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.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 633Next »
JosefM212 days ago

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

bosko9012 days 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).

bosko90 bosko9012 days ago

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

wgriffith24 days ago

have you tried this on glass?

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

anasuino1 month 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?

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

droopel2 months ago

I repeated your instructions Grbl settings as you. But I have a bad risuetEsli not connect (Ms1, Ms2, 5v) picture better, but a complex pattern strays.

Make it BIG made it!2 months ago

I remixed your project and added a third axis. It's not a laser anymore, but you can mill small PCB's. Very nice Instructions. It helped me a lot!

fthebunny12 months ago

Where did you find your lasermount ?

The only one I found is to adafruit, and with the shipcost, it's a bit expensive.

james.pelt.72 months ago

This is so going to be my next project! I guess I need to put some shoes on so I can go out to the shop and start digging out old computer parts...

Mohamed ALIT2 months ago

Which pin in Arduino is used to control the laser?

jan.wouter.52 months ago

Real cool project. I do need to take a lot of time reading is and than duplicating.

jduffy542 years ago
Cool project! I'm trying to do the same, but with a scanner and printer instead of DVD drive parts.

I'm attempting to do the same. Did you end up getting anywhere with it?

Unfortunatealy, no. I never got a laser that worked (I smashed one and over volted another), so I tried making a 3D printer with a "frostruder" style extruder instead using the same base, but because I tried using my own software instead of something like grbl or teacup, if failed miserably. Now I'm working on a much larger CNC that I plan to (at some point) make a laser attachment for, but I have yet to actually cut anything, so that will be a while.

Is your machine still half assembled? it's never too late to finish off a shelved project.

Actually, the new CNC is fully built and has done a little engraving (with a dremel), but it still binds on X, the Z isn't quite as stiff as I'd like, and the tool holder is angle brackets and zip ties. I've had some other things going on, and haven't had much time to put into it recently. I've got something MUCH bigger that I'm finishing right now, and I'll probably get back to this once that is done.

Sorry to hear that.. The new project sounds awesome, though!

arnab3216 months ago

can i use L293D instead of easydrivers (cause they are damn expensive)?

look on banggood, there is cheap clones of easydriver
Olek4103 months ago

Could you tell me the cutting area in milimeters

IBH5 months ago
IBH5 months ago

I was thinking of doing something similar, but the worm gear style drives didn't seem like they would have enough resolution. Now you've got me rethinking this assumption.

onecell5 months ago

hello, i have arduino uno and Adafruit_Motor_Shield_V1 . Do think is it possible make this project? what kind frimware i should use? Thanks

Tuckoguy7 months ago

what is RR1A coming out of 5V on the arduino? The symbol looks like a thermistor, but I cannot tell. Also, is SV1 a female header?

Jdukate7 months ago

I was also needing the parts list for the laser module please. Thank you in advance.

mwezel made it!7 months ago

under construction still, but soon its readyy

gama19987 months ago

Hei guys could anyone tell the list of parts to make the laser module/driver?????

goldrake made it!8 months ago

Hi ,

very nice project I have done mine thanks to groover instructions.

More I have fixed the z Axis problem from the homing cycle. modifing the config.h

now hen I use $H the X axis goes on the left far away from motor while if I use X0 goes right. My question is : Do I mirror the inkscape image before use the laserengraver plug in?

BTW this is my calibration:

Grbl 0.8c ['$' for help]

['$H'|'$X' to unlock]

[Caution: Unlocked]

$0=53.333 (x, step/mm)

$1=53.333 (y, step/mm)

$2=53.333 (z, step/mm)

$3=10 (step pulse, usec)

$4=200.000 (default feed, mm/min)

$5=200.000 (default seek, mm/min)

$6=8 (step port invert mask, int:00001000)

$7=25 (step idle delay, msec)

$8=100.000 (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=1 (hard limits, bool)

$17=1 (homing cycle, bool)

$18=69 (homing dir invert mask, int:01000101)

$19=200.000 (homing feed, mm/min)

$20=200.000 (homing seek, mm/min)

$21=100 (homing debounce, msec)

$22=2.000 (homing pull-off, mm)

can you please post your calibration ?

Domy (from Italy)

Sir will U help me to make one of this fir mine. I couldn't under stand the circuit so send me the diagrams.and the wearing of the machine.plz help me I want to make I have already collect all the parts but could not mount the boards of driver and arduino board

@biraj1002 if you look at the bottom of this page you will find schematcs pdf file. plz can you remove unecessary comments from page ?

I don't fined it,inkscape also did not proper downloads by the top link
biraj10028 months ago
Mr.Groover plz help me to short out the problem. As soon as possible. My email id "". Reply me soon
Sir plz help me I have no idea about circuit, plz send me the close photo of which wire go where. The arduino circuit and the driver circuit motor wire and connecting the both circuit wire, diagrams of circuit and wearing of the boards motors one by one demonstration.I am desperat to make one for my self.plz help me send me the soft were where I can engrave Andy type of photo. I am a student of class 12 so soft were is in my standard how to run the software demonstration.PLZ REPLY ME SOON SIR PLZ PLZ.
sonson8 months ago
Bonsoir mr Groover très belle instuctables j'ai crée le lien à partir du votre la configuration du grbl fonctionne très bien j'ai graver sur le plastique et sur le carton s'est ok mais j'ai essayer de graver sur du bois claire ça ne marche pas même avec du scotch isolant noir .Pouvez vous m expliquer pourquoi ça ne marche pas s'il vous plaît . Le deuxième ventilateur vous l'avez connecter à quel endroit svp en attendant votre réponse merci de nous faire connaître votre savoir .
biraj10028 months ago
Help me plz,post the circuts close up which wire goes where
biraj10028 months ago
1-40 of 633Next »