PROJECTS: LUNCHBOX LASER SHOWS
Time: 1 Weekend per Box Complexity: Moderate
1. ASSEMBLE THE VOLTAGE REGULATORS
1a. Count the number of voltage regulator circuits you need to
build your boxen. Each Lumia box needs 2, a Diffracterator needs
4, and a Motiondizer uses 1.
1b. Cut a section of perf board for each box and follow the
schematic at makezine.com/20/lunchboxen to assemble its voltage regulator circuits. If you’re using a laser stronger than 10m W (or
want the option to swap one in later), put a heat sink on the LM317
voltage regulator. Note that all the individual regulator circuits share
their connections to power, diode D1, and capacitors C1 and C5.
2. MAKE THE INTERNAL FRAMES
2a. For each box, start with a base plate made of 2" plywood.
Measure the inside of your box at the bottom and cut a piece
of plywood to fit, giving it 1" or so of space all around to make
removal easier. All the gizmo-ry gets built onto the plate.
2b. Attach side rails to the plate, sized to reach the top corners of
the lunchbox. The rails keep everything from falling when the box
is on its side, and they also provide places to hang components
and serve as convenient handles for removing the workings from
the box. I made mine from some erector-set-looking metal stock screwed into ½" blocks of wood glued to
the base plate, with the corners secured with pop rivets.
2c. Paint the base plate and rails flat black to prevent random internal reflections.
Now you’re ready to make some laser lunchboxen! Instructions for Lumia, Diffracterator, and Motiondizer
follow. The Lumia is a good place to start because it’s the simplest; all you need is 1 laser, 1 motor, 1 lumia
wheel, and 2 voltage regulators. For all boxen, the simplest versions use a smaller laser, say in the 5m W
neighborhood, which won’t require a heat sink and fan.
114 Make: Volume 20