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Laser harps are musical devices with laser beam "strings." When the beam is blocked, a note is played by the instrument. Usually laser harps have the beams travel vertically in the shape of a fan or vertical lines.

In this project, I built a laser harp with stacked laser beams that propagate horizontally. The beams reflect off mirrors to form square shaped beam paths. With this design, the lasers land on "frets," which makes it much simpler to block notes with a single finger. Instead of a MIDI output like my previous laser harp, this device has built-in MIDI player so the output is an audio signal. This means the device does not have to be connected to a computer or MIDI player (e.g. keyboard) to play sound. Both built-in speakers and audio output jack are available for playing music.

In this instructable, I will go over the construction and how to play the instrument.

Step 1: Supply List

Picture of Supply List
IMG_3175.JPG

Supplies:

Tools:

  • Laser cutter
  • Soldering iron
  • 3D printer
  • Wire cutters
  • Allen wrenches
  • Small hammer
Gadisha7 days ago
Cool instrument, sounds and looks good.
I like this project a lot, very well done.
jbumstead (author)  Gadisha6 days ago
Thank you!
jeanniel123 days ago
This is totally amazing and clever. BTW - good music you make
jbumstead (author)  jeanniel111 days ago
Thank you!
rock0624 days ago
impressive!!
jbumstead (author)  rock0611 days ago
Thanks!
Can u please share the command for arduino for this project please
jbumstead (author)  SuhasPampana 0711 days ago
The arduino code is attached in Step 13.
vasospaz20 days ago
This is a great project. I have been trying to build a laser harp for some time and this one looks like the one. I have started laser cutting my parts. I am a very novice electronics hobbyist. I have a few questions...
1. you didn't give much info about the Buck Converter. Are there any particular specs for this?

2. Where did you conceal all the transistors?

3. Where did you source your mirrors?

4. Could you provide a little more details about the protoboard and how you organized the circuits on it? The pictures don't show much detail of the layout or the back side.

5. In your video it sounds like you are playing over a bass line. Did you record that first of does the Adafruit board allow looping?

I am so excited to build this and I will share my finish product with you. Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Cheers
jbumstead (author)  vasospaz17 days ago
Great! I hope the build goes well. The most challenging part is getting the lasers positioned in the mounts. Here are answers to your questions.

1. you didn't give much info about the Buck Converter. Are there any particular specs for this?
I used a 12V power supply to power the Arduino. Everything else requires 5V. You will need to check the input and output voltage range and max power output current of the Buck Converter you use. Here is the one I used:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GJ0SC2C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

2. Where did you conceal all the transistors?
The transistors are on a prototype board in the electronics box. I underestimated the size of the prototype board I needed so the mount in the box is a little small. I just taped the extra board in the box.

3. Where did you source your mirrors?
Here is a link to the mirrors I used:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FOOGDL6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

4. Could you provide a little more details about the protoboard and how you organized the circuits on it? The pictures don't show much detail of the layout or the back side.
I just placed the components in a configuration that was as an organized as possible, but there is no right solution! I would just test all the connections with a multimeter and troubleshoot one subassembly at a time.

5. In your video it sounds like you are playing over a bass line. Did you record that first of does the Adafruit board allow looping?
I recorded the first part.

Good luck!
TimS12822 days ago
This is absolutely amazing. My son is a musician and would flip over this. I do need to know how to utilize your .idraw files or the pdf files to either laser cut or 3d print. Thanks.
jbumstead (author)  TimS12819 days ago
That's awesome that you want to make this for your son! The pdf files will have to be uploaded to the software used for your laser cutter. You may have to convert the pdfs to another file format. Best of luck with building it!
AllanA226 days ago
This is an impressive project and great for my students.

The only thing we are missing is the laser cutter. Can I ask what unit you are using to cut the 3mm plywood so cleanly?
jbumstead (author)  AllanA226 days ago
Thanks! I am using the Epilog Zing 16, which I won in the Epilog contest two years ago.
Totally putting that prize to good use, I see. Keep up the great work.
anjoze25 days ago
Amazing!
You shoul enter on a contest when it's available.
jbumstead (author)  anjoze24 days ago
Thanks! Couldn't find a contest that fits for now, but maybe later!
This is good project
jbumstead (author)  abbasporyazdanpanah24 days ago
Thank you!
Great job!
jbumstead (author)  tom inventions24 days ago
Thanks!
RIBtronikz26 days ago
What's really amazing is not just this project, but all your other related skills to produce the end result. Bravo!
jbumstead (author)  RIBtronikz24 days ago
Thanks for your compliment!
maxhirez26 days ago
Lovely craftsmanship!
jbumstead (author)  maxhirez24 days ago
Thanks!
Filbert1126 days ago
Very impressive and totally professional project !! And useful !!
jbumstead (author)  Filbert1124 days ago
Thanks for your note!
bgreen326 days ago
Very cool project!! Excellent design and execution.
jbumstead (author)  bgreen324 days ago
Thank you!
Wow! Very neat product, and very detailed 'ible! Nicely done!
jbumstead (author)  PeeDonkeyPit24 days ago
Thanks!
This is an exceptionally well done project. Very sophisticated. Thanks for sharing!
jbumstead (author)  seawarrior18124 days ago
Thank you for checking it out!
geshkin26 days ago
That's amazing!!! I always wonder how people get such things in mind and design them.
jbumstead (author)  geshkin24 days ago
Thanks!
gallaugher26 days ago
Magnificent! And thanks so much for sharing. I can’t wait to learn from you and give this a try. Truly awesome!
jbumstead (author)  gallaugher24 days ago
Thank you for checking it out!
That is a work of art!
Well Done!
jbumstead (author)  AndrewHoover24 days ago
Thank you!
Genius!!! This is truly fascinating!
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