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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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RobertWa1 year ago

I am having problems with circles being boxy (flat) on the top and sides. Have you run into this problem?

test_burn.jpg

backlash

clip_image002.gif
beardy8 days ago

Cheers Groover for the inspiration!

My laser arrived today so it's all systems go now!

Does anyone know if the compatibility problem with Laser Engraver Extension Inkscape v 0.91 is an Inkscape problem or an extension problem? It would be handy to get it fixed.

For now it seems to be playing ball with Inkscape 0.48.5 on OS X.

vvashurin made it!18 days ago

This is my attempt. No wood-burning, but black plastic, and dark polyester (polyurithane) foams engraving is good, as for me. I use "Lite Fire Laser" program, and "Universal Gcode Sender". This is my second CNC project.

IMG_20150406_230444.jpgIMG_20150406_230522.jpgIMG_20150406_230351.jpgIMG_20150406_082916.jpg

hi.what is link"lite fire laser"?? thanks

filip511411 days ago

As far as I know it is possible to cut paper and engrave wood. What about plastic like back lid of the phone or cover for the phone? What other materials can be engraved on this kind of laser?

geceng1 month 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

Hi, geceng! In my first attempt, I build this engraver on L293D, but there is no compatible software to use it. All standard CNC working with controllers with "DIR-STEP-GND" control signals, and no way to use L293D without problems. May be - add another ArduinoMini for "Dir-Step" signals emulation. One Arduino - with GRBL software, and another - with dir-step controller emulation on L293D.

shamid119 days ago

hey groover, can you just tell me how much voltage you are providing through power pin? (i.e. external power used through "Vin")

rudsomlima made it!22 days ago

Thanks Groover!

First build with 2 axles. After 3-axis to regulate the ideal height of focus, depending on the height of the material that will cut or burn.

IMG_20150326_185419006.jpgIMG_20150402_113134393.jpgIMG_20150402_113140625.jpgIMG_20150402_113147822.jpgIMG_20150402_113155075_HDR.jpgIMG_20150402_113201122.jpgIMG_20150402_113207716.jpgIMG_20150402_113326038.jpg
geceng27 days ago

hello...

when i type $ return..

there is nothing happen

help please

buckhebb made it!1 month 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
aborge1 month 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/

aborge1 month 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 ?

kyacker2 months 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 kyacker2 months ago

Same error i got, any fix ?

glsf91 cbarran2 months ago

Yes, use the previous version of Inkscape 0.48.5 !

glsf91 glsf912 months 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

bayonino2 months 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?
Westornd2 months 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 mjain22 months 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 )
BeerBellyJoe2 months ago

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,

BeerBellyJoe2 months ago

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.

drluffy3 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)

lspee13 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?

JasonM113 months ago

Have you tried cutting canvas or fabric with this?

HarshitS3 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.

Kutluhan3 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. :)

mjawed3 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..

mjawed3 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..

Dzony99333 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

Dzony99333 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

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