Introduction: CNC Laser Engraver.
After looking at other peoples Laser Engravers on Instructables site for some time, I decided to make my own.
Most of the parts I already had laying around in my shed.
The only things I had to buy were the 2 Easy Drivers for the stepper motors, an empty laser module/housing, and a genuine Arduino UNO, I don't mind clones but wanted to be sure this would work.
The engraver is made more or less the same way as a lot of others on Instructables, but a bit my way.
The Arduino is loaded with GRBL 0.9j
It was made with 2 old DVD drive platforms complete with stepper motors. The Laser Diode is from one of them.
I removed the ribbon cables from the motors and soldered my own wires on.
The laser diode driver is based on the popular LM317 adjustable voltage regulator, which supplies a constant current to the laser.
This is how I soldered the leads to the tiny pins on the laser diode:
I use Inkscape with 305 Engineering Raster 2 GCode Generator extension and J Tech Photonics GCode generator to convert image or text to GCode. Then I use GRBLControl to engrave.
I actually had a problem with GRBLControl when using 305 Engineers and J Tech extensions.
The problem was that the when loading a job in to GRBLControl the gcode showed up in the list of commands but not the actual image.
I found out why and fixed it. I did a couple of Instructables about the problem, which are here:
I don't have any drawings or plans, and it does look a bit of a mess from the back, as I just cobbled it together really.
It works as it should and although it is only and old DVD laser diode, it does engrave on the reverse side of mirrors providing I coat the back with a permanent black marker. I just have to remember to reverse the image before engraving if it has text in it. Otherwise it is back to front when viewing the mirror from the front.
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Participated in the
CNC Contest 2016