I have always been fascinated by lasers and wanted to build my own laser device. Recently, I came across the idea of making a laser turret that can blast balloons without popping them. This seemed like an exciting challenge that I wanted to take on. In this article, I will share a step-by-step guide on how I built a DIY laser turret capable of hitting balloons with a laser beam without causing them to burst.

Selecting the Laser

The first step was to find a suitable laser for this project. Here are some key factors I considered when selecting the laser:

Power Output

The laser needs to be powerful enough to hit the balloons with a visible beam but not so powerful that it instantly pops them. I found that laser pointers in the 5mW to 50mW range were ideal. I ultimately chose a 30mW green laser pointer.


Shorter wavelengths are more readily absorbed by the balloon material, causing them to pop easier. A green laser pointer with 532nm wavelength was a good balance of visibility and safety.


A tighter beam divergence is better to maintain a focused spot on the balloon surface. I looked for lasers with <1mrad divergence.


A compact laser module was preferred so it could be mounted on a turret more easily. Many laser pointers were ideal for this.

By considering these factors, I selected a 30mW 532nm green laser pointer module as the laser for this project.

Building the Turret Assembly

The next step was constructing the turret assembly to house the laser. This included:


I used a small sheet of plywood as the base for the turret. I cut it into a 6" x 6" square using a jigsaw.

Mounting Bracket

I made a bracket from aluminium strips to mount the laser module on. I drilled corresponding holes in the wood base to screw the bracket onto.

Servo Motors

I used 2 micro servos to control the vertical and horizontal angle of the laser. I attached the servos to the wood base and the laser bracket using glue and screws.


I soldered the servo motors wires and connected them to a servo controller board. I powered the servos and laser module using a portable USB power bank.

With the turret hardware assembled, I now had a movable platform to aim the laser in different directions.

Programming the Laser Turret

Now it was time to program the laser turret to blast the balloons without popping them.

Servo Control

I used an Arduino microcontroller to control the servo angles and coordinate the laser firing. I wrote Arduino code to position the servos and activate the laser for short durations.

Firing Sequence

I programmed sequences of random laser bursts across the balloon surface to heat it gradually. This prevented overheating any single spot to the bursting point.

Power Cycling

I added delays between laser pulses to allow cooling and redistribute heat. This further reduced chances of rupturing the latex.

Automated Targeting

Optionally, I could use a sensor like a camera to track balloons and automatically aim the laser turret at them. But for initial tests, I manually positioned the turret.

With the code tested, I was ready to see the laser turret in action!

Testing the DIY Laser Turret

The exciting moment arrived to test out the DIY laser turret and see if it could actually blast balloons without popping them.

Initial Trial

For the first trial, I set up a balloon about 5 feet away from the turret and activated the pre-programmed firing sequence. The green laser beam struck the balloon's surface, scattering light across it. The balloon distorted slightly at the impact points but did not burst!


I adjusted parameters like the laser power, exposure duration, and heat dissipation times between shots to get the best results without popping the balloons. I learned that slower heating and cooling cycles were most effective.

Moving Targets

Once the turret could hit stationary balloons, I tried moving balloons by dangling them from strings. The programmed sweeping motions tracked the moving targets well, striking them accurately without rupturing them.

After some optimization and tests, the DIY laser turret successfully blasted the balloons without causing them to pop! The project was a great success.

Applications and Future Improvements

This DIY laser turret has many potential applications, such as:

Some ideas to improve the turret further include:

I had a lot of fun building this DIY laser turret to blast balloons without popping them. It provided great insight into developing laser systems with customized power and heating properties for specific applications. This is just the beginning, and I already have many ideas for the next version!