magnets.

So let's cut them in small squares. (that's why scanner mirrors are convenient, they already are the good width.)

To do that:

- Mark where you want to cut
- scratch the marked line with the glass cutting tool. (optional)
- put a small rod under the mirror
- cover with kitchen paper to protect from debris
- brake the bit of mirror

Remember: You're working with glass and it may be dangerous.Be careful.

Step 5: Gluing Mirrors

Gluing mirrors is both the simplest step, and the trickiest one.

Yes it's just gluing, but you'll have to glue with the best right angle you can!

follow the pictures, it speaks by itself.

you can also glue a small glass the same way.  it'll be used to split the laser light into two rays

Step 6: Mount the Laser on a Magnet

There is not much to say. It's quite simple.

BUT: Verify that your laser beam is parallel to the surface of the magnet. ( parallel to your table in fact )
             This is important if you don't want to be stopped after one letter drawn.

Step 7: Add Wires and a Button to the Laser

Solder the laser to it's power source with a switch between.

Don't forget to use thin flexible wire, it will be easier to set everything up later

My power source is 2 AA cells connected together. 3volts .

Step 8: Safety

I didn't have true laser glasses so I made some

I took red light filters.

theses plastic filters are candy plastic wrapping.

It was the plastic that absorbed the most the green laser.

Step 9: Laser Writing

Now it's time to write. To laser Write.


Stick all your magnets on it, and start composing!

Step 10: Gallery.

Here is what it looks like.

I tried several picture mode on my camera, but it's hard to get exactly the render.

Anyway, enjoy!

Feel free to improve and share your ideas of improvement!

Bye !

Finalist in the
Wicked Lasers Contest

MakerBot Challenge

Participated in the
MakerBot Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge
    • "Can't Touch This" Family Contest

      "Can't Touch This" Family Contest
    • CNC Contest 2020

      CNC Contest 2020

    12 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, I like the idea very much!
    Well done!
    How good can you see it under normal roomlight? without camera multisecond exposure?
    Maybe I wouldnt tell the people about your selfmade Laserglases XD altough I'd do something similar it isn't the most reliable and safe solution.

    THX Shah


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


    Actually, on normal room light condition, we can see ray quite well!

    I had to take multisecond exposure because what we see is never the complete ray, but small flashes on dust.
    I also had to sprinkle chalk dust to help the camera.

    Remember your eyes are far more sensible than the camera! (especially with a 100mW laser ; ) )


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, I like your cloud chamber too!

    Awesome! I'll think of other ways to write with lasers... Maybe I'll add cylindrical lenses in there to split the laser into lines and block/realign each lens and mirror to get my word. Anyway, I'll spread the word about the I'bles IRC chatroom: IRC chatroom is at the bottom and link to instructions under that (this is part of a spread-the-word project so please don't flag, otherwise ask me to tear it down or whatnot).