Useful Tips

Available instruction: how to make a laser at home from improvised parts


Improper use of the beam, especially of high power, can lead to damage to property, as well as severely harm your health or the health of outside observers. Therefore, before testing a copy made by yourself, remember the following rules:

  1. Make sure that no animals or children are in the test room.
  2. Never aim the beam at animals or people.
  3. Use safety glasses, such as glasses used for welding.
  4. Remember that even a reflected beam can damage your eyesight. Never shine a laser in your eyes.
  5. Do not use the laser to ignite objects while indoors.

The simplest laser from a computer mouse

If you need a laser just for fun, just know how to make a laser at home from a mouse. Its power will be very insignificant, but it will not be difficult to make it. You only need a computer mouse, a small soldering iron, batteries, wires and a toggle switch.

The mouse must first be taken apart. It is important not to break out, but to carefully untwist and remove them in order. First, the upper casing, followed by the lower. Next, using a soldering iron, you need to remove the mouse laser from the board and solder new wires to it. Now it remains to connect them to the toggle switch and bring the wiring to the contacts of the batteries. Batteries can be used of any type: both finger-type and so-called pancakes.

Thus, the simplest laser is ready.

If a weak beam is not enough for you, and you are interested in how to make a laser at home from improvised means with a sufficiently high power, then you should try a more complex method of its manufacture using a DVD-RW drive.

For work you will need:

  • DVD-RW drive (recording speed must be at least 16x),
  • AAA battery, 3 pcs.,
  • resistor (two to five ohms),
  • collimator (can be replaced with a part from a cheap Chinese laser pointer),
  • 100 pF and 100 mF capacitors,
  • LED lamp made of steel,
  • wires and soldering iron.

Progress of work:

The first thing we need is a laser diode. It is located in the DVD-RW drive carriage. It has a larger heatsink than a conventional infrared diode. But be careful, this part is very fragile. Until the diode is installed, it is best to wire its output with wire, since it is too sensitive to static voltage. Pay particular attention to polarity. If the power supply is incorrect, the diode will immediately fail.

Connect the parts as follows: battery, on / off button, resistor, capacitors, laser diode. When the design has been tested to work, all that remains is to come up with a convenient housing for the laser. For these purposes, a steel casing from a conventional flashlight is quite suitable. Do not forget about the collimator, because it is he who turns the radiation into a thin beam.

Now that you know how to make a laser at home, do not forget about safety precautions, keep it in a special case and do not carry with you, as law enforcement agencies can make complaints about this.

Watch the video: Laser from a DVD drive at home and do it yourself

The laser cutter is a unique device that is useful to have in the garage of every modern man. Making a laser for cutting metal with your own hands is not difficult, the main thing is to follow simple rules. The power of such a device will be small, but there are ways to increase it due to improvised devices. The functionality of a production machine, which, without embellishment, can do anything without home-made work. But for domestic affairs, this unit is very useful. Let's look at how to build it.

How to make a laser cutter in a garage

Everything is brilliantly simple, therefore, to create such equipment that can cut beautiful patterns in durable steels, you can make it from ordinary improvised materials. To manufacture, you will definitely need an old laser pointer. In addition, you should stock up on:

  1. Battery powered flashlight.
  2. Old DVD-ROM, from which we need to remove the matrix with a laser drive.
  3. Soldering iron and a set of screwdrivers for twisting.

The first step is to disassemble the drive of the old computer drive. From there we should remove the device. Be careful not to damage the device itself. The drive of the drive must be a writer, not just a reader, the point is the structure of the device matrix. We will not go into details now, but just use modern non-working models.

After that, you will definitely need to remove the red diode, which burns the disk while recording information on it. They just took a soldering iron and soldered the mounts of this diode. Just do not drop it. This is a sensitive element that can quickly deteriorate if damaged.

When assembling the laser cutter itself, the following should be considered:

  1. Where better to install a red diode
  2. How will the elements of the whole system be fed
  3. How will the current flows in the part be distributed.

Remember! The diode that will burn will require much more electricity than the pointer elements.

This dilemma is solved simply. The diode from the pointer changes to a red light from the drive. Disassemble the pointer with the same accuracy as the drive, damage to the connectors and holders will ruin your future with your own hands. When you have done this, you can begin to manufacture a body for homemade work.

To do this, you need a flashlight and rechargeable batteries that power the laser cutter. Thanks to the flashlight, you will get a convenient and compact part that does not take up much space in everyday life. The key point of the equipment of such a case is to choose the correct polarity. The protective glass is removed from the former flashlight so that it is not an obstacle to the directed beam.

The next step is to power the diode itself. To do this, you need to connect it to the battery, observing the polarity. At the end, check:

  • Reliability of fixing the device in clamps and latches,
  • Device polarity
  • Beam directivity.

Inaccuracies to tighten, and when everything is ready, you can congratulate yourself on a successful completed work. The cutter is ready to use. The only thing to remember is its power is much less than the power of the production counterpart, so too thick metal is beyond his power.

Caution! The power of the device is enough to harm your health, so be careful during operation and try not to push your fingers under the beam.

Strengthening a homemade installation

To enhance the power and density of the beam, which is the main cutting element, you should prepare:

  • 2 "Conders" at 100 pF and MF,
  • Resistance at 2-5 ohms,
  • 3 rechargeable batteries,
  • Collimator

The installation that you have already assembled can be strengthened so that in everyday life you get enough power for any work with metal. When working on amplification, remember that plugging in your torch directly to the outlet will be suicide for him, so you should make sure that the current first hits the capacitors, and then is given to the batteries.

By adding resistors, you can increase the power of your installation. To further increase the efficiency of your device, use a collimator that is mounted to collect the beam. Such a model is sold in any store for an electrician, and the cost ranges from 200 to 600 rubles, so it is not difficult to buy it.

Further, the assembly scheme is carried out in the same way as discussed above, only it is necessary to wind an aluminum wire around the diode in order to remove static. After that, you have to measure the current strength, for which a multimeter is taken. Both ends of the device are connected to the remaining diode and measured. Depending on your needs, you can adjust the values ​​from 300 mA to 500 mA.

After the current calibration is completed, you can proceed to the aesthetic decoration of your torch. For the case, the old steel flashlight with LEDs is quite suitable. It is compact and fits in your pocket. To prevent the lens from getting dirty, be sure to get a cover.

Store the finished cutter in a box or case. There should not be dust or moisture, otherwise the device will be damaged.

How does a semiconductor laser work?

Devices of this type are inexpensive to manufacture, the design is quite massive. The principle of laser (semiconductor) diodes is based on the use of the classical pn junction. Such a transition works as in conventional LEDs.

The difference in the organization of radiation: LEDs emit "spontaneously", and laser diodes "forced".

The general principle of the formation of the so-called “population” of quantum radiation is performed without mirrors. The edges of the crystal are mechanically chipped, providing a refraction effect at the ends, akin to a mirror surface.

To obtain a different type of radiation, a “homojunction” can be used when both semiconductors are the same, or “heterojunction”, with different junction materials.

The laser diode itself is an affordable radio component. You can buy it in stores selling radio components, or you can remove it from the old DVD-R (DVD-RW) drive.

Important! Even a simple laser used in light pointers can seriously damage the retina.

More powerful installations, with a burning beam, can deprive vision or burns the skin. Therefore, when working with such devices, be extremely careful.

Having such a diode at your disposal, you can easily make a powerful laser with your own hands. In fact, the product can be completely free, or cost you ridiculous money.

DIY laser from DVD drive

First, you need to get the drive itself. It can be removed from an old computer or purchased at a flea market for a symbolic price.

Information: The higher the declared recording speed, the more powerful the burning laser is used in the drive.

Having removed the case, and having disconnected control loops, we dismantle the writing head together with the carriage.

The procedure for extracting a laser diode:

  1. We connect the legs of the diode to each other using a wire (bypass). During disassembly, static electricity may build up and the diode may fail.
  2. We remove the aluminum radiator. It is quite fragile, has a mount that is structurally “sharpened” for a specific DVD drive, and is not needed during further operation. Just bite the radiator with wire cutters (without damaging the diode)
  3. Solder the diode, free the legs from the shunt.

The item looks like this:

The next important element is the laser power circuit. Using the power supply from the DVD drive will fail. It is integrated into the general control scheme; it is technically impossible to extract it from there. Therefore, we make a supply circuit on our own.

There is a temptation to simply connect 5 volts with a limiting resistor, and not to suffer with the circuit. This is the wrong approach, since any LEDs (including laser ones) are powered not by voltage, but by current. Accordingly, a current stabilizer is needed. The most affordable option is to use the LM317 chip.

The output resistor R1 is selected in accordance with the supply current of the laser diode. In this circuit, the current must correspond to 200 mA.

You can assemble the laser yourself in the housing from a light pointer, or purchase a ready-made laser module in electronics stores or on Chinese sites (for example, Ali Express).

The advantage of this solution is that you get a ready-made adjustable lens in the kit. The power supply circuit (driver) fits easily into the module case.

If you decide to make the case yourself, from some metal tube - you can use a regular lens from the same DVD drive. Only it will be necessary to come up with a method of attachment, and the possibility of adjusting the focus.

Important! It is necessary to focus the beam with any design. It can be parallel (if range is needed) or cone-shaped (if necessary, obtain a concentrated thermal spot).

A lens complete with a regulating device is called a collimator.

To properly connect a laser from a DVD drive, you need a pin diagram. You can track the negative and positive wires by marking, on the circuit board. This must be done before dismantling the diode. If this is not possible, use the typical prompt:

The negative contact is in electrical communication with the diode housing. Find it is not difficult. Regarding the minus located below, the positive contact will be on the right.

If you have a three-legged laser diode (and there are most of them), either an unused contact or a photodiode connection will be on the left. This happens if a burning and reading element is located in one housing.

The main body is selected based on the size of the batteries or accumulators that you plan to use. Gently fix your homemade laser module into it, and the device is ready for use.

Using such a tool, you can engage in engraving, burning on wood, cutting fusible materials (fabric, cardboard, felt, polystyrene, etc.).

How to make an even more powerful laser?

If you need a cutter for wood or plastic, the power of a standard diode from a DVD drive is not enough. You will need either a ready-made diode with a capacity of 500-800 mW, or you will have to spend a lot of time looking for suitable DVD drives. In some LG and SONY models, laser diodes with a power of 250-300 mW are installed.

The main thing is that such technologies are available for self-manufacturing.

Step-by-step video instruction telling how to make a laser from a DVD drive with your own hands

Hello ladies and gentlemen. Today I am opening a series of articles devoted to powerful lasers, for Habrapoisk says that people are looking for similar articles. I want to tell you how to make a fairly powerful laser at home, as well as teach you to use this power not just for the sake of "shine on the clouds."

A warning!

power 500 chinese pointers ), which can harm your health and the health of others! Be extremely careful! Use special safety glasses and Do not aim the laser beam at people or animals. !

This is a necessary minimum for making a simple driver model. A driver is, in fact, a board that will output our laser diode to the required power. Do not directly connect the power source to the laser diode - it will fail. The laser diode needs to be supplied with current, not voltage.

A collimator is, in fact, a module with a lens that brings all the radiation into a narrow beam. Ready-made collimators can be bought at radio stores. In such already there is immediately a convenient place for installing a laser diode, and the cost is 200-500 rubles.

You can also use the collimator from the Chinese pointer, however, the laser diode will be difficult to fix, and the collimator case itself, for sure, will be made of metallized plastic. So our diode will be poorly cooled. But this is also possible. Such an option can be seen at the end of the article.

It is recommended to use an antistatic wristband, as the laser diode is very sensitive to static voltage. If there is no bracelet, then you can wrap the diode terminals with a thin wire, while it waits for installation in the case.

According to this scheme, you need to solder the driver.

Do not reverse polarity! The laser diode will also fail instantly if the polarity of the input power is reversed.

The capacitor 200 mF is indicated on the diagram, however, for portability, 50-100 mF is quite enough.

It looks awful, but it works!

This is a low-cost option - a collimator from a Chinese pointer is used:

Using a factory-made module will allow you to get these results:

Laser principle

The word "laser" appeared as a result of the reduction of five words that describe the essence of the physical process to the first letters. In the Russian version, this process is called "amplification of light using induced radiation."

By the principle of its operation, the laser is a quantum photon generator. The essence of the phenomenon underlying it is that under the action of energy in the form of a photon an atom emits another photon, which is identical to the first in the direction of motion, its phase and polarization. As a result, the emitted light is amplified.

This phenomenon is impossible under conditions of thermodynamic equilibrium. Various methods are used to create induced radiation: electrical, chemical, gas, and others. Home-use lasers (laser disk drives, laser printers) use semiconductor method stimulation of radiation under the influence of electric current.

If a malfunction occurs, the welding inverter can be repaired with your own hands. Repair tips can be found here.

In addition, a necessary component of any high-grade laser is optical cavity, функция которого заключается в усилении пучка света путем его многократного отражения. С этой целью в лазерных установках используются зеркала.

Например, лазерные установки, которые могут резать металл, чрезвычайно нагреваются и требуют экстремальных мер охлаждения, включающих использование жидкого азота. In addition, devices operating on the basis of the quantum principle are extremely capricious, require very fine tuning, and do not tolerate even the slightest deviations from the required parameters.

Next, we will talk about how to make a laser with your own hands from a DVD.

Necessary components for assembly

To assemble a laser circuit with your own hands you will need:

  • DVD-ROM with Rewrite Function (RW). It incorporates a red laser diode with a capacity of 300 mW. You can use laser diodes from BLU-RAY-ROM-RW - they emit violet light with a power of 150 mW. For our purposes, the best ROMs are those that have a higher write speed: they are more powerful.
  • Switching voltage converter NCP1529. The converter emits a current of 1A, stabilizes the voltage in the range of 0.9-3.9 V. These indicators are ideal for our laser diode, which requires a constant voltage of 3 V.
  • A collimator for an even beam of light. Numerous laser modules from various manufacturers are now on sale, including collimators.
  • The output lens from the ROM.
  • The case, for example, from a laser pointer or a flashlight.
  • Wires.
  • 3.6V batteries

To connect the parts you need a soldering iron. In addition, a screwdriver and tweezers are required.

How to make a laser from a drive?

The assembly procedure for a simple laser consists of the following steps.

  1. To begin, we disassemble the ROM and remove the movable carriage on which the laser diodes are located. We do this carefully so as not to damage them.
  2. Please note that there are two laser diodes on the carriage: one for reading and the other for writing. We are interested in the second. He is very firmly soldered to the radiator.

  • On the opposite side of the diode we mount a collimator. This is necessary for the concentration of light in one beam.
  • On the other hand, we connect the converter with wires to the contacts of the housing into which the supply batteries will be inserted.
  • Next, from the side of the housing from which the laser beam will exit, we mount the lens from the drive. This is the most painstaking part of the job. It is important to maintain the correct focal length so that the beam is thin and unoiled. Will have to experiment. The lens from the drive gives an optimum beam.
  • We place all the details in the case, insert the battery, check the performance. A more accurate alignment of the lens may be required.
  • When connecting the socket-switch block, it becomes necessary to determine which phase cable, and where zero and ground. A tool such as an indicator screwdriver will help.

    • Light a match in the distance.
    • Melt plastic bags and tissue paper.
    • To emit a beam at a distance of more than 100 meters.

    DIY laser

    DIY laser circuit

    It is very important to observe basic safety precautions. Firstly, when checking the operation of the device or when it will already be completely assembled, in no case should it be sent to the eyes, to other people or animals. Your laser will turn out so powerful that it can ignite a match or even a sheet of paper. Secondly, follow our scheme and then your device will work for a long time and efficiently. Thirdly, do not let children play with him. Finally, keep the assembled device in a safe place.

    To assemble the laser at home, you will not need too much time and accessories. So, first you need a DVD-RW drive. He can be both a worker and a non-worker. This is not important. But it is very important that this is a recording device, and not a regular drive for playing discs. Drive write speed should be 16x. It is possible and higher. Next, you need to find a module with a lens, thanks to which the laser can focus at one point. For this, the old Chinese pointer may well come up. It is best to use an unnecessary steel lamp as the body of the future laser. The “filling” for him will be wires, batteries, resistors and capacitors. Also do not forget to prepare a soldering iron - assembly will not be possible without it. Now let's see how to assemble a laser from the components described above.

    DIY laser circuit

    The first thing to do is disassemble the DVD drive. The optical part must be removed from the drive by disconnecting the loop. Then you will see a laser diode - it should be carefully removed from the housing. Remember that the laser diode is extremely sensitive to temperature changes, especially to cold. Until you install the diode in the future laser, it is best to rewind the diode leads with a thin wire.

    Most often, laser diodes have three outputs. The one in the middle gives a minus. And one of the extremes is a plus. You should take two finger-type batteries and connect to the diode removed from the housing with a 5 ohm resistor. In order for the laser to light up, you need to connect the minus batteries to the middle output of the diode, and the plus to one of the extreme ones. Now you can assemble the laser emitter circuit. By the way, you can power the laser not only from batteries, but also from the battery. This is everyone’s business.

    So that when you turn on your device going to a point, you can use the old Chinese pointer, replacing the laser from the pointer with the one you assembled. The entire structure can be neatly packaged in a case. So it will look prettier and be stored longer. An unnecessary steel flashlight may serve as the body. But also it can be practically any capacity. We choose a flashlight not only because it is stronger, but also because your laser will look much more presentable in it.

    Thus, you yourself were convinced that to assemble a sufficiently powerful laser at home, you do not need any deep knowledge in science, or prohibitively expensive equipment. Now you can assemble the laser yourself and use it for its intended purpose.