Drawing lines using a laserbeam

Last Updated or created 2022-11-26

While attending school, we had to come up with a computer related project.

I had access to a military grade laser (i think it was for aiming), so i went for a drawing-animations-with-a-laser project.

I started off by myself, but soon after my teacher was interested in the project. He knew someone at the University of Twente.
So he made  an appointment for me. I don’t know which teacher and guy at the Uni but it was really interesting.
Laser microscopes!

Image from https://physics.emory.edu/faculty/weeks/confocal/

I was using speakers with mirrors on it, and glued tiny mirrors on stepper motors. But these are far too slow.
The Uni guy gave me some tiny mirrors which can be controlled by putting power on the little coils. But even these lightweight mirrors from a video disc player are “slow”. At least for making sharp corner turns.

Kindda dusty

So i was given an electronic schematic also.
This was an amplifier with sensors, which would give a power boost when needed.

In 2022 I found some information about this on my fileserver.

Above a schematic about the feedback amplifier

Writing software and experimenting with coordinates to send to the laser mirrors.

A few years later this laser was used in my computer dungeon using a smoke machine from my friend Marco who used this machine for his mobile disco.
We closed all doors and windows, making it as dark as possible. Let the smoke machine run for a long long time, and played with this laser setup.
Next day when the room was aired, all computers had a fatty substance on it, so I spent the rest of the day cleaning everything.

Some time later the laser broke.