Retracing the origins of the X-Laser TRITON

X-Laser President and CEO, Adam Raugh reflects on the months of in-house development, machining, and prototyping in collaboration with Strictly FX, which led to the development of the firm’s latest laser projector.

What are the origins of the Triton laser?

“We’ve collaborated with Strictly FX for years and it’s always led to some of our most creatively fulfilling projects. The Strictly FX team is incredible; they’re smart, focused, open-minded, and driven. The Triton came from Strictly FX wanting a system that was road ready for multi-year tours and had phenomenal colour balance instead of the more typical ‘blue-heavy’ systems you see in the higher-powered laser market these days. This was also a system intended for a decade or more of service, so it was designed to be incredibly serviceable and upgradeable over time. Even now we’re fabricating some upgrades for the mounting system that are a direct bolt-on replacement that can be done in the field.”

How long did it take to introduce this fixture to the market?

“Around six months. We started with some rough designs in CAD then built a system to test the thermal design using large resistor plates to accurately simulate the thermal load of the diode modules we intended to use. After testing the thermal design, we noticed that there were a few phases of revisions but at the end of that process we knew we had a good thermal design and could move forward with fabrication of the first-article system. That first article had the fewest changes for production of any other first-article system we’ve ever built, in large part thanks to having refined our design process for these systems.”

What makes the 36W and 10W version ideal for Coldplay’s latest production?

“The most standout feature of the 36W systems is their colour balance. A 36W projector would typically have about 6W to 8W of red, but the Triton has 14W of red laser. This makes the laser system cost more, makes it larger, makes it heavier, but it also means you get some of the most incredible colour palettes ever seen out of an RGB laser system. The 10W systems are built for being rugged on the road with the same extreme long-term serviceability as the 36W systems, to the point where we designed the 10W systems to have as many interchangeable parts as possible with the 36Ws. Parts from the EtherStop switch, power distribution unit, yoke mounts, even the entire rear panel of the system with all its electronic components are completely cross-compatible so the Strictly FX team has greater familiarity and consistency with the systems.”

What features will end users be excited by?

“As an engineer, I love the mechanical features and serviceability, but by far the feedback I hear the most is about the colour palette and beam quality. Instead of pushing to get the tightest beam possible we seek to match our beams to be the same across each colour. This gives you better colour mixing and the higher level of red in the system allows for super rich, deep oranges and magentas that you don’t typically see out of higher-powered laser systems.”

Where can we expect to see Triton in the coming months?

“Outside of Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres Tour, 36W Triton systems have mostly been used for large outdoor pyrotechnic events and winter festivals. We’ve limited distribution of these systems to a few select clients who we know will do great work and push the limits of what these projectors can do, then take their feedback to launch the next generation of this system in 2024 with a wider release.”

Photo: Anna Lee (@annaleemedia) and X-Laser