Laser projector

A laser projector is a device that projects changing laser beams on a screen to create a moving image for entertainment or professional use. It consists of a housing that contains lasers, mirrors, galvanometer scanners, and other optical components. A laser projector can contain one laser light source for single-color projection or three sources for RGB (red, green, and blue) full color projection.

Lasers offer potentially brighter projected images, with more and better colors.

Z3d control blue laser
Blue laser projection on composite material
Laser projection on aluminum in the automotive industry
A laser projector projects different laser lines on welding seams on an aluminum car body
Laserprojector steel framing
In the steel industry for example laser projectors are used for the steel framing. Thereby the frame where the steel needs to be welded can be displayed.

Types of laser projectors

There are actually two types of Laser projectors:

  • Industrial Laser Projectors
  • Home entertainment Laser Projectors

Industrial Laser Projectors

The industrial laser projectors are on the market since about 2002/2003. Laser projectors are mainly used as optical guidance systems. They enable working without templates in many manufacturing processes by showing directly on the workpiece how material needs to be positioned or mounted. Like that, the employee is led by manual or semiautomatic productional processes visually.


  • Fast and stable projection with high repetition rate (50 Hz)
  • Optimised for 2D and 3D objects
  • Highest accuracy of projection
  • Wide optical angle (80° x 80°) allows bigger working sites
  • Multi-projection system for huge and complex projections


  • Blades for wind turbines
  • Assembly support and workpiece control in 3D
  • Laminated beam manufacturing
  • Boat construction
  • Caravan construction
  • Gluing tables - CNC-BAZ - rip saws (stair construction)
  • Nail truss
  • Paper rolls
  • Cable harness production
  • Aerospace
  • Leather nesting
  • CNC machining centre
  • Alignment of steel plates
  • Inspection of metal surfaces
  • Laser-supported placement of formwork for concrete steps
  • Prefabricated concrete parts: Wall and ceiling elements

Depending on material to project on different colors can be used.

Home entertainment Laser Projectors

Hisense, IFA 2018, Berlin (P1070174)
Home entertainment laser projector by Hisense

Home entertainment laser projectors have been on the market since about 2015. These devices are able to generate any wavelength of light, thus making wider color gamuts possible without compromising brightness. This translates to deeper, richer colors that come closer than previous products to the vast range of colors human eyes can process. Other benefits include fast (up to instant) on/off and increased longevity: One manufacturer, for example, claims 30,000 hours for the lasers in one of their mainstream models. Compared to the roughly 3,000 hours most home projectors achieve with their UHP lamps. Costing around $250 to $400 per lamp, considerable savings can be achieved over the lifetime of the projector.[1]

*DMD® = Digital Micro DisplayLCOS = liquid crystal on semiconductorLCD = liquid crystal display

Advantages of this method

  • Material and time saving by an optimized workflow
  • Immediate visual quality control
  • Rise in productivity
  • Laser projection with high representation precision and quality

Typical components

Laser Diodes (Direct Injection)

  • Red: 635 nm, 638 nm, 642 nm, 650 nm, 660 nm
  • Green: 515 nm, 520 nm
  • Blue: 445 nm
  • Violet: 405 nm

Solid State DPSS (Diode-Pumped, Frequency-Doubled)

  • Red: 671 nm
  • Green: 532 nm
  • Blue: 473 nm, 457 nm

Gas lasers

  • Red: HeNe (Helium-Neon) @ 632.8 nm, Krypton @ 647.1 nm
  • Green: Argon @ 514.5 nm
  • Blue: Argon @ 488 nm or 457.9 nm
  • Multi-colour (whitelight): Mixed gas Argon/Krypton 647.1 nm, 514.5 nm, 488 nm, 476.5 nm, 457.9 nm

Galvanometer scanners

Galvanometers (also called "scanners" or "galvos")are computer-controlled electromagnetic devices that move mirrors mounted on the end of rotary shafts. The mirror reflects the laser beam to "draw" images. Galvanometers are typically identified by their speed of operation, measured in Kpps (kilo points per second). Available speeds include 8k, 12k, 20k, 30k, 35k, 50k, and 60k. The faster the galvanometers, the smoother and more flicker-free the projected image. Each galvanometer moves the beam in one plane, either X axis or Y axis. Placing the galvanometers close together at 90 degrees to each other allows full movement of the laser beam within a defined square area. The most useful specifications of a galvanometer pair for laser show use are the speed at which they can draw points, and the angle at which they achieve this speed. Galvanometers come in two main groups: open loop and closed loop. Closed loop, which is most common, means the galvanometer is controlled by a servo system—the control circuit uses a feedback signal generated by the mirror's motion to correct motion commands. An amplifier similar to an audio power amplifier drives the mirror.

Controller (DAC)

In the case of using a computer to control a laser projector, a Digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is needed to convert the digital control signal from the computer into analog signals that control the scanners in the laser projector. Typically, 2 channels are used for x-y position control and 3 channels are used for controlling the RGB values of an RGB projector. In the case of a single color projector, the intensity channel is used instead of the RGB channels. Most commercially available projectors and DACs are compatible with the ILDA standard that specifies the channels and pinout for the 25-pin D-SUB input connector on the projector.


Many laser projectors and galvanometer sets include Digital Multiplexing (DMX) input. DMX was originally designed to control theatrical lighting, but has spread to laser projectors over the years.

DMX allows the user to control the inbuilt patterns of the projector. A few of these features are Size, pattern, colour and rotation. However, DMX Does Not let you design and display your own graphics/animations, it is simply just a way of controlling the patterns included in your laser projector. A Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) is required for custom graphics/animations.

Dichroic Mirrors

A dichroic mirror is a mirror with different reflection or transmission properties at two different wavelengths. Typical dichroic mirrors used in laser projectors pass red light and reflect green and blue, or pass green light and reflect red and blue. Dichroic mirrors are required for combining laser beams of different colors, e.g. to combine the red, green and blue beams into a single white-light beam. The individual red, blue and green lasers are then controlled in brightness (modulated) to produce any desired color in the final beam. A typical analog-modulated RGB projector has 256 brightness levels for each laser. This gives (256 x 256 x 256) 16,777,216 different available colors (the same as a modern computer monitor).

Typical terminology


Blanking is a state in which the laser beam turns off while the mirrors change position while creating the image. Blanking typically happens hundreds of times per second. New solid state lasers use direct electronic control of the laser source to provide blanking. With gas lasers, such as argon or krypton, this was not possible, and blanking was carried out using a third galvanometer that mechanically interrupted the beam. New technology brought a Poly-Chromatic Acousto-Optic Modulator, or PCAOM, which provided high-speed electronic blanking, intensity control, and color selection of a multi-color laser beam.


Most DPSS lasers used in laser projectors support modulation. Modulation has to do with blanking but is a slightly broader term. A DPSS laser supports either analog modulation, TTL modulation' or both. Modulation is usually specified in terms of kHz. 2 kHz can be considered low and 30 kHz can be considered high. Manufacturers do not specify an exact relationship between this number and the behavior of the laser.

Analog modulation

An analog signal is used to control the intensity of the output beam. This signal is usually a voltage in the range of 0 V to 5 V. With an RGB laser and analog modulation there are, with an 8 bit system, 16.7 million colours at one's disposal.

However, since most laser show software uses a 0-100% control for laser brightness modulation (so 100 steps instead of 255), the total of available colours at disposal is 1'000'000. Furthermore, usual laser sources start lasing at a voltage between 1-2 volts and reach their full brightness at voltages between 3.5-4V, and the power/voltage curve between these points are usually not perfectly linear. Consequently, the dynamics of the color palette in a real lasershow use is decreased to only a few thousands of different colors.

TTL Modulation

TTL modulation indicates that the laser does not support analog modulation of the output but only ON / OFF control. See blanking. With an RGB laser and TTL blanking you have seven colours at your disposal. Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, White.


The International Laser Display Association. A trade association dedicated to promoting the use of laser displays.

Scan angle

Scan angle is the optical angle that a set of scanners normally achieves at a given rate of points per second. The wider the angle, the larger the area the scan covers—but the more difficult it is for the scanner accurately track due to physical limitations of the scanner mechanism. For example, a 20 degree angle provides a 3.5 metre scanned area at a distance of 10 metres from scanner to screen. Scan angles can be calculated using standard trigonometry.

See also


  1. ^ CNET

External links


1K17 Szhatie

The 1K17 Szhatie (Russian: 1К17 Сжатие — "Compression") is a self-propelled laser vehicle of Soviet origin. The platform uses a Msta-S chassis with a battery of laser projectors mounted in the turret. It was developed by the Soviet Union in order to disable the optical-electronic equipment of enemy missiles, ground and aerial vehicles.


The AN/PEQ-6 is a laser aiming module (LAM) designed and manufactured by Insight Technology for use by United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with the Heckler & Koch Mark 23 semi-automatic pistol and a Knight's Armament Company suppressor; the whole system is designated the Mk 23 Mod 0 Offensive Handgun Weapon System.

The device attaches to the accessory rail on the frame, under the barrel, and creates a small laser dot very near the point of bullet impact (within certain ranges). It was developed in the 1990s under the Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS) program run by USSOCOM.It consists of a laser projector on the left side of the LAM and two tactical flashlights on the right side. One setting of the laser produces a visible light dot, while the other setting produces infrared (IR) light. The illuminator section has a rectangular white light flashlight on the upper part and a rectangular infrared flashlight on the lower part. The IR elements can only be seen whilst wearing night vision goggles.

Grating light valve

The grating light valve (GLV) is a "micro projection" technology which operates using a dynamically adjustable diffraction grating. It competes with other light valve technologies such as Digital Light Processing (DLP) and liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) for implementation in video projector devices such as rear-projection televisions. The use of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) in optical applications, which is known as optical MEMS or micro-opto-electro-mechanical structures (MOEMS), has enabled the possibility to combine the mechanical, electrical and optical components in very small scale.

Silicon Light Machines (SLM), in Sunnyvale CA, markets and licenses GLV technology with the capitalised trademarks Grated Light Valve and GLV, previously Grating Light Valve. The valve diffracts laser light using an array of tiny movable ribbons mounted on a silicon base. The GLV uses six ribbons as the diffraction gratings for each pixel. The alignment of the gratings is altered by electronic signals, and this displacement controls the intensity of the diffracted light in a very smooth gradation.

High Rock Tower Reservation

The High Rock Tower Reservation (or High Rock Tower Park) is a city park of Lynn, Massachusetts. The roughly 4.5-acre (1.8 ha) park encompasses the summit area of a hill with commanding views of the surrounding area, as well as the Atlantic Ocean which is only a half a mile away. The park's principal attraction is the High Rock Tower, a stone structure measuring 85 feet high, built in 1905, replacing an earlier tower built by Jesse Hutchinson of the Hutchinson Family Singers, a politically-active abolitionist singing group that performed throughout the northern United States from the 1840s to about 1880. The Jesse Hutchinson acquired the property from the Pawtucket natives, and by 1846 built two Gothic Revival cottages (known as High Rock Cottage and Daisy Cottage) and later other cottages as well as the first tower which burnt down during a celebration of the Civil War's end. The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (as "High Rock Tower–High Rock Cottage and Daisy Cottage") in 1979. The lands surrounding the tower were protected by The Trust for Public Land and conveyed to the City of Lynn in 1988.The City of Lynn has periodically opened the tower and observatory to the public for free use of the telescope. This practice continues in summer 2018, with scheduled evenings in July and August.In 2017, the community organization Centerboard raised $45,000 for the installation of LED lighting and a laser projector for two of the four sides of High Rock Tower. Additional grant funding was obtained in 2018, for LED and laser illumination of the remaining two sides of the tower.


IMAX is a system of high-resolution cameras, film formats and film projectors. Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and William C. Shaw developed the first IMAX cinema projection standards in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Canada. Unlike conventional projectors, the film runs horizontally (see diagram sprocket holes) so that the image width is greater than the width of the film. Since 2002, some feature films have been converted into IMAX format for displaying in IMAX theatres, and some have also been (partially) shot in IMAX. IMAX is the most widely used system for special-venue film presentations. By late 2017, 1,302 IMAX theatre systems were installed in 1,203 commercial multiplexes, 13 commercial destinations, and 86 institutional settings in 75 countries.

Laser harp

A laser harp is an electronic musical user interface and laser lighting display. It projects several laser beams played the musician by blocking them to produce sounds which are reminiscent of a harp. The laser harp has been popularised by Jean Michel Jarre, and has been a high profile feature of almost all his concerts since 1981. British electronic musician Little Boots has used a similar instrument in concerts. The British electro jazz band 1201-Alarm feature a laser harp as a main aspect of their live show. Japanese musician and composer Susumu Hirasawa uses a laser harp in his concerts as well.

Laser harps have appeared in a number of designs. They have also been used in public art installations, such as those by Jen Lewin at the Lincoln Center in 2000 and at Burning Man in 2005 and 2012, as well as those created by Johnny Dwork at the Harmony Festival in 2011, at the Portland Art Museum in 2012, at The Tech Museum of Innovation in 2014, and at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in 2015.

Laser video display

Laser color television ( laser TV), or laser color video display utilizes two or more individually modulated optical (laser) rays of different colors to produce a combined spot that is scanned and projected across the image plane by a polygon-mirror system or less effectively by optoelectronic means to produce a color-television display. The systems work either by scanning the entire picture a dot at a time and modulating the laser directly at high frequency, much like the electron beams in a cathode ray tube, or by optically spreading and then modulating the laser and scanning a line at a time, the line itself being modulated in much the same way as with digital light processing (DLP).

The special case of one ray reduces the system to a monochromatic display as, for example, in black-and-white television. This principle applies to a display as well as to a (front or rear) projection technique with lasers (a laser video projector).

MBO Cinemas

MCAT Box Office Sdn Bhd (doing business as MBO Cinemas) is a chain of cinemas in Malaysia. MBO Cinemas is the third largest cinema chain in the country after Golden Screen Cinemas and TGV Cinemas

Major Cineplex

Major Cineplex Group Public Co. Ltd. is the largest operator of movie theaters in Thailand. Combined with its subsidiary, EGV Entertainment, the company has 490 screens around Thailand. Among its properties is Thailand's largest multiplex, the Paragon Cineplex at Siam Paragon, with 16 screens and 5,000 seats, along with the IMAX theater. The second-largest chain in Thailand is SF Cinema City .

Megabox (movie theaters)

Megabox JoongAng Co., Ltd. (Hangeul: 메가박스중앙(주)), operating as MEGABOX, is a chain of movie theatres in South Korea. Its headquarters are in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul and it was established in 2000 as a subsidiary of Orion Confectionery. It later merged with Cinus, owned by the Joongang Media Network, in 2010.

Megabox is currently owned by a consortium of Australia-based Macquarie Group and Joongang Media Network subsidiary jcontentree. The first Megabox was launched in COEX Mall in Samseong-dong in 2000 and the second two years later in Busan for the international film festival. There are currently 14 branches nationwide.


The Metreon is a shopping center located in downtown San Francisco at the corner of 4th Street and Mission Street. It is a four-story 350,000 square foot (33,000 m²) building built over the corner of the underground Moscone Center convention center. Metreon opened on June 16, 1999, as the first of a proposed chain of Sony "urban entertainment centers", aggregating dining, games, music, exhibitions, shopping, and movies. Sony intended the ambitious 85 million dollar project to be not only a theme park and gallery for Sony products but also a way to reinforce a sophisticated image for the Sony brand.

In 2006 Metreon was sold to Westfield, a mall developer, and it was refashioned as a food-oriented mall. In 2011, with few exceptions, remaining businesses in the mall were closed. Westfield began a major renovation with an emphasis on dining, including Target creating a large downtown department store that now takes up the second floor. In April, 2012, the Westfield sold the Metreon to Starwood Capital Group. Westfield (and its successor, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield]) continues to be responsible for management.

OTs-20 Gnom

The OTs-20 Gnom ("Gnome") is a Russian revolver manufactured by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau. It uses a proprietary 12.5x40mm STs-110 cartridge developed from a 32 gauge shotgun cartridge. It can fire lead slug (STs-110-04), lead shot (STs-110-02), and armor-piercing steel-core slug (STs-110) cartridges, as well as three types of non-lethal ammunition. The revolver is smooth bore and so it lacks accuracy but has high muzzle velocity and stopping power.

A tactical laser projector is available that mounts on an accessory rail under the ejector rod shroud. It is turned on and off via a pressure switch that can be attached on the grip; the operator just squeezes the grip and the projector goes on or off.

The manufacturer claims that the steel-core slug can penetrate 4.5 mm of "standard body armor plate" at 25 m. They also claim that the dispersion of this bullet at this distance is about 5 cm.

Optoma Corporation

Optoma Corporation (Chinese: 奧圖碼科技) is a multi-national audio and visual solutions provider specializing in the design and manufacturer of projectors, professional audiovisual solutions, digital cinema, laser projectors, LED projectors, DLP projectors, interactive projectors, image processing equipment and software, projection mapping, digital signage and retail solutions, and professional audio products.

Optoma Corporation has regional headquarters in Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and China. Optoma Corporation is part of the Coretronic Group, which has facilities for R&D and manufacturing based in Hsinchu, Taiwan and Kunshan, China. Optoma is established in more than 157+ countries worldwide (2017).


A raygun is a science fiction particle-beam weapon that fires what is usually destructive energy. They have various alternate names: ray gun, death ray, beam gun, blaster, laser gun, laser pistol, phaser, zap gun, etc. In most stories, when activated, a raygun emits a ray, typically visible, usually lethal if it hits a human target, often destructive if it hits mechanical objects, with properties and other effects unspecified or varying.

Real-life analogues are directed-energy weapons or electrolasers, electroshock weapons which send current along an electrically conductive laser-induced plasma channel.

Red Digital Cinema

Red Digital Cinema is an American company that manufactures digital cinematography cameras and accessories.

The company’s headquarters are in Irvine, California, with studios in Hollywood, California. It has offices in London, Shanghai and Singapore, retail stores in Hollywood, New York and Miami as well as various authorized resellers and service centers around the world.

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto

The Scotiabank Theatre Toronto (formerly Paramount Theatre Toronto) is a major movie theatre at the RioCan Hall in the Entertainment District of downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Richmond and John Street owned by Cineplex Entertainment and opened in 1999.

Theo Watson

Theo Watson is a British artist and programmer. His art work includes interactive video, large-scale public projections, computer vision projects, and interactive sound recordings which have featured in museums and galleries across the world including Museum of Modern Art, New York Hall of Science, Tate Modern amongst others. Watson is a partner at Design I/O, a Cambridge-based interactive design firm known for cutting edge, immersive installations. He is also co-creator of the Eyewriter and a virtual fellow at Free Art and Technology Lab.


webOS, also known as LG webOS and previously known as Open webOS, HP webOS and Palm webOS, is a Linux kernel-based multitasking operating system for smart devices such as smart TVs and it has been used as a mobile operating system. Initially developed by Palm, Inc. (which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard), HP made the platform open source, at which point it became Open webOS. The operating system was later sold to LG Electronics. In January 2014, Qualcomm announced that it had acquired technology patents from HP, which included all the webOS and Palm patents.

Various versions of webOS have been featured on several devices since launching in 2009, including Pre, Pixi, and Veer smartphones, TouchPad tablet, LG's smart TVs since 2014, LG's smart refrigerators and smart projectors since 2017.

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