This Frankenstein Laser Cutter was built out of an old scanner and printer.
The whole thing evolved around the instructable of Groover and his 'Pocket Laser Engraver'.
This is a Making-Of. Although a lot, if not everything, of the mechnical construction requires ingenuity I tried to document the complete build process as much as I could. Every scanner and printer mechanics are different so this could not be used as a step-by-step guide. More of a "how it can be done"-guide. I try to cover the questions that could arise in the process of making.
I had absolutely no clue about electronics. All I knew was that RED is (often) + and BLACK is (often) Ground.
Therefore I have learned a lot in this project. Starting from mechanical stuff like self-replenishing brass bearings to electronical stuff like stepper motors and the difference between bi- and unipolar motors to soldering and etching my own board.
The work area is 270mm x 200mm. Just about right do cut some flip-flops for the summer.
It is able to cut :
- foam rubber
- paper (nearly every color but white/red)
- several plastics (could require several runs depending on thickness)
It can engrave:
- light wood (Balsawood/Poplar)
- some varnishes
- blank cds/dvds (purple/blue)
Those colors reflect the red laser beam to much.
Red(ish) colors are a problem as well as they reflect all light in the red range spectrum.
The building costs (without mispurchase [easydriver clones were for the trash can]) is around 45-55 €.
|Easydriver x 2||20 €|
|Electronic bits and pieces||10-15€|
|Aixiz housing /w lens||6 €|
Well I forgot the Laser Safety Glasses (THIS IS A MUST!!):
--- SEE STEP 16 FOR LASER SAFETY GLASSES ---
|Laser safety glasses||50 €|
|New total||100 €|
Build time with knowledge acquisition and waiting for shipping was around 4 month...
I am constantly updating this so be sure to come back from time to time for further improvements.
May, 9th 2013 : Updated Step 14 : The Laser diode (pictures and some focus hints)
May, 13th 2013 : Added Step 17 - Links and files section
Added Step 18 - Take it to the next step (Improvement - optional)
Updated BOM list. Now contains more stuff you need
May, 20th 2013 : Corrected mm/sec to mm/min ! Seconds would be very very fast.
June, 1st 2013 : Added Step 13 - Alternate laser driver shield (Easylaser Shield)
December, 4th 2013: Updated Alternative Easylaser Shield schematic/layout with the help of jduffy54.