How To Make A Laser Pointer

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Laser pointers can be extremely interesting and useful tools. But if you don't have a hundred dollars or more to spend on a professionally pre-made laser pointer, what can you do? Build one yourself!

You can get a 50mW (milliwatt) laser pointer for around $100, but using freely available information, you can make a 200mW one yourself for under $50. You'll save money, and learn a skill you can use again and again - how to make a laser pointer.

Warning: The building of homemade lasers can be extremely hazardous. Lasers are complex and dangerous devices, and can involve voltage, radiation, and chemical hazards. The information and resources presented here are for entertainment purposes only, and are not to be assumed compliant with official safety standards. Please take all necessary precautions when proceeding with home laser work. We shall not be held liable for anything that results from your viewing this web page.

Here is a list of a few things you will need:

  • A case to put the laser in. An Altoids tin may work well.
  • A laser diode. This is what produces the light. You may find a 200mW diode in an old DVD player. Make sure your diode produces a red 650nm wavelength; that will work best.
  • Laser diode casing. This comes with a 10mW diode you'll have to buy.
  • Power switch. This can be bought separately; try Radio Shack.
  • 2 AAA batteries.
  • Battery casing. This can also be bought separately; try Radio Shack.

You'll need to drill 2 holes in your Altoids case - one for the power switch, and one for the diode.

Open up the 10mW diode casing, and replace the 10mW diode with your more powerful 200mW one.

Put the batteries in the battery casing. Connect the batteries to the diode, the diode to the switch, and the switch to the batteries.

Fit those components into the Altoids case, and close the lid. Laser complete!

Note: This information was gathered from various online sources and has not been verified as complete, safe, or accurate. Proceed at your own risk.

How To Make A Laser Pointer

Be sure to avoid looking at an active laser! Keep lasers away from people's eyes!

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