The project starts with the assumption that it is not possible to get a laser grid. There are ways around this, e.g. laser with a digital micror mirror device. Another solution is nano-lasers; which could possible form a laser led screen. All these technologies have their limitations, due to cooling, diffraction or focusing of the laser. A way around this is moving the laser bundle either by mirrors or prisms.
Rotating prisms have a lower cross-scan error and enable simpler optics than rotating mirrors.
The intial idea of using prisms originates from TNO. TNO is one of the leading research institutes in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is especially interested in lithography due to the regional importance of ASML. Erwin von Zwet suggests using a prism for laser scanning in a galvo fashion. Dr. Jacobus Jamar adds to the idea by outlining the benefits of rotating the prism in 2014. This first system moves a plurality of laser bundles with a thicker prism under an angle, see US10114289B2. The engine is shown below. This image was added to the public domain by AMsystems;
The patent is split into two application areas; printed circuit board manufacting and 3D printing. Peter Brier and Wilma Koolen found LDI Systems for printed circuit board manufacturing and fail.
LDI Systems gets acquired by Innovation Industries.
Rik Starmans gives a mathematical proof for the aberrations in the systems based upon Wyant.
Rik suggests a single laser bundle per prism variant. This is easier and does not fall under the patent.
Due to differences, Rik leaves TNO in 2017 and starts a Kickstarter campaign.
I publish a white paper as an anti-patent shield.
The campaign fails. Hexastorm receives help from Felixprinters and can work from their office.
I couldn’t fix the electronics and start working at Verint. The collaboration ends.
After a year and via Verint, I meet an electronics engineer from Italy (Maurizio spoto) and he builds the electronics for 400 USD.
I start a blog on Hackaday.
I can use the code of Henner Zeller to get a working system on the beaglebone. I get it working in the lab of the NTS-group. TNO visits with a business delegation and later founds AMSystems.
The two founders are business developers from NTS group and TNO.
Money is raised via NWO, a state fund. I file a complaint against NWO.
Harm Wichers, (NTS Group), outlines cross scan errors of prism are lower than mirrors.
Rik Starmans wins 3000 USD in the Hackaday Prize 2019 using the system.
I move to DSM and with a lot of more experience I can change the electronics from microcontrollers to FPGA in July 2021.
The code is mainly based of nMigen and uses some components from luna.
Note that nMigen, has a very long history (over a decade) see myHDL and Migen.
I use an open-source approach and did not patent my invention. This technique lowers innovation costs and leads to better product market fit. The benefits of the model are outlined by MIT in the figure below.