Is this possible - huge text projection?

Discussion in 'Lasershow Designer BEYOND' started by Expo86, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Expo86

    Expo86 Member

    I have been asked to provide a quote for an unusual, (for me at least) use of a laser projector. A global ship manufacturer has a massive ship coming into drydock for an extensive refit and what they need is the name of the vessel projected onto each side of the ship while their welders use hammers and punches to trace the outline of the letters.
    Once they have the outlined letters punched marked they will then use welding torches to build up the raised welding beads to form the letters and finally painted. Since this ship will be working in the arctic they cannot use just painted or vinyl letters as these would be scraped off by the ice buildup very quickly.
    The problem is that the name of the vessel needs to be 20 feet high by 200 feet long (so each letter would be 20 feet tall). I initially thought it would make the most sense to project all 200 feet of the name in one shot as this would provide better chances of having everything perfectly level. They are pretty sure they can outline one side of the ship in a 10 hour shift.
    The only concern they had was what would the beam diameter be in order to get all 200'x20' in one shot from a far enough distance back to achieve that?
    I have not been able to find a suitable building to test this out on but in my underground parking lot I was able to produce 7' tall letters from approx 110 feet away and the beam diameter was approx 2" so I'm thinking that is not going to be a big problem.
    The vessels name was custom drawn on "Autocad" so there is no actual font to use and I have been trying to use "Quick Trace" in Beyond which does an ok job when projected from 30 feet away but it was pretty fuzzy/blurry with lots of "hotspots" when I projected from 110 feet away.

    One thing I noticed is that at a distance of 110 feet the green, blue and Red lasers are not superimposed so as to produce white. I think I should be able to change that with some dichro adjustments.

    The projector I planned on using is a 7 watt RGB with DT40K Pro wide Move scanners.
    Any advice appreciated;

    Is this doable?

    Is it reasonable to potentially have a projector running for a 10 hour shift?

    Is there a better way to come up with a cleaner image trace? The Quick Trace tool seems to be having the scanners retrace each letter on the inside of the letter "O" for example and also on the outside so instead of a 3/8" wide beam at 110 feet I have a 3" wide beam.

    Thanks for listening,


    Attached Files:

  2. Stuka

    Stuka Well-Known Member

    Curious as to the precautions being taken for the for the men that will be working with hammers & punches on the receiving end of the 7watt RGB...

    Pangolin's Scan Angle tables are located here:
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  3. m0f

    m0f Member

    Why deal with the added complications of white. Using a single primary colour (probably green is best) will simplify it.

    If you use multiple laser projectors, you'll be able project from a closer distance, each doing a portion of the text. This is easy with Beyond.

    There are tools out there that can import vector art directly. I know there is one for svg. You should be able to get an autocad file into an svg. Or another option might be to import fbx into beyond 3d directly, there is definitely a tool to convert autocad format to fbx. This way you can avoid quicktrace completely.

    Safety first for sure. Will this need to be done during daylight ? You could use divergence to keep it under mpe but then you'll be dealing with fat traces. Might be fine for text on a huge scale though. Otherwise for tight beams you'll really have to dim it down to get it under mpe. Probably something that's best done at night under low work light conditions. Safety glasses would prevent the workers from being able to see the scanned text in the first place.

    Expo86 :) Interesting choice of usernames. Actually expo86 is where I first really got interested in lasers. I've had the bug ever since ;)
  4. Expo86

    Expo86 Member

    Hi mof,

    You are right to suggest using a single colour as it will take away some of the problems due to the lasers not lining up perfectly superimposed especially dealing with fatter blues and reds. I wasn't sure what time of day it would be done but it has been suggested to do on the night shifts.
    That is so simple, I don't know why it never even occured to me.

    yeah they used Autocad to change the file format for me to .fbx.

    Expo86 is where I was first introduced to lasers also and also had the bug since, but when I asked how much they cost for the Air Canada pavilion $250,000 I knew it would be a long time if ever I got to have them.