Simple DIY Galvo

I am experimenting with a simple galvo for directing a laser pointer to draw images on a surface. A galvo is a mechanism that moves a mirror. You shine a laser on the mirror and the laser is directed to different places. One reason galvos are used is that it’s easier to move a mirror than it is to move a laser.

Here’s a experiment with a galvo I made some fine music wire, copper wire, small rare earth magnets and some paper.

I created a shaft with the music wire and mounted it using paper brackets. I punched holes with a pin to allow the shaft to go through. I spring loaded the shaft to reset to its starting point by bending a “V” shape and then applying pressure downward with a spring (also made from music wire). This also keeps the shaft from wandering sideways.

I created a feature on the shaft to attach a rare earth magnet and another to attach a mirror (I don’t have a mirror mounted here).

I was pretty impressed how well this worked on the lab supply. I set it up to draw between 0 and 1 Amp. It is fairly proportional with the amperage knob on the lab supply. The supply was showing .1V. I think I need a lot more winds.



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