Some people have tried to make unconventional umbrellas, but for the most part, a traditional design is the most efficient way to keep raindrops from falling on your head. In this clip from Randall Munroe and Henry Reich’s What If? series, they explore a hypothetical and impractical invention – a powerful laser that vaporizes raindrops out of the sky as they fall.
If you’re using a handheld power drill, it’s hard to know if you’re drilling holes straight. The BullseyeBore Core fixes that. This patent-pending gadget attaches to your drill chuck and uses a laser to project concentric circles. Keep the circles aligned, and you’ll always get a perfectly straight hole. Price shown is for a set of two that fit different drill bit lengths.
Inspired by the Backyard Scientist’s industrial laser experiments, YouTuber Styropyro got a cheap but powerful industrial fiber laser of his own. He started by testing the 2-kilowatt laser’s cleaning and burning capabilities; then, he attached a beam-spreading lens to help light things on fire from a long distance.
Screenprinting involves coating screens with chemicals, exposing the areas you want to print to light, then washing them to allow ink to flow through. xTool’s screenprinting system uses a laser to expose pre-coated screens for crisp screens in hours, not days. Price shown includes an xTool 5-watt laser. A $200 basic kit is available for other laser engravers.
Using lasers to clean metal can be very satisfying to watch. But with a powerful enough laser and a dirty enough surface, it can also be a feast for the ears. This short video shows how a fiber laser not only removes dirt from a rusty hunk of metal, but it sounds awesome doing it. Be sure to turn your volume up for maximum enjoyment.
With his backyard teeming with mosquitoes, Allen Pan found inspiration in a TED Talk by Nathan Myhrvold for a machine that zapped mosquitoes out of the air with lasers. While that never came to fruition, Pan and laser expert StyroPyro came up with something simpler – a sort of fly swatter that uses a pair of powerful laser beams instead of a mesh screen.
Compact discs use a laser to read data and convert that to music. Vinyl records, on the other hand, use a needle to pick up vibrations. Artist Tee Ken Ng used a laser pointer to do something else with a record, exposing a glow-in-the-dark record to laser light as it spun on a turntable. He made some more complicated patterns in this second video.
Lại Trần Ninh Kiềm, aka Killusion, is a Vietnamese performer who combines laser light shows with dance. In this brief video, you’ll get a small taste of his skills with a routine choreographed to Arius’ remix of Blinding Lights. Check out Killusion on Instagram and Tik Tok for more great performances, including Laserman.
It’s amazing what you can do with a precise laser cutter. This video from Tranyond shows how a powerful fiber laser can cut such fine lines that it can turn a flat sheet of aluminum into a series of nested spheres. The trick is that each cut leaves a tiny bit of metal on its edges to keep them connected when it’s opened up.
There are many projectors that use a laser diode to display big images. But they generally have a very short range. Ben Makes Everything used a bright green laser to project images that can be seen from a much greater distance. His design relies on an old hard drive to create a persistence of vision illusion and can only display primitive text and numbers.
In the Avengers movies, Iron Man’s armor packs laser gauntlets powerful enough to cut through steel. Hacksmith Industries wanted to know if they could make a real-life version that works just as well. The heart of the build is a 1500-watt fiber laser from a laser welder. They also used lasers to do all the fabrication.
Lasers can do some pretty impressive things, and with the right computer-control system, they can be directed to produce incredibly precise engravings. This video from Triumphlaser shows a fiber laser as it engraves lines and digits onto a metal ring. The process is fast and accurate, and the sound it makes it even more satisfying.
This tactical flashlight uses a laser light engine to project a beam as far as 3400 feet away. Its tightly-focused beam is designed for distance targeting while casting a lower-intensity light field in its periphery. It’s IP65-rated waterproof and shock resistant, and its bezel incorporates hardened points for self-defense.
Olight’s bolt-action pen has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. In addition to its writing abilities, it has a green laser pointer and a tiny 120-lumen LED light in the top part of its barrel. It comes in black and limited edition purple and orange variants, and is also available in a bundle with the compact i3T flashlight.
The Backyard Scientist continues his trend of playing with stupidly dangerous things. After getting his hands on a 2000-watt industrial laser, he put it through its paces to set things on fire, weld metal, clean rusty surfaces, and cut down a tree like a laser chainsaw. At least he had the good sense to wear eye protection.
Mega Process takes us on a tour of a factory that produces unique, high-end pens using 3D-printed metal. Merain Korea uses a selective laser sintering 3D printer to melt together thin layers of metal powder, then painstakingly deburr, clean, and plate each pen before assembly and packaging.
The latest LaserPecker is a tabletop laser engraver that can place designs on all kinds of materials, including wood, acrylic, stone, metal, ceramics, dark glass, and even food. It has both a diode laser and a pulsed fiber laser for working with different materials. With its slide module, it can engrave items up to 6.29″ x 11.81″
After explaining how cheap laser pointers can be dangerous, mad scientist styropyro said to hell with safety and built himself a super-sized green laser pointer that emits a beam that’s so intense you need welder’s goggles to be in the same room with it. At the core of the instrument is an insanely bright and hard-to-acquire laser diode.
Integrated circuits are incredible examples of miniaturization. And while the chip shown in this video doesn’t represent the kind of complexity and density found in modern processors, it still provides a fascinating look at the interior of a circuit, as its silicon is removed layer by layer with a powerful fiber laser.
Olight’s dual light source flashlight combines a bright white light with a green laser pointer. It comes in cool and neutral white versions, both with a maximum output of 1000 lumens. It has an intuitive dial control for switching modes, an easy-to-read LED charge indicator and a magnetic tail for mounting versatility.
With enough power, lasers can engrave and cut materials. In this video from WIRED, laser expert Alexander Sellite explains the physics at work as a fiber laser works its magic, vaporizing designs into sheet metal. By adjusting its scanning speed, pulse length, and power level, it can mark different metals and even create colors.
SpiderHeck is an action-packed co-op brawler where you play as a laser-wielding spider. Battle against your friends or work together to defeat an army of shared enemies as you swing from wall to wall in its dynamic and sometimes deadly environments. Coming to PC and all consoles 9.22.22.
There are a number of robotic lawnmowers on the market, but rctestflight wanted something more modern than spinning blades to cut his grass. So he set out to build a lawnmower robot with a 40-watt cutting laser in place of a blade. It works quite slowly though, and his drone motor lawnmower seems more effective.