When it comes to weekend build projects that involve lasers, death rays and fire, few people can top 22-year-old chemistry, physics and math triple-major Drake Anthony in the badassery department.

The self-described “old school” pyromaniac is responsible for a small library of videos on YouTube under his alter ego styropyro that document the process of building highly-powerful lasers from scrap or broken electronics and subsequently testing them – the results are unsurprisingly not safe and are clearly not recommended for the casual user.

Since 2006, Anthony, whose fascination with Lasers started when he was 12 years old, has been creating everything from high-powered laser swords and drones to laser sniper rifles that he tests on a range of objects until they spontaneously catch fire within seconds.

More recently, the pyromaniac released a video of his most powerful laser ever created – and that’s saying a lot.


For his 40W Laser Shotgun – which he describes as the craziest thing he has ever built – Anthony combined eight 5W laser beams into a parallel array that total a staggering 40W thanks to an attached lens; the attached lens effect is similar to how a choke modifies the spread of a shotgun blast.

To power this laser monstrosity, Anthony added a massive lithium polymer battery pack (capable up dumping 250A) which is regulated by 24 LM317 drivers.ck (capable of dumping 250A) and the laser array is regulated by a whopping 24 LM317 drivers. In comparison, the most powerful over-the-counter laser you can buy from a store right now only has 0.005W of power.

As the demonstration below illustrates, this is not your average Powerpoint laser pointer – unless bursting the presentation screen into flames is a part of your Pecha Kucha presentation. The capabilities of the 40 Laser Shotgun include the ability to burst balloons in a matter of seconds and reducing various objects into flames near-instantly.

YouTube video

Anthony – who counts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, hiking and Lepidoptera breeding among his other hobbies – plans on pursing a PhD in either physics or chemistry within the next year.


Be sure to check out the rest of his crazy laser builds over on his YouTube channel.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.