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>Hi MichielD99</p><p>I finish your project so far so good , you have nice job.</p><p>So i have lilt problem, with control buttons , not working and limits bottoms X-Y still not responding on arduino </p><p>may i have problem with programming arduino or anything else </p><p>Thanks </p><p>jim <a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/MichielD99/" rel="nofollow"><br></a></p>
<p>After reprogramming arduino the problem sold</p><p>thanks</p>
<p>i cant understand what should i replace in this step <br>When you've downloaded grbl, search for the config.h file in the folder named 'grbl' and replace that file with the file I uploaded here somewhere in this step.<br><br>please guide me </p>
Thanks michiel for sharing your project.I made it for my college but i didn't focus on the beauty.<br>It took me teo months to make it.
<p>Could anyone help with the links to AliExpress? I was trying to follow the BOM links but 6 of the links are broken. Without those 6 BOM items I cannot get this laser cutter built. Thanks in advance for your kind help. </p><p>J Hong</p>
<p>Michiel,</p><p>Could you please update the links to AliExpress? At least 6 BOM items cannot be found at Ali. Thanks a lot.</p><p>J Hong</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.
<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>Please do! I am extremely interested in seeing this project through. There are soooo many things I would do with this....</p>
<p>Wow, nice idea man congratulations :) I am definetely going to make that orange thing :D</p>
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>I order all of the parts for this last week, so in a month or two I should be able to start my build. :/ Has anyone added a Z axis control to this? I'm curious if you could easily swap out the head for a cnc router, or 3D printer hot end.</p>
can u send me the parts list. seems the links are dead..
Hey Ryan I'm glade you order the parts. Did you order the exact what's on the list or did you any changes? I also want to start this project but seems no one even the original poster has said any comments...
<p>Power supply link is gone. Can i get another link for it?</p>
Can any one please answer Ryan question please??..... I'm also curious too.
<p>Can you post a video of it in action?</p>
any one here?
Can any one answer my questions please?
<p>Hi Michiel, I think you deserve a big pat on the back for what is a very good instructable and a very good clean design. Your parents should be really proud.</p><p>Well Done.</p>
<p>This looks like a great project and I'm trying to collect all the materials to make it! Would you be able to provide more detail about how the fans are connected to the Arduino? Thanks in advance</p>
also can you control the power of the laser?
what part of the laser engraver is the work sheet?
any one have pictures of the finished or in development laser engraver?
<p>can this engrave metals?</p>
Hi micheal,im going to make this laser engraving machine of yours.I need to know how much mdf sheet you used.
Saw your comment on that your going to build. Let me know what your going to start on first. I also want to to build it to but want more room to engrave like at least 700mm to 800mm square even.
I'm from India,if you are very eager to make it then send me your WhatsApp number to my email (selvakumar 16197@gmail.com).If you feel uncomfortable then we can reply each other in comments.
My number is 8961336151 please send me your valuable suggetion to make it fesiable<br>
First,im going to buy all the parts I needand where are you from.
I'm from the United States. and you?
Does anybody know hat the two holes are used for next to the stepper motor in x support + stepper motor?
@ibdropinclips I have used a Raspberry Pi Hat off eBay, the item is from New Zeland. I've recently received it and it's spot on &amp; works a treat!
Hi every one!!! Has any one still building or finish the engraver yet?
<p>I'm working on building it. What's up?</p>
are you building it by the parts on the list or did you change some parts? where and how thick did you get the rods?thanks.
<p>I'm mostly using the BOM, but changed some things. I'm making it smaller, just because it was cheaper to buy four 500mm motion shafts than two 500 and two 700. They all have a diameter of 12mm. </p>
I'm new to this but what do you think I have to change in the bom to make it say 800 to 900mm of engraving space? I want to make like wood paintings.
<p>Hello! What stepper motor should i use? Nema17 17HS4401S or Nema17 17HS4401, what is a difference between them?<br></p><p><a href="http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5pcs-4-lead-Nema17-Stepper-Motor-42-motor-Nema-17-motor-42BYGH-1-7A-17HS4401-motor/1500927219.html?spm=2114.01020208.0.256.E3lclv" rel="nofollow">http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5pcs-4-lead-Nema17-...</a><br><a href="http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-3D-printer-4-lead-Nema17-Stepper-Motor-42-motor-Nema-17-motor-42BYGH-1/32308721649.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.10.4yQOaU&ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_0,searchweb201602_4_10037_10017_507_10032_401,searchweb201603_6&btsid=7e0724e4-c78a-41c9-ae0c-3069c2e3bbbb" rel="nofollow">http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-3D-pr...</a><br></p><p>Thanks!</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.
Thanks for your reply! I have modified his design so that mine is being made of metal. It is coming out nicely. I am doing this for a school project and I am going on for tomorrow a summer to finish it. I will see if I can get picures, but I will have to wait until I can go back into our metals shop. What I have so far looks almost identical to his, but made with metal, and a slightly modified control panel. Best regards!
<p>Hey! Can you upload your Fritzing file? </p>
<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>

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