Priebe began his project by sculpting a two-millimeter sheet of brass into a C-shape so that he would be able to slip the weapon onto his hand. Inside the housing, he made a large ring that holds a laser diode from a Casio projector and works as a heat sink. The device runs on 7.4 volts from lithium-ion batteries, which a component called a driver keeps from spiking dangerously and damaging the diode.
Finally, Priebe, who spends his workdays refining paint and polymers, painstakingly applied the primer, filler, base coat and matte to give it a striking look. Although his beam can’t blow guerrilla soldiers off their feet like his comic-book hero’s could, it can easily scorch balloons, wood, a CD case or a piece of raw chicken.