After a couple of months of eager overcomplicating, I decided I would approach the first Fabrication assignment as simply, and as cheaply as possible.


  • Altoid Tin
  • Red and black wires
  • 3V red laser diode
  • Basic switch
  • Soldering Iron with wire
  • Helping hands
  • Drills and drill bits
  • Sanding Paper
  • Glue Gun


Starting with an Altoid tin, I pulled out a range of drills so that I could slowly and progressively drill holes in the Altoid can for the laser and switch to enter.

The next step was to drill the hole. This proved to be a little more complicated to do ‘perfectly’ than imagined. The drill created a lot of ‘blowout’ with the metal, which was difficult to sand without wrecking the finish on the interior of the case.

The next step was to solder the wires to the switches and the laser.

I used a glue gun to add some protection to the wires that had been exposed.

I connected all the wires to power to test that everything was working correctly. After confirming this, the next step was to use the glue gun to attach the laser diode to the hole that was drilled and to screw in the switch.

…And there it is, a very simple laser in an Altoid tin.


The laser diode I bought from Tinkersphere, and was not very high quality. The overall light emitted from the laser is a little lacklustre. A quality laser diode may improve my beam.

I would also like to spend some time looking into techniques to drill into tin in a neater way if I was to do this again.