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LASER Scanner

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    Justin James Clayden
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LASER Scanner

A novel method for visualising a space

Vertical LASER lines in my office

I recently converted my home-made Meccano 2-axis webcam mount into a laser mount. The system is made of an Arduino board that sends timed signals to two servo motors, mounted at right angles to each other. This gives a crude x&y pointer, which I can use to 'draw' patterns on any surface. My desk is illuminated by many vertical sweeps of a 1mW red laser. A Leica C-LUX1 was used in 60 second extended exposure mode.

Vertical LASER lines in my office

This one is a visualisation of 'Brownian motion'. Brownian motion is analogous to a 'random walk'. The walk is not truly random because the same pattern will be generated every time the system is reset.

Vertical LASER lines in my office

This image is a visualisation of the morphology of the 2-axis mount for the laser. It's clear from this image that the unit is more stable when making vertical sweeps than when it makes horizontal sweeps. The increment I used for moving the laser also affects the quality of the scan.

Vertical LASER lines in my office

Now I'm telling the laser to point along 8 different directions. The unsteadiness mentioned in the previous image is seen along any direction that has a horizontal component. The increment used in this picture is small, so overall the quality of the line is smoother.

Vertical LASER lines in my office

My desk is illuminated by an expanding 8 sided spiral. The laser gives a clue as to the type of material it hits,for example the translucent plastic of my computer versus the opaque wood of my desk.

Vertical LASER lines in my office

In a future post: I've added a microcontroller switch to the laser, enabling me to 'pick up the pen' as it were. Super-sneaky sneak preview: Here's a random dot pattern, playing across one of my clay sculptures:

Copyright 1995-2023 Justin James Clayden