Build a Galvanometer for Laser Pattern Creation

In summary, the author is looking for advice on whether spending a few thousand dollars on a galvanometer is worth it, and if so, what specific performance requirements he should meet.
  • #1
taylaron
Gold Member
397
1
hey all,
ill start you off with what I am trying to make here... I am tryting to make a galvanometer.. 2D.
I am trying to make a galvanometer so i can bounce a laser off a mirror mounted on it. then use the mirror to create laser patterns.
first of all, does anybody know where i can buy a cheap one?not some ancient one...(there all over the internet)
im trying to make it simple by finding one that can move in 2 dimensions. up down, and sideways.my orignal plan was to use a speaker and mount a mirror on it. (not those crappy kind that you just stick a piece of tin foil on the cone and "let her rip"
i've made a series of designs incuding mounting a wire used in model airplanes for the rudders. then sticking one end of the wire on the cone, then the other on the middle of one side of a hunk of square aluminum that is being supported by a piece of fuel line tubing fromt the local hobby shop. then do the same process with another speaker but for the other side of the aluminum. mount a small mirror in the middle of the piece of aluminum and shine a laser on the mirror. after i supposedly get this to work i would create a program to write the complex sound files for the speakers to move the mirror in 2D in a defined pattern.
one problem is that the speakers have a degree of inaccuracy and anything i build that is mechanical (brass parts, etc...) there is some inaccuracy in the movement of the parts.

another thing i tried was to mount a brass bar across the top of a speaker (in front of the cone) and then mount one side of the mirror to the cone and the other make it pivot on a stationary point. ...aaah just look at the picture...does anybody know of this trying to be done before?
input anybody?
i'd very much appreciate you advice and or help on this matter.:cry:
 

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  • #2
It's been a while since I did any work with this.
The general solution I've seen is to use two mirrors.
1 for vertical motion and 1 for horizontal.

Using voice coil drivers is not a bad approach, but it might help to use small cheap speakers and remove the cone part.
 
  • #3
great suggestion. i never though of actually removing the cone. pretty dangerous to the coil's integrity though i would think.
whats this about voice coil for drivers?
i understand the concept of the coil in a speaker, but are you saying removing the coil and use the coil??

would it work to cut off the "cone" in the center and place a light weight mirror there?-before i go taking a rasor to my poor speakers...

but do you know of anybody using speakers for the drivers of the 2 mirrors?
 
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  • #4
Help Somebody!
 
  • #5
taylaron said:
great suggestion. i never though of actually removing the cone. pretty dangerous to the coil's integrity though i would think.
whats this about voice coil for drivers?
i understand the concept of the coil in a speaker, but are you saying removing the coil and use the coil??
I was thinking of using the coil as a linear motor.
Yes, you coluld destroy a few speakers easy enough and if you do this you may need need to add a guide to keep the coil from tilting and rubbing. Mostly it takes a lot of power to move the cone and depending on how you want to move the mirror the sound could be rude.
The general idea is to tilt the mirror. One edge is a hinge the opposit edge is connected to the coil.

taylaron said:
would it work to cut off the "cone" in the center and place a light weight mirror there?-before i go taking a rasor to my poor speakers...
A spherical mirror could work.

taylaron said:
but do you know of anybody using speakers for the drivers of the 2 mirrors?
Normally it would be linear drive (with or without feedback).
This is basicly a voice coil.
Rotating polygon mirrors like the one in a laser printer are also used.

Edit: This has ome info
http://www.cambridgetechnology.com/news/Choosing_A_Galvanometer.html
 
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  • #6
cool,
but would spherical mirror work for what I am trying to accomplish? -hence the first post-

-im trying to get around spending a couple grand on some cambridge galvonometers here... whither its worth it or not...
 
  • #7
taylaron said:
cool,
but would spherical mirror work for what I am trying to accomplish? -hence the first post-

-im trying to get around spending a couple grand on some cambridge galvonometers here... whither its worth it or not...

If you have specific performance requirements that's an entirely different matter.
You haven't said what they are.
Just that you wanted to make patterns.
You could only use a spherical mirror for one of the mirrors.
 

Related to Build a Galvanometer for Laser Pattern Creation

1. What is a galvanometer?

A galvanometer is a scientific instrument used to detect and measure small electric currents. It works by measuring the deflection of a needle or mirror in response to the current passing through a coil of wire.

2. How does a galvanometer work?

A galvanometer works based on the principle of electromagnetic induction. When an electric current passes through a coil of wire, it creates a magnetic field that interacts with the permanent magnet attached to the needle or mirror. This interaction causes the needle or mirror to move, indicating the presence and strength of the current.

3. Why is a galvanometer used for laser pattern creation?

A galvanometer is used for laser pattern creation because it can accurately and precisely control the movement of the laser beam. By using a galvanometer, the laser beam can be moved in a specific pattern, such as a circle or a line, to create intricate and detailed designs.

4. How can I build a galvanometer for laser pattern creation?

To build a galvanometer for laser pattern creation, you will need a coil of copper wire, a permanent magnet, a laser, and a power source. The wire should be wound around a cylindrical object to create a coil, and the magnet should be attached to the end of the coil. The laser beam should be directed perpendicular to the coil, and the power source should be connected to the coil to create an electric current. By controlling the current, you can control the movement of the laser beam.

5. What are the advantages of using a galvanometer for laser pattern creation?

There are several advantages to using a galvanometer for laser pattern creation. Firstly, it allows for precise and accurate control of the laser beam movement, resulting in highly detailed and intricate patterns. Additionally, it is a relatively simple and cost-effective method compared to other laser pattern creation techniques. It also allows for real-time adjustments and modifications to the pattern, making it a versatile tool for various applications.

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