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Picture of Pocket laser engraver.
I have been trying to get my hands on a laser cutter for some time but they always seem out of reach. All the great things that can be done with a real laser cutter tickle the imagination.

I feel it's time to share my latest project - a low cost laser engraver,. The workspace is a bit small but none the less it works and comes so cheap that most will be able to replicate the result. I did take a few shortcuts, as I feel I don't have the knowledge to do all the electronics I opted for readymade but low cost in favor of trying to make my own (and most likely fail). All parts used are however easy to find.

I am pleased with the end result even if there is room for improvements. The small size and low power is a bit limiting but I have made allot of fun things already. Paper cutouts, plant markers and stamps among some. The engraver itself might not fit in a pocket but the workspace limits what you can do with it to fit in the pocket.

A word of warning is in place . This instructable is using a ~200mW red laser. It might nut cut through chunks of wood but it will make you go blind if you are not careful. Never look into the beam, even reflections can be dangerous if focused. Please be careful.



 
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gecengyesterday

hello...

when i type $ return..

there is nothing happen

help please

geceng7 days ago

i am using arduino uno and L293D shield...where do i connect the laser??

This is my first electronic project. I really dont know much about the circuit

buckhebb made it!8 days ago
Thank you so much for this tututorial, I started this project several years ago and finally got motivated and finish. Now I want to go bigger!
20150316_221605.jpg20150316_221955.jpg20150321_104607.jpg
aborge10 days ago

Hi there. I need some help please: Can you see this forum post and reply to it if you can help? http://www.instructables.com/community/Laser-Engraver-Circuit-Help/

aborge21 days ago

What type of arduino will fit nice in this circuit? the uno? And why are there 2 different circuits? the one on the picture is not the same as the one in eagle format. What type of LM317 is used? I know there are many types of them like K, L, S T and EMP.

Hey guys, what I need to do, if I want to use my Arduino Motor Shield L293D instead of easydrive's ?

kyacker1 month ago

I'm getting this error from inkscape when trying to export the .nc Any Ideas?

Traceback (most recent call last):

File "laserengraver.py", line 3188, in <module>

e.affect()

File "C:\Program Files\Inkscape\share\extensions\inkex.py", line 268, in affect

self.effect()

File "laserengraver.py", line 3156, in effect

self.orientation( self.layers[min(0,len(self.layers)-1)] )

File "laserengraver.py", line 3080, in orientation

doc_height = inkex.unittouu(self.document.getroot().get('height'))

AttributeError: 'module' object has no attribute 'unittouu'

cbarran kyacker1 month ago

Same error i got, any fix ?

glsf91 cbarran1 month ago

Yes, use the previous version of Inkscape 0.48.5 !

glsf91 glsf911 month ago

If you want to fix this bug see here:

http://www.tylerforsythe.com/2015/02/inkscape-lase...

Then you can use Inkscape 0.91

I've encountered the same Error with Inkscape 0.91 x64 , but it worked like a charm for Inkscape 0.48 x32

bayonino1 month ago
Hello! This is a good idea for a home made laser cutter I definitely want to try out. However, if the diameter of the average DVD plate is about 12cm will it not be possible to achieve a larger work space of about 10cm X 10cm?
Westornd1 month ago

Hello, Your instructable seem great, but i haven't fully read it (English isn't my motherlanguage) but can you say me if it can engrave on metal ?

probably not. you can with a 40w laser if you use a special compound on the metal. but engraving bare metal needs about 120w . perhaps if you have a makerspace or fablab near you you can ask them. they'll be happy to help

Thank you for your answer :D

mjain23 years ago
Just Awesome !!! Very innovative.
I was trying out a simple square with the laser engraver extension in Inkscape 0.48 and encountered the following error:

Inkscape has received additional data from the script executed. The script did not return an error, but this may indicate the results will not be as expected.
Select the active tab - Laser.


And no output file is being generated. Is the laser engraver specific to any particular version of inkscape? Please guide.

Thanks & regards
cbarran mjain21 month ago

I have this same problem , Did you ever find a fix ?

The last line of the message is key.
In Inkscape, when you select Extensions>Laserengraver>Laser the pop-up window has two tabs "Laser" and "Preferences". Make sure the "Laser" tab is selected before clicking the "Apply" button. If the "Preferences" tab is active you will get the error.
Thankssssss a lot :)
(Am a newbie with Inkscape :D )

Im having a problem with inkscape, when i use the laser extension it pulls up a message box:

"Inkscape has received additional data from the script executed. the script did not return an error, but this may indicate the results will not be as expected."

I click "ok" nothing happens, no crazy lines around the image as the video shows, please help as i have no programing skills and have never used inkscape.

Thanks,

Im having a problem with inkscape, when i use the laser extension it pulls up a message box:

"Inkscape has received additional data from the script executed. the script did not return an error, but this may indicate the results will not be as expected."

I click "ok" nothing happens, no crazy lines around the image as the video shows, please help as i have no programing skills and have never used inkscape.

Thanks,

richlang2 months ago

I have everything working thinks to your software suggestions thanks, but have a question. It seems when I print it will go to the extreme X position and click for a while then appear to go through the motions of the image, then the laser comes on and it starts engraving. It does print some pretty cool images but just wondering if it is trying to set 0,0 or what is going on? Also tried PIC engrave and it did not work, have you tried that for photos? I have not been successful at doing any photos yet just what I have drawn in Inkscape.

drluffy2 months ago

The settings I occupy in GRBL are as follows hopefully serve them :

$0=53.333 (x, step/mm)
$1=53.333 (y, step/mm)
$2=250.000 (z, step/mm)
$3=10 (step pulse, usec)
$4=600.000 (default feed, mm/min)
$5=500.000 (default seek, mm/min)
$6=192 (step port invert mask, int:11000000)
$7=5 (step idle delay, msec)
$8=80.000 (acceleration, mm/sec^2)
$9=0.050 (junction deviation, mm)
$10=0.100 (arc, mm/segment)
$11=25 (n-arc correction, int)
$12=3 (n-decimals, int)
$13=0 (report inches, bool)
$14=1 (auto start, bool)
$15=0 (invert step enable, bool)
$16=0 (hard limits, bool)
$17=0 (homing cycle, bool)
$18=0 (homing dir invert mask, int:00000000)
$19=25.000 (homing feed, mm/min)
$20=250.000 (homing seek, mm/min)
$21=100 (homing debounce, msec)
$22=1.000 (homing pull-off, mm)

lspee12 months ago

Hey, Grover i was wondering what demensions the lazer is because im trying to find a housin gbut i wont be able to purchase (10) because thats alot of extra parts? 45MM, 54mm 32mm?

JasonM112 months ago

Have you tried cutting canvas or fabric with this?

HarshitS2 months ago

Nice project sir. I am building one and not able to get easy driver and want to use L293D.I have controlled CD/DVD stepper with L293D before.Can you help me building mie and simple laser driver circuit.

Kutluhan2 months ago

I will use high power laser diode and driver from my other project and i don't want to plug my laser, fans, relay etc.. to my arduino. They must be powered from external source. So can i use his readymade hex file with only easy driver modules and steppers only? I see some codes for laser on the hex. Will it be a problem? I am very sorry for my bad english. And this is a very good project. 3 years later, thank you groover. :)

mjawed2 months ago

Hi Groover,

Really cool project. I am also trying to get this done! already slavaged CDROm drives parts, but still lokking for DVD ROM laser diode. wish me luck..

mjawed2 months ago

Hi Groover,

Really cool project. I am also trying to get this done! already slavaged CDROm drives parts, but still lokking for DVD ROM laser diode. wish me luck..

Dzony99332 months ago

Can this arduino replica do the job? http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Best-prices-100-New-IC-UNO-R3-MEGA328P-ATMEGA16U2-for-Arduino-Compatible-Free-Shipping-Dropshipping/1332628_2049572653.html?s=p

Dzony99332 months ago

Can this arduino replica do the job? http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Best-prices-100-New-IC-UNO-R3-MEGA328P-ATMEGA16U2-for-Arduino-Compatible-Free-Shipping-Dropshipping/1332628_2049572653.html?s=p

haoman20032 months ago

if i have this:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Dual-Driver-Chip-L9...

step driver how i connect it?

Mj_monsion2 months ago
Does anyone know how he came up with 53.333 steps/mm?
JosefM23 months ago

Hello, cool project! Do you think it would be possible to etch Zippo lighter with this engraver?

bosko903 months ago

Thank you very much for instructions on how to build a mini cnc laser. Here is my laser engraver from the dvd drive. I have a problem with the laser. It burns only black paper. May be I have a too low voltage to the driver (5V in the instructions that I have found to build it says 7,2V).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EyE7aZ0b-8

bosko90 bosko903 months ago

Of course, the speed is set much lower than in the video, about 30 to 50 mm / min

wgriffith4 months ago

have you tried this on glass?

davidbarcomb4 months ago

Wow I'm impressed. I need to make this too. Thanks

anasuino4 months ago

Hello there,

i'm trying to find some information about these stepper motors like how many phases it contains and the number of teeth on both the rotor and the stator. can someone help me please?

keytapperman5 months ago

hello, I am wondering if i can use the adafruit motor driver board instead of the easydrive boards. this is simply because that is what i have on hand...thanks for your efforts. Also, i am wondering if the internal hardware of most all the DVD-RW drives are about the same or do i have to keep within the same manufacturer family.thanks for sharing you ideas and for your help! mark z near lowell indiana

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