3D-Printed Laser Lissjous Apparatus

Copper wires and helping hands are fine for my laser Lissajous rough draft, but it’s fragile and nearly impossible to take elsewhere. It’s time to design and 3D-print a more rigid and portable version of my cheap & cheery laser light show.

The fundamental task is not difficult: note the final arrangement of components in my rough draft, put them into Onshape, and create a housing for those parts with the help of Onshape in-context modeling. However, the geometry requirements of mirror and laser placement resulted in quite an awkward layout of components involved.

I looked at component layout in 3D space inside Onshape and spent a few hours trying to find a good way to package them all together. After a few fruitless hours trying to create something that I find pleasing to my existing sense of aesthetics, I decided to take this opportunity and go in a different direction instead: I’m going to channel my inner Frank Gehry for packaging these components.

Lissajous bracket 2 wireframe

This is my take on a wild asymmetric shape that still serves all the requirements of the project, much as how Gehry architecture have many features that seem wild at first glance. Their jarring exterior masks the fact it still creates the interior volume and structural support necessary for the building. For me, this was a fun way to experiment with contour and curvature tools available in Onshape and difficult to represent in OpenSCAD.

Lissajous bracket 2

When assembled, my apparatus can create fairly decent Lissajous curves. Not as nice as those [Emily] and I created on a CRT, but a lot more easily reproducible by anyone with access to a laser pointer, a pair of speakers, and some mirrors.

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