Awesome Lasers

Making Sci-fi Laser Beams

Making Sci-fi Laser Beams

Real laser beams don’t behave like they do in science fiction. Instead of firing in short blasts, they appear as a single coherent beam of light. The Action Lab shows a simple way to achieve the sci-fi effect in camera using a spinning fan blade and by taking advantage of a digital camera’s rolling shutter effect.

xTool M1 Laser + Blade Cutter

xTool M1 Laser + Blade Cutter

The xTool M1 combines a cutting machine and laser engraver into a single desktop device. Its dual head lets it cut a wider variety of materials than either device alone. It’s available with 5W or 10W lasers, and the higher-power model can cut 8mm thick wood in a single pass. Its 11.8″ x 15.1″ work area is impressive for its size.

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Laser Projector Bike GPS

Laser Projector Bike GPS

It’s pretty easy to find a car with a heads-up display these days, but not so much when it comes to bicycles. Wicked Lasers shows off a creative solution – a GPS that projects a directional arrow and distance on the ground using one of its LaserCube laser projectors. It’s like Crazy Taxi, but on a bicycle.

Wooden Laser Synthesizer

Wooden Laser Synthesizer

Rather than go with an off-the-shelf synthesizer, Edward Black Rose built his own from scrap wood. Its wooden keys make strings vibrate between a laser and a photocell, then send that signal to a software synthesizer. It’s not ideal for creating polyphonic sounds, but it’s a clever design nonetheless.

Olight OPen Pro

Olight OPen Pro
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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.

World’s Largest Laser Pointer

World’s Largest Laser Pointer

The guys from TKOR assembled the largest laser pointer we’ve ever seen, wiring together 174 individual laser diodes to create a blinding green set of beams that burns holes through paper and explodes balloons. While it’s not the most powerful laser out there, it is the coolest looking. Be sure to check out the build video.

Serafim Keybo Projection Keyboard

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This pocketable gadget transforms any smooth surface into a touch-based keyboard. It uses a laser to project a virtual keyboard and has the smarts to detect the positions of your fingers and when you type. It connects via Bluetooth or USB and also has a piano layout for playing music using a companion smartphone app.

LaserCube Piano Key Demo

LaserCube Piano Key Demo

Wicked Lasers shows off a neat use for its LaserCube programmable laser projector and LaserOS software. By syncing up the laser’s beams with MIDI keypresses they’re able to project colorful lights onto the keys of a synthesizer, synced perfectly with the music being performed.

Wainlux L3 Desktop Laser Cutter + Engraver

Wainlux L3 Desktop Laser Cutter + Engraver

This compact desktop laser can cut wood, acrylic, leather, and other textiles, and the 10-watt model can engrave just about anything, including glass and aluminum, and cut through 5mm wood in a single pass. Its bed is large enough for objects up to 8.26″ x 7.48″, and an optional roller allows for engraving cylindrical objects.

Painting Colors with Lasers

Painting Colors with Lasers

Scientists from Russia’s ITMO University have developed a technique that uses lasers to create different colors on a sheet of metal. The laser is used to create oxide layers on a sheet of titanium, producing a variety of colors. The method can even be used to change or erase images multiple times. Read more in Optica.

Restoring a Rusty Table Fan

Restoring a Rusty Table Fan

In this video from Odd Tinkering, they took a rusty old tabletop fan and make it look as good as new. The process involved multiple stages, most notably the use of a laser cleaning machine from W2M, which burns away rust and paint without damaging the underlying metal, along with electrolysis to pull away rust from the fan’s cage.

Scratching Records But with Barcodes

Scratching Records But with Barcodes

We’ve previously seen how the musicians from Electronicos Fantasticos use laser barcode readers in their performance. In this clip from Maker Faire Tokyo 2020, one of their members shows how to make record scratching sounds using the same technique.

Making Round Dice Spinners

Making Round Dice Spinners

Standard 6-sided dice are cube-shaped. But it’s also possible to make cylindrical dice – the trick is that they spin instead of roll. Metalsmith W&M Levsha demonstrates their craft by fabricating a pair of smooth-rolling metal dice spinners, each laser-engraved with six numbers. Tiny magnets ensure they stop in the right spots.

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Laser Fabricates a Drone

Laser Fabricates a Drone

Engineers from MIT CSAIL have developed LaserFactory, an innovative fabrication machine that uses a modified laser cutter to create entire devices. It can cut parts, pour silver circuit traces, and place electronic components all in one system. In this video, it makes a drone, which flies straight out of the machine.

Magpie VH-80SE Bilateral Laser Measure

Magpie VH-80SE Bilateral Laser Measure

Laser measuring devices can really come in handy when you need to measure a large space and don’t have someone to hold the other end of the tape. Magpie Tech’s laser measuring tool can project beams in both directions, so you can measure space by standing in the middle of it. It’s great for measuring heights too.

Building a Laser Baby

Building a Laser Baby

(PG-13: Language, Gore) Let’s face it. Michael Reeves has built some weird stuff. Now, thanks to a sponsorship from Amazon series The Boys, he got to build a laser-eyed baby just like the one that Billy Butcher wields in the show. Though he struggles a little to meet the demands of Amazon’s marketing department.

Theta Dual-Laser Measure

Theta Dual-Laser Measure

This upcoming gadget is designed to offer accurate measurements up to 165 feet away horizontally or vertically, while still maintaining accuracy down to 1/12th of an inch. It can also instantly calculate angles, and project angle and leveling lines with its dual lasers. Sign up early for a 45% discount off the retail price.

Fiber Laser Cutting Demo

Fiber Laser Cutting Demo

Prima Power shows off the power and speed of one of its impressive fiber lasers. Their 6kW Laser Genius slices through sheet metal of varying thickness like a hot, razor-sharp knife through butter. We can’t believe how easily it got through that metal at 1:20. More laser porn here.

Wainlux K6 Laser Engraver

Wainlux K6 Laser Engraver

There are bigger and more powerful laser engravers out there, but if you’re looking for something compact and inexpensive, this model from Chinese outfit Wainlux looks like a good option. Its 3000mW laser can engrave designs onto wood, leather, fabric, plastic, acrylic, or even food items up to 3.14″ x 3.14″.

Bosch Blaze Laser Measure

Bosch Blaze Laser Measure

Ever need to measure something far away? Bosch’s GLM400CL digital tape measure uses a powerful laser to bounce off surfaces up to 400 feet away, even in sunlight. It has a built-in camera with zoom to help you target your subject, and is accurate to 1/16″. It can calculate length, area, volume, and more in real time.

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Bushnell Pro XE Laser Range Finder

Bushnell Pro XE Laser Range Finder
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PGA masters and side-betting amateurs are guaranteed an equally serious advantage with Bushnell Golf’s advanced rangefinder. The Pro XE assesses distance for uphill and downhill shots with its Slope technology, factors in temperature and barometric pressure, and provides visual and vibration feedback when it locks onto the flag.

Laser Cut Turkey

Laser Cut Turkey

Whether you roast or fry, there are lots of different ways to prepare your Thanksgiving bird. The guys at BOSSlaser like to make their turkey from wood. It’s not as tender or tasty that way, but we’re sure it’s got lots of fiber. Have access to a laser cutter? Grab the design file from MAKE CNC.

Flux Beamo CO2 Laser Cutter

Flux Beamo CO2 Laser Cutter

FLUX, the guys behind the Delta 3D printer have a new product in the works – a desktop CO2 laser engraver and cutter that won’t break the bank. It’s designed for ease of use, yet is as capable as pro models, with on-board camera alignment and water cooling, along with optional autofocus and rotary capabilities for curved objects.

Bending Light at Home

Bending Light at Home

If you thought the only way to bend a beam of light was with mirrors, you’d be wrong. MEL Chemistry shows off a few simple experiments you can do with a laser pointer and household items like oil, water, and salt, that demonstrate the nature of reflection and refraction. More here.

Retro Tech: LASER FX

Retro Tech: LASER FX

Techmoan managed to get his hands on an a truly 1980s gadget, unopened and in its original box. The LASER FX was a home light show that attempted to replicate the experience of a concert with a laser light show. Unfortunately, its lack of an actual laser beam was its downfall. Fortunately, these days we have the LaserCube.

Cyberpunk 2077 Laser Gun

Cyberpunk 2077 Laser Gun

LaserGadgets likes to build all sorts of cool prop weaponry using lasers. For this custom-commissioned build, he created a Militech handgun that looks like it came straight out of the CD Projekt Red RPG Cyberpunk 2077. The hefty replica has LED illumination, and a bright blue laser that’s powerful enough to burst balloons.

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