Step 9: Final results.

Picture of Final results.
Here are some of the things I made with this little engraver so far. I will let the images tell most of the story. The only limit is your imagination (besides the low power and small work area).

Key chain.
I found some paint stirrer sticks at my local DIY shop. I liked the look of the wood and they were cheap. I saw of a piece and drilled a small hole. After some sanding I engraved the Binford logo from the sitcom "Home improvement".

Plant marker.
A normal Popsicle stick engraved with the plants name.

Personalized matches.
I'm just trying to show off ;)

Memo note holder.
A clothespin engraved and with a small neodymium magnet glued to the back makes a great way to stick a bunch of notes together on the fridge or any other metal surface. I like clothespins they are very versatile.

Cut out of a small foam sheet and glued to a piece of Masonite.

Thanks to scriptster who made the G-code for the model. Check out his model here .

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dollarseed12 days ago

Here is something that I think others will find valuable. Rather than going through all the software setups you've described, which are good, there is an easier way I have found. has a free program called EFL CNC. This will automatically install Grbl to the Arduino, and sends the G-code to it. Just have to set up the port to use, and beware of the pinout diagram they have, as this is all programmed in. I build CNC machines of various sizes, and this program is the only one I use for all of them. I love the laser concept, and will be building one of these soon for my own shop at

hde bruin1 year ago
Great instructable! Good explaination, especially the software part which is most important.
I have one question: my engraving comes out mirrored. I have tried to swap the X-axis but that didn't change anything.
I could swap the image horizontally in Inkscape but that doesn't really seem to work because the image is then distorted a little.
I tried various things but I'm puzzled...
Any ideas?
Perhaps flip both axes/the Y axis?

Yeah did that but I'm curious is that really works because I would expect the homingcycle to change then as well. But that didn't happen. I need to look deeper into the Grbl documentation I guess...
Hi Cowboy ;-) Yes! still on the horse good! I have been there... Divorce... Takes timesss but, that the best moment for creativity and exploration, emotional situation give sometime great boost of ideas and innovations and helps to overide the situation. So bigger the problems bigger should be the projectsss... You shown it here !!! Stay on the right, and Keep on the Horse...And forgot the Cow girl... Who is lonesome, only people who want it!!! Best luck from Mike
b_caroteno3 years ago
Do you have the specifications of voltage, current and step for the small carriage (screw) motor. Thanks!
ryanjilek4 years ago
Sweet project. Since I had a box of old drives this was a pretty straight forward build. All I needed were a couple of Easydrive boards and I was in business. Here it is burning a self portrait:
etopsirhc4 years ago
would this be able to cut something like 1/8" or 1/16" balsa?
or would i need to get a better lazer to cut it better?
SubMicro4 years ago
I was wondering is it just the watts that determine the cutting power or does the wavelength matter too?

PS Great instructable!
tkessels4 years ago
Have you ever tried etching into Aluminum or Steel?

I do freeclimbing with a few friends and it's really hard to mark your equipment as your own. Laser Engraving would be the best way, but is very expensive. So if we could do it on our own, that would be great!
I'm curious. Have you thought about using one of these to cut plasti-card?

I'm interested in using this sort of device to precisely cut bits and pieces to build paper-craft models a little easier. Or more accuratly plastic-craft models, I suppose.
jmagri4 years ago
Is it possible to etch PCB's with this project ?
jcoronel jmagri4 years ago
You can do a little trick. Instead of etching the PCB, you can fix to the copper some kind of film that could be cut by the laser. Etch this film and remove the parts you don't need. After that etch the PCB using some acid (I prefer Ferric Chloride).
This require some manual process, but it's an alternative.
I usually etch PCB's using the "toner transfer" method.
Groover, Very Good Work!
jmagri jcoronel4 years ago
OK thanks alot ... I will build it firstly and then I will come back to you ... I wanted to use this for etching pcb so that I also could finish it with holes ... Thanks great project
jcoronel jmagri4 years ago
For PCB etching, consider some kind of milling machine, it's better for your purposes. Essentially it's the same concept as this machine, but uses a drill instead of a laser. Good luck!
Groover (author)  jmagri4 years ago
I'm afraid not.
Katzsta4 years ago
Amazingly detailed instructable. Although I have no technical skills, I think even I could make this from your fine directions. I can't believe how tiny it is, until I saw your huge finger in the video. ;) Excellent work and wonderful recycling of electronic products.
rcisneros4 years ago
Very impressive. I could say more... Really, nice job.
terramir4 years ago
I have a question for you, it might be naive of me to think this may work, but I'm an eternal optimist.
Idea, you have taken apart three dvdr drives right? and each have two lasers right? Correct me if I'm wrong here, what if you took those 6 laser diodes and used mirrors and prisms and a lens to focus them all on the same spot, heck maybe you'll have to use a few more, but that being said if it could be adjusted to all focus on the same spot let's say about 30 cm away from the tool on a work platform
Well you might need more lasers but what I'm saying is maybe you'll be able to build that cutter you want to build. old dvd-burners that dun work anymore gotta be a dime a dozen and if you have a bunch of lasers focusing on the same point you might be able to cut stuff with it. :)
Just curious could that be doable? or would you need 100's of those lasers to cut. I mean the optics is simple physics right? :s
elabz4 years ago
Depending on the current provided by the laser diode driver ( I did not see the value in this instructables, probably just missed it) it can also cut 2mm or 3mm craft foam. I'd say 150+mW at 50mm/min should work fine to make complete clean cuts. The small working area of the cutter is somewhat limiting of course but some fun small projects can be cut on it nevertheless. This little DC10 model can probably be cut on it if the shapes are broken into two separate sets of G-Code instructions (see the sources and G-Code here )
Groover (author)  elabz4 years ago
It runs at about 300mA and the output is just under 200mW. The stamp is made from 2mm craft foam, it cuts like a warm knife in hot butter. :)

I stumble upon that site while building. I really like the rocket.
el-jacobino4 years ago
Hello! I've found it awsome! I wanna know if it works to cut EVA and simillar materials. It would be nice for a small commercial project with my girlfriend. Thanks a lot.
EvilMarker4 years ago
How much did it cost to make?