I’ve been a fan of the Vectrex video game console for many years. It’s a wonderful real-world example of vector-based displays; a fantastic dead-end technology that were very much pushed to their limits in the games consoles of the 80s. They draw by simply moving the electron beam of a CRT along a path (a lot like an Etch A Sketch), leading to wonderfully crisp images–the kind of thing that wasn’t at all possible until Retina displays.
Jonty gave me some great pointers for getting started:
Depends what it’s for. Most people I know have built their own as you can do way more with them. I helped someone with a LaserShark based one about a year ago.
Basically a LaserShark, a laser (with blanking), and two high-PPS galvo’s will do you.
But you can buy things off the shelf too.
You’d probably want an ILDA compliant laser
And pps (points-per-second) is the measure of how fast the galvos are, and thus how complex the vector patterns it can sustain are too
You can build a decent one for ~£250
Oh, and you want blanking because otherwise you’ll just draw a continuous line instead of separate shapes. You tend to damage the laser by switching it really fast, so an LCD shutter is in the beamline instead.
Oscilloscope: “Rigol DS1024 if you want large and fancy, DSO Nano if you want pocket sized and less fancy.”
“Mount it all on a bit of aluminium plate and jobs a goodun”
“Laser projectors are pretty easy to build though, high-ppi galvos from eBay, laser with blanking from aliexpress (or eBay), lasershark board.”
‘Lasers capable of TTL or 0-5v analog modulation’
Now, bear in mind this was the first time I’d really looked serious at circuit diagrams since high school.