John O'Keefe

Week 17 - Final Project Planning

Laser Cannon Russ Hensel designed a laser cannon that projects hard coded shapes. The laser cannon moves on two servo motors (X and Y) and shapes are made using motor speeds as opposed to coordinates. This system is the most straight forward but limted, as hard coding the shapes I'm interested in would be extremely labor intensive. I believe I'm looking for a Processing sketch that would translate bitmap or vector image graphics into coordinates that the motors would be able to follow, translating translating 'paths' into a projection. I'm also considering looking at the fab modules that control cutting/milling (toolpaths), but it seems this could only provide a straight ahead projection where the laser beam moves on an XY like a spindle or laser cutter on rods and belts. Hopefully there is a sketch available that can compensate for the angle (distortion) of a projection from what is essentially one point moving up and down. In addition, I realize that I need a scrim of some kind to catch the harder lines of the shapes I'm after. The first step is to get the laser to draw simple rectangular door. The second step is to build a frame for a scrim that could catch the 'drawing' while allowing a person to walk through it (glow-in-the-dark fabric might buy me more time as the laser will most likely be too slow to make even a minimal lasting effect). Once I have these elements in place I will focus on translating my door/portal designs into laser projections.