Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 2, 2006

Ten Dollar XY Laser Scanner

at 5:58 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Hubert’s Laser Page has lots of cool laser projects documented. One section that caught my eye was one where he covers many ways of making an inexpensive XY laser scanner. Go and have a look at his article for details on using a CD player actuator, Piezo buzzer, Hard disk head actuator and Loudspeaker to get the task done. Unlike my hard drive oscilloscope, Hubert uses a computer to control the laser.

“Hard disk head actuators :

Hard disk are very well made components very easy to get free. Hard disk head must rotate very quickly with angle like +-20°. Exactly like scanners! Using the hard disk electronic is really very difficult. We power the hard disk coil with a little audio power amplifier IC. We remove hard disk heads and corresponding piece of metal (to decrease inertia) and we glue a about 10 x 10 x 5 mm mirror (from an old photocopier) on the axis. In fact we glue it upper on the axis in such a way, mirror surface where Laser beam is reflected is aligned with axis : we can use very little mirror. On an hard disk, there is no medium position we must add a spring. First we add 2 coil springs but coils vibrate so we replace coil spring with “flat” spring.”


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5 Responses to “Ten Dollar XY Laser Scanner”

  1. zedomax.com Says:

    DIY – Laser Animator under 10 bucks!

    Here’s a cool Laser scanner that will allow you to animate pictures and whatnot on the wall.
    via via

  2. Daily Clerks Says:

    […] Problem is, of course, to build very fast actuators. Ultra fast galvo are very expensive…” [via] – Lasers & scanner. […]

  3. Bram Says:

    that is one of the most inventive things ive ever seen! to bad i had two speakers laying around wich i destroyed for fun last week.

  4. TopconLasers Says:

    Hah! Pretty cool – I work with high end rotary lasers and total stations, so it’s kinda fun and cute to see a “laser scanner” like this 🙂 Wasn’t what I expected to see when I was perusing google

  5. Richard Thomas Says:

    Wow, that’s some old stuff. But still interesting. I wonder how much of the hard-drive limitations are due to the added spring. I understand why it’s there but have to wonder if it dampens the movement too much. A full hard-drive uses the platter to calibrate the position, I wonder if that wouldn’t be a way to go (though it would complicate the design somewhat).

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