The Laser Vortex is quite simple.
I found the instructions here:
Here is the my version of the basic unit:
A 4", 12 volt computer fan with the blades snapped off (free)
A 5mw GREEN laser pointer from Ebay ($18)
A 38mm front surface mirror from Edmund Scientific (cat. #30523-23) ($12)
Misc. scrap 1/4" plywood
batteries, battery holder
TOTAL COST: about $30.00
A front surface mirror reflects much more light than a standard back surfaced mirror. This results is a much brighter cone of light. Because a front surface mirror is vulnerable to dust and fingerprints, it should be handled by the edges only.
A grove is carved in the base with a Dremel and the laser is hot glued in place, pointing at the motor hub.
The cone of laser light is created by attaching the mirror to the hub of the fan motor at an ANGLE (not flat). I attached the mirror with epoxy putty. This gave me the chance to play with different angles (cone sizes) before the putty set up.
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