Writing on glow-in-the-dark surfaces with lasers

An Instructables user named “ril3y” has devised a slick CNC single point projector that can draw on glow-in-the-dark surfaces with lasers, aptly named “Laser Glow Writer.”


“At its heart, the Laser Glow Writer is a two-axis CNC machine, which means the laser can draw very detailed and intricate designs, that you can create on your computer or mobile device, from across the room. Using a combination of 3D-printable and laser-cut parts, as well as some off the shelf hardware you can make this pretty cool little machine fairly easily, and it works extremely well with a safe, low-power laser diode. All parts are sourced and are available online,” ril3y writes.

The Laser Glow Writer is driven by Arduino Due (Atmel | SMART SAM3X8E), which runs the TinyG CNC motion controller firmware. The SAM3X8E based board then controls the two stepper motors (X and Y axes) in a coordinated fashion, while turning the small laser on/off.


“I originally designed this machine for Halloween to write spooky messages on the wall all night long, but there are many other cool things that it can do! The first version that I built was big and not very accurate. Being a bit of a perfectionist, I redesigned the whole machine to be smaller and cheaper to build. Above all else, it had to be much more accurate,” the Maker notes.

Currently, ril3y is converting SVG images to Gcode, and putting them up on some glow-in-the-dark vinyl. Our friends over at Hackaday had some fun with this project as well. Since the Skull ‘n Wrenches is available in SVG format, the Hackaday crew notes that “it was an easy call to make on what to display in weird phosphorescent green.” You can see a video of that along with ril3y’s as well.

Interested in more? Head over to the project’s official Instructables page here.

3 thoughts on “Writing on glow-in-the-dark surfaces with lasers

  1. Pingback: Rewind: 30+ abstract Arduino projects from 2014 | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  2. Pingback: Here are some unbelievable projects to help celebrate Arduino Day | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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