Application and implications

Basically, my final project is a scenography system using lasers. Since the moment I had this idea there is two differents style of using the lasers.

Final project for the Fabacademy :

The first idea was to create a system of lasers and mirrors controlled by servo motors, then I should be able to create space and subspace somewhere (it could be for a live concert on a stage, for an exhibition or every places where there is an event).

After the Fabacademy (Spiral developement)

The second idea was to create light surfaces by vibrating the mirrors very quickly. For this the idea is to use galvano motors But as I said on my final project page, this is very complicated to re-use old galvano motors for this type of use. Then we buyed a system of galvanomotors used in laser projector.

Finally, the idea is to mix both parts in order to create a global scenography system.

What will it do ?

Broadly speaking my final project will be able to control lasers. The idea is to control them in different ways. One way will be with servo motors in order to create lines. And the other way will be with the galavanomotors in order to create surfaces and drawing. The purpose is to be able to create space and subspace in correlation with an artistic creation.

One of the constraints I have set for myself is the all system must be modular and wireless. The laserbox will contain a battery, an electronic wireless board, two servos motors and one laser.

Who's done what beforehand?

The lasers are not so new in the history of scenography, concert and exhibition... A lot of people have worked and experimented about lasers and mirrors here. Among them : architects and designer, but also more recently some makers. Here some exemples of my inspirations :

Polytop of Cluny

Polytop de Cluny, Xenakis

Jason_Bruges_musée parfum

Orgue du parfumeur, Jason Bruges

Documentation using a kit of appropriate galvanomotors and driver card

What's inspired me with this type of work is the capacity of create a space and to slice it without adding materials. All work is done on the forms that the public will be able to see from their point of view... Then I have to create something really modular and easy to set up in order to give to the scenograph the opportunity to create something that will look like the audience and the artist.

What will you design ?

My project is for now composed by two big parts. The first part is the laser modules that will be able to point any point of space of 180° (XY plan) by 180° (XZ plan). In this part I will use 2 servo motors by modules, then I will design the electronic boards that will control servos motors by receiving informations from a mother board (that will orchestrate all of the modules). I will also design this mother board. Also I will design the box modules that will contains the board, servos, lasers and battery. Here some sketch :

laserbox laserbox

In the second spiral of the project I will design the electronic boards that will allow me to send the right signal to my galvanomotors (+10V -10V analogic signal) I will also design the support for the galavanomotors and the box that will contains the all system.

What materials and components will be used ?

For the first part of the project the "LaserBox" :

  • The laserbox will be 3D printed with PLA
  • The board will be based on a esp32
  • Powered by a little lithium-Ion baterry
  • Finally, a laser diode will be mounted on the LaserBox
  • I'll be able to control the laserbox with joysticks and button

For the second spiral of the project :

Where will come from ?

  • The plastic that I will use for my 3D print come from Ultimaker
  • The electronic components are coming from big distributor like Farnell, RS or Mouser
  • The battery will come from recuperation
  • The laser diode are coming from China
  • Finally, the galavanomotors system will come from China

How much will they cost?

Name Quantity Description Price
ESP8266 12F 4 microcontroller including wifi connection 17€
Electronic components 1 All the elctronic components that I need (resistor, capacitor, header, crystal...) 10€
Plastic 100 g PLA for 3D printing 8€
Laser diode 4 Laser diode 4€
  • 1 x ESP8266 12-F
  • 4 x 10K Ohm Resistor
  • 2 x 470 Ohm Resistor
  • 2 x 0 Ohm Resistor
  • 1 x 0,1 uF capacitor
  • 1 x 10 uF capacitor
  • 2 x push button
  • 1 x LED
  • 1 x LD1117 voltage regulator
  • 1 x 5,5mm power jack connector
  • 2 x 1*3 pin header
  • 1 x 1*2 pin header
  • 1 x FTDI connector

All the components that I will use can be buyed on Mouser or Digikey.
And are part of the fablab inventory.

What parts and systems will be made ?

As I said earlier, my project is separate in two kind of modules. In the first kind of module that I called the LaserBox most of the components and system will be by my hand. From the design to the electronic board. The only things that I need to buy or found for this part are the lasers, the battery and the servos-motors.

For the second spiral of the project, after some experiments with old galavanomotors I figured out that I need to buy or create my own galvanomotors. By time concerns, In accord with my instructor we prefered to buy one kit used to create laser scanner or laser projector... This kit contains all of the parts that required very precise constraints about signals and clearance between two pieces. Using this kit I will reproduce the support for the mirrors and create an electronic board that will send a position signal from a microcontroller to the galavanomotors that control the mirrors.

What processes will be used ?

For the first part :

  • The box will be 3D printed (in a second time they should be molded)
  • The electronic board will be CNC machined
  • The solding will be made by hand

For the second spiral :

  • The box will be a mix between 2D and 3D design and CNC machined
  • The supports will be 3D printed
  • The electronic board will be made very similary to the first part

What questions need to be answered ?

The first and very large question when you engage yourself in this kind of project is Will I be able to make all of this thing ?
Basically, I'm not able the answer to this question for now. Then I need to decomposed it into different questions that correspond to every "dark" parts of my project.

Will I found the way to make comunicate all of my LaserBoxs between them without (acceptable) latencies ?

Will my servo-motors be accurate enough to point a 10cm mirror from 5m ?

would I be able to write code optimized enough to control lasers and mirrors ?

All of this questions will be answered by experimenting and making some researches and calcul... For now the difficultie is to be able to manage my time in order to answer to all of this questions and be able to have a backup solution in case of problem.

How will it be evaluated ?

In order to answer this question I need to chose an axe of what kind of utilisation I want to propose with this system. Basically, in a first time this system is an project of personal researches about (writting) the space, the links beetwen a public and an artist and the light ! Then for now the way it will be evaluated is through the ability to be used while allowing artists to express their creativity without technical constraints.

Is it easy to setup ?
This depend on my ability to create a simple interface to understand ! And to create a nice code template.

Will the laser beam be wide enough to be clearly visible ?
This depend on wich power of laser I will use. For now I ordered some 5 mW diode laser. We will see the result as soon I receive them.