So what do you get when you combine lasers with a CNC router? More CNC light painting, except this time it can be projected on a distant surface. The laser can be projected anywhere, and thus create a light painting remotely.
As in my originial CNC light painting experiments, a light source, now a laser, is attached to the router’s spindle then moved around corresponding to a drawing. This uses GCODE as if it were cutting something. The Y and Z axes are reversed so the drawing is put on a vertical surface instead of the router bed. If you’re wondering how to do this with Mach3, here’s a tutorial I made up for this purpose.
I don’t yet have a cutoff switch as with the LED setup, but this may come soon enough if I keep playing with it (which seems likely). I also have another completely different idea for how to do this. For now though, check out the pictures of some simple drawings I did on my car and my “gutter-hack-style” laser setup.
The laser is taken from an old level, so had an on-off switch built into it. A little 3 volt coin cell battery powers it, with a hard drive magnet keeping everything attached to the spindle. A nail, electrical tape, and rubber band round out this highly “hackish” build. I may build something better eventually, possibly involving the mount I normally use for my CNC router shop vac. It holds a hose well, so why not a laser?
On the other hand, as much as I hate to admit it, this guy’s “LaserShark” setup is light-years ahead of mine. It’s designed as a laser projector, so it does a different purpose, but still pretty cool and worth checking out.