So it turns out I didn't realize how geeky I was until I found that I enjoy working with CAD. CAD, for you non-geek folk out there, is 'computer aided design' - or a drafting computer program. It helps me out when I want to build and play around with design ideas for the mirage. I was forced to start CADing when I wanted to get my work done for me by a machine, rather by hand. Here are a few images of the AutoCAD file I've been working with:
* Full view. The rays coming out of the origin represent the rays of light coming out of the projector's focal point.
* Up close image of the field. Every ray of light intersects one and only one dot - the dot placement was randomized by a computer - well, mostly randomized. I manually edited dot location when they landed too close to one another.
* The final pattern, with all the markup taken away. This is the pattern that I emailed Canal Plastics to get a quote.
I'm going to cut it in a 2' x 3' sheet of 3/8" plexiglass. The sheet will run about $60 and the cutting $65. I didn't get a quote on the construction, but I'd assume another $60 or so on that. So, I just gotta wait on my tax return. The end result of all of this (*knock on wood) is a 3d renderer that I can put my hand into. Sw337.