Wicked Lasers is great recognized for making a number of the maximum effective purchaser lasers to be had, with 1W guidelines 2 hundred instances extra effective than your traditional puppy toy and able to lighting fixtures matches, popping balloons, and shining a dot seen from miles away. But that is now no longer all lasers can do. The LaserCube, for instance, is a transportable projector with 3 distinct shades of laser diodes, capable of shape photographs with the aid of using rotating and flashing them hastily via lenses. It connects to a laptop or phone to manipulate its projections, and may be programmed to reveal photographs, animations, tune visualizations, and video games, and it could even paintings as a laser engraver with an non-obligatory lens. At $499 for an 800mW version and $599 for 1W, it is a quite costly toy, however for semi-expert performances, displays, and crafts, it is a charming and bendy tool.
Exactly What It Sounds Like
The LaserCube is, well, a cube. It’s a plain, black metallic field measuring 4 inches on every side, with a cutout withinside the the front to reveal the laser and lens array. Two screw-in pegs take a seat down beneathneath the cutout, maintaining a small door in vicinity to cowl the array whilst now no longer in use, or presenting mounting factors for distinct non-obligatory lenses. A tripod screw-mount may be discovered on the lowest of the projector; WickedLasers gives a desk tripod with an adjustable ball mount for $59, however any general quarter-inch screw-mount stand ought to paintings.
The returned panel holds a micro USB port for controlling the projector, a protection lock ( keys are protected), a screw-in mount for the protection interlock (a fuse-like tool that ought to be set withinside the projector for it to paintings), a electricity adapter connector, and a electricity switch. A collection of LEDs above the switches and connectors are the simplest repute signs at the LaserCube out of doors of the lasers themselves.
The LaserCube has a battery which could ultimate to 3 hours. It’s pretty transportable, which makes it reachable for on-the-move use.
Firing the LaserCube
To use the LaserCube, you want to apply the important thing to show the lock into the on position, ensure the protection interlock is installed, and turn the electricity switch. Those 3 steps will make the projector equipped fire, however to without a doubt begin your mild show, you want to attach a laptop or phone to the projector via the micro USB port. The LaserCube makes use of the LaserDock software program, additionally referred to as LaserOS, to be had as a loose down load each for PC and cellular devices.
LaserOS isn’t always for the technically faint of heart. It would not require any real programming, however the interface is stark and explains very little. You want to be inclined to poke across the distinct capabilities to discern out how they paintings and the way to great use the LaserCube. I endorse beginning withinside the Settings menu, which helps you to make geometric modifications on your projections via zoom, pan, tilt, and attenuation sliders. You’ll want to tweak those settings whenever you flow the LaserCube to regulate the lasers primarily based totally on the space and attitude of the projector relative to anything floor you need to polish lighting fixtures on.
Once you’ve got discovered the way to make a rectangular appear like a rectangular and now no longer a fuzzy, warped trapezoid, you could begin gambling with the alternative modes in LaserOS. To begin, you could assignment nevertheless snap shots and animations, both your very own or from masses of samples protected withinside the software program. There’s even a committed phase of laser-projected dancers, break free different animations.
Don’t assume to reveal photographs or films with the LaserCube like you could with a traditional domestic or workplace projector; its 3 laser diodes are designed to reveal bright, colourful outlines in place of any type of complicated detail, as a way to normally simply be proven as flashing, colourful streaks. Vector photographs and cartoons are your great bet (animations are simplest supported in .svg document format, however LaserOS can load nevertheless snap shots in .jpg, .bmp, .svg, .png, and .ild). You also can run via any aggregate of colour and distortion results to your snap shots, that could inject splashes of colour and surreality into the notably easy projections. Large and complicated projections can reason the LaserCube to make a high-pitched buzz because it rotates the diodes speedy sufficient to reveal the whole picture.
If you stay with what the LaserCube is great at projecting, like logos, silhouettes, and different line-primarily based totally drawings, you will be capin a position to reveal huge, bright, pleasing snap shots on very huge partitions and the edges of buildings. What the projector lacks in detail, it makes up for withinside the sheer brightness of its projections. The mild indicates the LaserCube can produce can fill a small membership with ease (aleven though you want to be cautious to maintain the projector aimed above any crowd you entertain; at as much as 1W, the LaserCube’s diodes are tons extra effective than the common laser pointer, and might critically damage the imaginative and prescient of every person who appears without delay into the beam).
Aside from nevertheless snap shots and animations, the LaserCube has numerous energetic and interactive projection modes. It can function a musical visualizer, showing colourful styles that adjust to anything tune you are gambling. There are dozens of various visualizers, and you could sync them to any input, output, or loopback audio tool to your laptop, which makes the LaserCube a effective device for DJs seeking to upload a few visible aptitude to their indicates.
If you need to make tune with the LaserCube, its Harp and Midi modes provide a few thrilling choices. Harp we could the projector paintings at the side of a webcam, which video display units the beams it projects. As you byskip your arms over the beams like a harp, the software program performs tune primarily based totally on which beams are blocked and which shine via. Midi is a easy on-display keyboard that creates synthesized tune, projecting every observe as you press every key.
You may even play video games at the LaserCube, projecting vector photographs on a wall and controlling them together along with your keyboard. LaserOS functions over dozen arcade-fashion video games very just like classics like Defender, Frogger, Pac-Man, and Pong. They’re fundamental and awkward to manipulate, however the novelty of gambling a online game with lasers will genuinely draw attention.
Burning and Etching
If you do not thoughts handling nearly no documentation and a truthful little bit of experimenting with distance, timing, and alignment, the LaserCube can feature as a laser etcher with the addition of an non-obligatory $29 etching lens that focuses the projector’s beam tight sufficient to burn. The Burn phase of LaserOS helps you to import photographs or use a sequence of preloaded styles and burn them into wooden, leather, and different materials. You want to apply pretty easy styles and designs; its vector-primarily based totally drawing is as constrained in etching as it’s far in projecting, and it could essentially simplest hint lines, or make pretty unsightly rasterized dot styles. You additionally want to toy with how the LaserCube is located with regards to anything you are burning, and the poorly described Burning Speed slider withinside the software program, to discern out the way to get a right burn. Keep your area ventilated, and be organized to break some portions of scrap earlier than you are cushty with etching.
It works, however do not assume the performance, precision, or electricity of tons large and extra costly burning lasers just like the Epilog Zing (which costs $8,000 and is the dimensions of a business laser printer). Dedicated slicing lasers are established over constant beds like 3-d printers, which permits for tons, tons extra accuracy than the hand-adjusted LaserCube can provide. They’re additionally tons extra effective with the aid of using a aspect of at the least 30, the use of CO2 laser tubes rather than diodes. Unlike an Epilog, you might not be engraving glass or metallic with the LaserCube.
After a few experimenting, I controlled to make some coasters and a ornamental plaque with the LaserCube, and categorized a timber comb with a flowery font. If you stay with wooden and leather, it is a pleasing little device for humanities and crafts at a fragment of the charge of a committed burning laser.
A Strange, Useful Cube
The Wicked Lasers LaserCube is a peculiar tool from a peculiar company, however it is probably simply what you are looking for. If you are a DJ who desires a mild show, a technology instructor who desires to reveal how lasers paintings with an interactive online game, or a hobbyist who desires do do automated, laptop-managed wooden burning and mild laser etching, the LaserCube is a effective device. Just be organized to spend a while with the awkward and poorly documented software program to get the maximum out of this little laser projector. While it is peculiar and every now and then barely irritating to apply, the LaserCube is a groovy catchall system for every person searching to significantly play with mild