ThorLabs displays a keen understanding of graduate school - as of a few years ago, they’ve included snack boxes with many of their orders of optics components. The boxes include things like trail mix, granola bars, goldfish crackers, and fruit snacks - not, of course, that this influences any of us grad students in our optomechanics purchasing decisions. I will note, however, that at least one other optomechanics company, Newport, has begun sending snack boxes as well.
A blog reader recently asked me for the names of a few suppliers of laser lab components. A few I’ve used, in approximate order of frequency:
- Edmund Optics
- OZ Optics
- CVI Melles-Griot
And then there are others who specialize in specific types of components, like lasers or filters or precision stages. But the above will get you set up with all the fun LEGO-like parts needed for mounting mirrors and lenses, and steering laser beams around. Or you could build them out of actual LEGOs.