I was a fairly big laser nerd before I met Rick Hutton, but after becoming friends with THAT mega-nerd, I have begun to really get into lasers and the whole use of coherent light. I think one of the highlights of 2011 so far was hitting Photonics West with Ocean Optics and SeaChanger and walking the laser show floor with Rick. You see, I see the term mega-nerd as about the best compliment you could give a person.
I have been goofing a bit with my 1W blue (445nm), my 10mW HeNe (632.8nm), and a Coherent Radius 405 (violet, 405nm) I picked up pretty cheap on eBay. I also have a ton of amazing optics and bench components that I was given by the great folks at InLight Gobos and Laser Surplus Sales. I want to make some fun art with the stuff that I have, and as I acquire more, and one of these days I’ll save up and get a 5W Argon laser (oh HELL yes) and I’ll build some crazy system of galvos and any other crackadelic thing I can come up with to occupy my non-working, non-sleeping time.
I can’t afford the several thousand dollars for a decent laser breadboard for my hobby, so I pulled a DIY and built my own out of two chunks of fine-grade pine that I glued together and fastened with a few large gauge fasteners. It cost me about 40 bucks total, which is a lot less than $1977.74, let me tell you. I have about a 16th of an inch deflection over the course of the surface of the table, a grid of holes drilled on one inch centers over a 24″ x 60″.
Just a few teaser shots – I’m oretty bummed at the loss of my DSLR, my little 12MP Elph just ain’t cutting it with this specific wavelength photography:
Holy sh*t I love lasers. Wear your laser safety glasses, kids!