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Hi everybody, my name is Michiel and I am going to show you how to make an awesome looking laser engraver!

A couple of months ago, there was a CNC challenge here at instructables, while checking out the entries of that contest, I saw some pretty cool engraving machines and I thought: "Why shouldn't I make my own?". And so I did, but I didn't want to make someone else's project, I wanted to make my own. And so my story began... :)

This laser engraver uses a 1.8W 445nm laser module, of course, this is nothing compared to the industrial laser cutters who use lasers of (a lot) more than 50W. But this laser will do well for us. It can cut through paper and cardboard and it can engrave all kinds of wood. I haven't tested other materials yet, but I'm sure it can engrave many other materials. l will let you know! It has a large engraving surface of about 500x380mm.

Who can make this laser engraver? Everybody, if you are an engineer, a lawyer, a teacher or a student like me, you can build this thing! All you have to do is follow this instructable.

It took me about three months to design and build this engraving machine, including waiting for about a month for parts. I said three months, but, I'm only 16 years old, so I could only work in weekends.

++ As you may already know, this 'machine' uses a 1.8W laser with a wavelength of 445nm, the radiation of this laser is very dangerous for your eyes, even a reflection of it! So I strongly advise you to use safety goggles with the wavelength of the laser you use! ++

Step 1: Bill Of Materials

You can't make a laser engraver without the parts, so I made a BOM-list with almost everything you need to make it. Almost everything in the BOM is bought from Aliexpress.com because it's cheap and it has free shipping for most items. Other parts like the threated rods and the wooden sheets were purchased at my local DIY company. I ordered the laser and the laser driver on ebay.

UPDATE: I've uploaded the BOM in two formats: one .pdf and one .xlsx since not everybody could open the BOM.

I tried to find the cheapest products for all the parts (shipping not included).

<p>Hello Everyone, can somebody PLEASE help!!</p><p>I have built this exactly as &quot;MichielD99&quot; has said the only part's I have left to get and fit is the laser and driver.<br>Has anybody got a link to these items please. As id like to get it up and running asap. Thank You</p>
<p>The link is in the BOM.pdf</p>
<p>I am nearly done with the project, but before I started to wire anything, I was wondering if I could use a raspberry pi instead of the arduino. Do you think it would work or should i just stick to the arduino?</p>
Do you have any pictures to show us how's your progress is doing? Did you follow it step by step or did you modify anything from MichielD99? Thank you.
<p>So I attempted to copy and paste a URL but it seems this site won't allow it. Hmmmm.</p><p>So I had to hand jam it in. If it doesn't work let me know.</p><p><a href="https://www.tinkercad.com/things/dYNhyBfkudz-y-axis-nut-support-for-cnc-build" rel="nofollow">https://www.tinkercad.com/things/dYNhyBfkudz-y-axis-nut-support-for-cnc-build</a></p><p>I also discovered that the config.h file MichaelD99 attached to this project is for grbl 0.9i which I ran into a snag when trying to use it and working with his arduino pinout diagram.</p><p>So to clarify... The diagram works if you use grbl version 0.8c and it's config.h files at <a href="https://github.com/grbl/grbl/" rel="nofollow">https://github.com/grbl/grbl/</a> which is listed near bottom of that page. This firmware will work with D12 of the Arduino Uno board for activating the on/off function of the laser.</p><p>However, version 0.9i is a dramatically different version as they wrote it to support variable speed CNC machines and remapped the function of turning on/off the laser to pin D11. So either MichealD99 needs to redo his diagram to meet the latest firmware or list the proper config.h file to this project from 0.8c and state clearly to use only 0.8c firmware.</p>
<p>Try this link to get to my Y-Axis Nut Support. <a href="https://tinkercad.com/things/" rel="nofollow">https://tinkercad.com/things/</a>dYNhyBfkUdz</p>
<p>thanks for the replys dough. So the list that michielD99 for the parts is correct except for the shafts? I really want to built it but not a exprt on electroics. I plan to take my time on the built. But the housing you made of wood should be good? And how much space can you engrave on this project and what software did you use to make your engraves? Thank you. sorry for so much question..</p>
<p>I'm not seeing the first link working so I would recommend you go to TinkerCad and search for &quot;Y-Axis Nut Support for CNC Build&quot;. It is open to the public, you only need to build a login account to get inside the site.</p>
<p>I'm not seeing the first link working so I would recommend you go to TinkerCad and search for &quot;Y-Axis Nut Support for CNC Build&quot;. It is open to the public, you only need to build a login account to get inside the site.</p>
So far this is what has been built. Notice the Translucent Orange PETG printer contraption attached to my Laser. It's designed to allow me to monitor the Engraving without glasses as long as I do not look directly into the laser focal point. It has vents built in to allow fumes and smoke to escape without venting directly around laser module and fan. Slide on and off easily.
Really cool that you built it. Do you have pics of stuff you did with it? Also did you use it also as a router?
<p>No plans to use it as a CNC machine, strictly for engraving projects.</p>
Tury70, <br>All materials were primarily cut with a table saw. A couple smaller pieces was done on bandsaw. I have many photos taken throughout the build, but I'm not satisfied with the end result of my X axis portion. So I plan to present more on it when I receive the X axis V channel unit which will be flushed into the framework when it arrives. <br><br>The issue is the 10mm rod flexes and it's causing an irrating screech and a slight jerkiness motion which is messing up the printing process. <br><br>The track drive system will eliminate that problem but bumped up my build cost a bit. <br><br>Lessons learned. <br><br>More to follow soon.
So the x portion was bad on where you got it or bad from the material list that was given to make the engraver? I'm planing to get the parts little by little and want to be sure it's the rights parts..... and thanks for the fast reply.
<p>So to clarify some details on my last post.</p><p>The 100mm shafts I purchased works, but are not designed for this purpose therefore I ran into issues with the nut squealing on the shaft. So I have ordered a 1000mm V-slot setup from Openbuilds.com and will have to cut it down to size to fit existing dimensions. More to follow on that when parts arrive. I also would strongly recommend prior to assembly using something like lithium grease in the journals of the slides to keep the cylindrical bearing from whining when they roll back and forth on the shafts. </p>
What changes did you do from MichielD99 work? I really want to start building it but but want a 10watt and have big work space say around 500mm of room to engrave. what are your thoughts? I appreciate it.
<p>Hi Doug! Awesome build! It loors really nice with that 10W laser on it. It is really awesome to see that someone has built my engraver, thank you. I will soon post an update on how to upgrade the engraver to engrave with better quality and how to convert it to a cnc router.</p>
<p>Hi,my name is selvakumar and i'm in India and i want to buy an laser module around Rs.2000/-.Can you help me.The website you showed to buy the 1.8W laser module cost was too high for my budget.</p>
<p>I am from India also.I am trying to find the exact same thing</p>
can you update 12mm linear ball bearing link<br>
<p>can you update the Power Supply link</p>
<p>Hey MichielD99</p><p>Great work.</p><p>I wanted to know what is the component that is with a small net holes in picture</p>
<p>Hey MichielD99,</p><p>at first - great work! <br>One short question, is there another reason than missing space why you placed the x-axis stepper on the outside right and not inside the electronic housing?</p><p>Thanks in advance,</p><p>best regards</p><p>-Andreas</p>
<p>Hi Andreas, <br>Thanks! Well, first I wanted to place the stepper motor on the other side, but the power supply was just a bit too big so I didn't have enough space there.</p>
@MichieldD99<br><br>I built a nearly identical Engraver with some modificationsmodifications. <br><br>1. I mounted power supply upside down and top of electronic bay. This allowed me room to mount the X stepper motor internally. <br>2. I flush mounted the voltage/ampre display on top of electronic bay with a PWM rherostat to allow me to monitor power and adjust laser output, especially since I mounted a 10 watt unit to my build.
<p>what changes did you do diffrent for the power from the 1.8 watt to 10 watt laser from <a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/MichielD99/" rel="nofollow">MichielD99</a> ?</p>
<p>MichielD99, is this the correct RELAY?</p><p>1 Channel 5V Relay Module with Optocoupler H/L Level Triger For Arduino</p>
<p>Yes, that's the one!</p>
<p>how to connect this relay in circuit help please anyone</p>
<p>HEY . hope you are doing good. i needed your help please guide in making your project of laser engraving wood design. I have few confussions so please help me sort them out. First confusion how you used relay ? second you mentioned &quot; Before you can send the file to your engraver, you need to let the engraver find his zero position. Click on unlock grbl and send $h to the engraver, after that, click on zero position.&quot; where are these commands of unlock grbl etc ? third bro you mentioned &quot;Before you can engrave now, you need to focus the laser, to do that, just click on 'spindle on' and take a little screwdriver and turn the left POT so the laser only has 0.1 amps&quot; bro where is this spindle on and which left pot are you telling to adjust ? please guide am in trouble need your help asap thank you</p>
<p>So this will also act like a cnc router?</p>
Hi I like your instruct able and I'm a try to make it. also do you have any pics or videos of things you made? thank you.
<p>hi michiel great job on the project! i am in the middle of attempting this myself. i have the cnc shield for my arduino and i used your config.h file and setting in grbl but when i try to manually enter x y coordinates in the serial screen i get a error &quot;alarm lock press $h or $x to unlock&quot; and if i enter either the motors just make noise and dont move until i hit the reset button. do you or anyone know or have any idea why im getting this mesage? </p>
<p>I can't upload grbl to my arduino, When I open Arduino IDE and open examples&gt;grbl-master&gt;grbl&gt;grblUpload I can't see void setup() and void loop() in sketch.</p>
grbl doesnt have that voids. Just upload it to the UNO. :)
<p>Michield99</p><p>I built your engraver and everything works well. The only problem I have is that the grbl software will not accept positive X and Y numbers and all the software creating G code are creating X and Y coordonates that are positive </p><p>I have proven that by creating a small drawing using inkscape and creating gcode using your engraver extension . The gcode was positive and the grbl was hanging up on it .I edited the gcode and added a negative sign to all the X and Y coordonates and the whole system liked that and burned the drawing perfectly. I am using grbl version 0.9 .</p><p>do you know how to get around this issue ?</p><p>Gerard </p><p>t</p>
<p>When G-code is using positive and negatives it is assuming that the axis is zeroed in the center of the axis length. This assumption expects that if you have a 10 inch x axis, the home position is at the 5 inch point of the axis which is it's center. And that you have zeroed the axis to be engraved or cut, at the center of the material.</p><p>In this way, the axis can go from positive to negative without a conflict.</p><br>
<p>MichielD99,</p><p>I'm trying to make heads or tails of driver board wiring. I understand the EN-, EN+, CW-, CW+, CLK- and CLK+ pinouts but I'm not clear on the opposite side Pinouts. I noted that you bridged pins 24v, A+,and B+, but I can't make out where these go?</p><p>I also noted wires coming from B- &amp; A- on &quot;X Driver&quot; but not sure which goes to Arduino PWM pins 2 and -5 and &quot;Y Driver&quot; on pins -3 &amp; -6.</p><p>Would you please revise your drawing to relate the driver to the one you purchased or provide pinout instructions for PWM to Driver board pins and Stepper motor to driver board. </p><p>Thanks,</p><p>Doug W</p>
<p>Here you can exacty see which wire belongs to which pins.<br></p><p>http://www.instructables.com/id/Two-Axis-CNC/</p>
<p>Thanks Chris that worked!</p>
<p>Hey, first of all, realy nice project.</p><p>I'm trying to connect my stepper motos to the driver-shields. When I start the homing function with $h, my steppers perform a sound, but no movement :/. So how do I have to connect the wires exactly? ( 17HS4401-S &amp; BL-TB6560 )</p>
<p>Hi Chris, Have you managed to sort this out? As I am having the same issue.</p>
<p>Here you can exacty see which wire belongs to which pins.</p><p>http://www.instructables.com/id/Two-Axis-CNC/</p>
<p>Yes I got it, I will make an intractable about that in a few days ;)</p>
<p>Can I Put some dark acrylic plastic in this project to save our eyes? Because it's use laser to cut !</p>
<p>Can I Put some dark acrylic plastic in this project to save our eyes? Because it's use laser to cut !</p>
<p>This thing is stunning. I've been looking at mill designs lately, and this is by far the best looking engraver on the Instructables community. Thanks for sharing, keep up the good work ;)</p>
<p>Hello,</p><p> I done the software installation(unzip), and tried the step, but can't got the picture2 and picture3! In com monitor window, I can't see anything!</p>
<p>Why is the relay on pin 12 and 10? If you would use a common ground, then you could replace it with a mosfet (price &lt;1&euro;, much more switching cycles), replace the laser by a hot wire (really, it is only for painting...), replace the on/off switch by some push button and most of the links don't work. But the instructable all in all is good.</p>
<p>Which laser do I need to cut Polyacrylate glass?</p>

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