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There aren't many video game characters quite as awesome as Samus. Universe saving bounty hunter with one of the coolest weapons in all of sciFi. When I saw Instructables was hosting a Video Game based competition, I immediately knew it was her weapon I wanted to make a reality.

And this is the result! This laser cannon is powerful enough to easily destroy a balloon instantly, ignite flammable materials on contact, and even cut through thin plastic! Not to mention it is easily visible in air (by a camera, dont look at it). It even has light and sound effects!



Lasers of this power are incredibly dangerous. Without adequate protection this laser WILL blind you with a reflection. That being said, devices like this can be safe, far safer than many open frame laser cutters, if the proper steps are take.

FIRST: Always wear eye protection built for this laser. This can not be overstated enough. Good safety glasses mean the difference between a laser you have to be careful around and a laser you couldn't pay me to be in the same room of.

SECOND: Have PLENTY of extra laser glasses around. You're going to want to demo this. NEVER demo without everyone around you having laser glasses. There are some fairly inexpensive bulk packs out there.

THIRD: Have full control over the space you demo. This means no one entering without your permission. No opening doors, and no uncovered windows.

FOURTH: I have built in a unplug-able port for the laser. Whenever the laser isn't about to be used, unplug it. This is a final safety so no one who is not supposed to use it hurts themselves or others.

Essentially, treat the laser as what it is. Understand the danger and avoid it. If you follow these steps the laser can reach the point where it is "usable" and "safe enough". But never treat it like a joke. Finally, this is intended as a demonstration. If you replicate this project, learn the dangers on your own. I am not responsible if you hurt yourself.

14DomitM4 months ago
Do you have separate files for pieces 3 and 4 for people who don't have a multicolored 3d printer?
dan_ewing made it!6 months ago
Again I say thanks to Hyper_Ion for a very enjoyable and
challenging project. It should be
noted that this build will require more time, material, and labor than you might initially

I built the Blaster
initially with the laser installed, to satisfy my adventurous side; however I have now defanged it and added additional Neopixel rings, circuit, and code to simulate the
laser blast. It is more fun to be able to pass around for
others to "try" without worrying about it being loaded.
It is every Maker's
responsibility to build, operate, and demonstrate his projects wisely.

I made a few design changes
along the way:

  • 1.All the cavities for arm and ring Neopixel
    strips were filled with casting resin. First
    make sure that everything is functional because the casting will preclude any
    later repairs to strips.
  • 2.The upper arm assembly was lined with automotive
    headliner fabric. Although it serves
    several purposes, it is primarily cosmetic.
  • 3.The Nano assembly was built using a socket. I have been in the electronics field for
    more than 50 years but I still manage to occasionally "let the magic smoke out". Repairs will be much faster and
    easier. You will also gain mounting
    area by putting components beneath the Nano.
    I also located the trigger
    switch directly to the end of the PCB.
  • 4.I purchased a nested Neo Ring set and used 4 of the 6 pieces. These were mounted to an FR-4 blank circle
    and mounted in the barrel.
  • 5.A domed plastic cap from a scrap solar light was
    cut down and mounted as a barrel cap.
  • 6.Due to the power requirements from 131 Neopixels, a buck converter was installed with the
    battery to supply the 5 volts, external
    to the Nano.
  • 7.Code was modified to account for wiring
    changes, Nano pin reassignments, and my additions. This is my weak area, but I learned a lot.

again, my thanks. DanE
finished (2).jpg
ultranerd327 months ago
sorry to bother again you but 2.5k, 2x5k,or 25k also do the values need to be exact or is there a margin of error
also what are parts U1 and U2s names so i can find them
Hyper_Ion (author)  ultranerd327 months ago
ultranerd327 months ago
can I build this without the high power laser and replace it with a a ring light to flash instead or is it required because I love metroid and this would be awesome to build.
Also if this change is made do i still need a lipo or would a 9 volt work to supply sufficient power
Hyper_Ion (author)  ultranerd327 months ago
Yeah a flash light would work fine, as long as it could handle the voltage from your battery. Yeah any battery between like 8 and 12 volts would work no problem.
alaskaray8 months ago
Hi. I like this project but there are a couple issues. First, the photos of the componants (mostly the resisters) on the completed circuit board do not match the schematic. I built it using the schematic. Is that the most accurate plan? I have not tried it yet. Second, I tried to download the code but all I got was a page with a bunch of 3D renderings but no code. Please advise. Thanks
Hyper_Ion (author)  alaskaray8 months ago
The resistor values varied slightly just based on what I had on hand. None are crucial values (only ratios to each other) so the schematic is slightly more optimal.

In terms of code, what do you mean the code isn't there? Inside the folder there are a bunch of 3d models and a folder labeled "samus_gun_code". Its at the very top of the page. Let me know if you can't access it for some reason. Heres a specific link to it:
dan_ewing9 months ago

Great project. I am half completed on the 3D printing. Electro-mechanical prototyping is my strong suit so this really caught my eye. Coding however is my weakness so I have to ask.... do the 26 lines of code printed in the Instructable represent the total program or do you have a separate , more complete ".ino" file. The "upload the code" link took me to the .stl and mechanical files but no sign of a code file. thanks again for the great work.

Hyper_Ion (author)  dan_ewing9 months ago

Weird. I could have sworn I uploaded it. It is there now. And yes, the code in the screenshot is just an outline.

Awesome! Make sure youre careful ;p

MattW2569 months ago
I am very inept when it comes to coding and electronics. The fact you show step by step so i can understand how to use it/how it works is inspiring.
kb7gpDave9 months ago

You mentioned SolidWorks. Is this the software you used or something that will Save As a SolidWorks file. I used to have access to SW when I was engineering. Now retired and wishing I had a copy, just can't afford the annual license. Beautiful project by the way. ~KB7GP Dave~

Hyper_Ion (author)  kb7gpDave9 months ago

Yup!Legit Solidworks.


Yup The best of it's kind.

Dannlh9 months ago
Don't! Just don't.

Take it from someone who has a cute little squiggle burned in his right retina from a fixed mount lower power laser contained in a small laser engraver. Yeah, I'm an idiot for forgetting my glasses. It reflected off of something I was engraving.

And YOU! You demonstrated this with a Chrome plated office chair behind the balloon! Even a small reflection from this is going to cause major damage to someone's sight.

As far as understanding the danger, you just gave a step by step on how to build it. Now you don't really need to understand the danger do you? You can just build it even if you're 10. And I know many people under the age of 25 who would be more worried about impressing their friends before worrying about the actual danger.

So is this supposed to be used in an isolated non-reflective room with no windows in it? Are you supposed to supply everyone watching your demonstrations with laser safety glasses? You certainly can never take this out in public and use it. I highly recommend switching to an extremely low power laser pointer and stop this nonsense.

The actual weapon design is impressive and looks cool, but there are some things you just shouldn't build even if you can.
Hyper_Ion (author)  Dannlh9 months ago

Ok. So the number of comments talking about the danger caused me to add an extra entire step discussing the danger. Check that step and see if theres anything I should add. That being said, just being there are people out there who will ignore warning doesn't mean people with true skill should be bared from sharing what they know.

And yes actually. Thats what I do. I bough an 6 pack of pretty good quality laser glasses for like $120. Only problem is they work so well I can barely see the laser dot. Its well known that its a myth that a low power laser reflection can cause vision damage through laser glasses. It can't.

And yes. You should only demo in a space you control, with no uncovered windows, and everyone wearing saftey glasses.

Dannlh Hyper_Ion9 months ago
Very well written warning. I applaud you for taking the time to write it and taking heed of the warnings.

p.s. The quip about the "open frame laser engravers" made me lol. Yes. One moment of my stupidity. Clicked START then put on the glasses. Instead of putting on the glasses then clicking START. And I know the dangers. I know better.

I was lucky. The damage looks like it does having a small curly hair in your vision like a spec of dust. I only notice it when looking at screens with a white background.

Thanks again for the warning.
Hyper_Ion (author)  Dannlh9 months ago

Haha of course. Sometimes I forget how easy it is to ignore a small disclaimer. Its important to be exceptionally clear with something like this.

Thats actually kind of ironic. The reason I had the laser diode for this proejct in the first place is I am building a laser engraver. Before I made any other decisions about its design I knew I was making it shrouded, with a switch on the "door". Its far to easy to just hit "go" and not think about it.

mountainfish9 months ago
This is super cool! Thanks for sharing.

I am curious, is this laser enough to incapacitate a housefly instantaneously?
Hyper_Ion (author)  mountainfish9 months ago

Uncertain! I think it is. However I wouldn't really try it. Lasers like this are pretty dangerous.


Just one question in the video you can see the beam could you confirm that it was added to your video buy you.

P.S Love it

P.P.S People can not be mollycoddled, and technology would not be this advanced if people are not aloud to use things that might be dangerous, and to the other people we know lasers can blind you so we all take a lot of care when using them. There's a big bloody warning at the beginning of this instructable to warn people.



Hyper_Ion (author)  ai.roboticsltd9 months ago

It was added??? No... That was real XD. Im not skilled enough in video edditing to fake that.

Wragie9 months ago

I hate to say DONT BUILD OR USE THIS as it appears to be a incredibly well designed and built instructable, but the power of the laser being used will cause eye injury too easily. It is at the power lever that even reflected laser is enough to cause flash blindness. With proper eye protection all you will see is the impact dot from the laser, if you are seeing whar is depicted in the first images your eyes are already being overexpoosed.

Hyper_Ion (author)  Wragie9 months ago

Actually what I was describing in the first image was what the camera sees. I can't even see the dot with my saftey glasses.

And why not? I understand the risks. Its like touching a cast iron pan without oven mitts. Just use protection. Only difference is you have to choose to not wear glasses while working with something like this, its easy to accidentally touch a cast iron pan.

I did add an extra step putting more detail into the danger of this device, but with the proper saftery steps theres really nothing wrong with it.

Wragie Hyper_Ion9 months ago

Yup I know what you were doing but you are dealing with the bigger idiot or even just accidental reflections and at 2.5w thats really gonna hurt. And i did honestly mean when i said yours was very nice instructable other then that. Unfortunetly sooner or later it will get waved around and reflect the wrong way, and people or thier idiot friend will just have to see it work without safety gear because that pic looked cool. And yes i am the first to admit it does lol. I know even the stupid laser pointers they sell as pet toys cause damage and you are about 1000 more power. And you cant defocus if you still want to pop balloons. I wish i could offer a good suggestion for you. Really not trying to be a pain but it just not safe.

spark master9 months ago

Very cool, but you forgot to mention to buy a lot of insurance for the blinded people, the children who could potententially get ahold of one, maybe even yours. Then you should price out lawyers cuz it will eventually requitre them so you want them on retainer so as to defend you rights to mess with cool toys that are not toys then publish the thing on a public forum where kids could find it and quite frankly do something their age. And pay heavely for it.

So to be sure get huge umbrella insurance policy, then retain a very good liar, err lawyer and it is complete.

I do love it, but it is too danergous and while you say it is NOT a toy you certainly make feel it is one and a warning is nothing to a 14 year old. Get ready for a battle to the death to win a Darwin Award!

Hyper_Ion (author)  spark master9 months ago

It has a safety plug. As in, the laser can easily be unplugged when going into storage, so children aren't really a concern. It was also designed to be almost fully assembled before that plug was plugged in, so that there wasn't any risk while assembling the cannon.

That being said you're right, its dangerous. Perhaps I should spend more time explaining the danger of such a device, but I refuse to believe that people who do understand the danger and know how to avoid it should be bared from sharing what they know because stupid people will misuse it.

(removed by author or community request)

it's a game! That's it a game...look it up...

Beardie_139 months ago

This is really cool! I would have to agree with other people in questioning the safety of the laser, though. It seems very powerful to be so easily reflected, though I don't really know of any better alternative. Oh, and Mega Man has cooler weapons, imo. Great project!

Ausin.9 months ago
This is super cool! Don't listen to all these know-it-all people. The laser is fine. Good work! Keep it up.
SPLatManOz9 months ago

I have grown tired of telling off irresponsible kids who post projects with 2.5W lasers on Instructables. One stray reflection off a window and someone could blind themselves.

Hyper_Ion (author)  SPLatManOz9 months ago

I am of the opinion any project which doesn't involve a preassembled laser will require enough skill and knowledge to create that they will know how important it is to wear saftey glasses and to never point it at an uncontained space.

In a contained space, with good quality saftey glasses, a laser like this is not incredibly dangerous. With the glasses I use you can't even see the dot the laser makes they block so much light. Perhaps I should add a section discussing glasses selection to make it exceptionally clear.

And I am not a kid.

BrianR2099 months ago

OMG. A DIY laser of this power is serious stuff. Your warning is not anywhere near robust enough. There is only one thing to do with an uncontained laser like this & it is DON'T GO THERE, even in your wildest dreams.

Hyper_Ion (author)  BrianR2099 months ago

I am of the opinion any project which doesn't involve a preassembled laser will require enough skill and knowledge to create that they will know how important it is to wear saftey glasses.

A good pair of safety glasses will protect you from a balloon reflection with a laser this weak.

That being said. Follow my warnings to the letter. Thanks for drawing more attention to the danger

PicEngraver9 months ago
Sorry. Not wise. Common sense is not universally shared. Someone will be hurt.
This is incredible! One of the coolest cosplay weapons I've ever seen AND coolest "made real" sci-fi weapons I've seen. You deserve to win.
danniella9 months ago

So cool... Does it make marks e.g. burning material. 2,5 watts is pretty high volume laser or?

Hyper_Ion (author)  danniella9 months ago

Oh yeah. It'll punch through quater inch colored plexi. Accidentally scortched my carpet while testing. 2.5 Watts is a lot more powerful than this thing "needs" to be.

Now that you say that I should probably do more demos of the power of this cannon. Ill post that soon.

That would be cool to watch, can't wait to see you powering through the blast doors.. :-)