11 Affordable DIY Laser Engraver Project Ideas to Build This Summer – MakeUseOf

11-affordable-diy-laser-engraver-project-ideas-to-build-this-summer-–-makeuseof

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Are you a hobbyist who wants to satisfy the urge to customize gifts but afraid of the hefty cost of buying commercial laser engraver machines? Well, here’s a chance to make one at home. Most of the materials you’ll need are easy to work with and affordable.

These machines run on simple software and occupy less space, making them a top consideration for small households. Here are 11 laser engraver project ideas to get started.

1. DIY Arduino Mini Laser Engraver

Make any logo or design on plywood, MDF, VNYL paper, and wood with this Arduino mini laser engraver. Get two DVD writers from an old PC that you no longer use.

The other materials you need include a shrink tube, Arduino Nano, 1000uF capacitor, 5mm acrylic sheet, laser heatsink, A4988 motor driver, and JST 2.0 connector. Soldering all the components is quite a long process, but the results are worth it.

Tip: Sketch the structure on a drawing board to make your work easier.

2. Laser Engraver With RGB

The laser engraver with RGB is one project you’ll take pride in, and the best thing is that the supplies are affordable. You’ll need two old DVD drives, an RGB controller, Arduino, a laser module, MDF, hot glue, screws, and laser safety glasses. Begin by preparing a basic structure to give you a glimpse of what to expect.

Cutting the MDF with a hacksaw is a painless process, making it easy to position the LEDs and cables. You can encase the outer parts with a white carbon fiber vinyl wrap for a clean appearance.

3. DVD Drive to CNC Laser Engraver

This DIY is exciting and suitable for people with minimal electrical knowledge. The resources required are two optical DVD drives, a breadboard, resistors (10k and 47 ohms), and two-step motor drivers.

The carriage on the DVD drive features step motors, laser diodes, and guides acting as the X and Y axis. You can also make rubber feet to increase stability. The laser has a significant amount of radiated power, so wear laser protective glasses.

4. DIY Wireless Laser Engraver

The tools needed to make this wireless laser engraver are wire cutters, a handsaw, screwdrivers, a sandpaper, a soldering iron, a lighter, handheld rotary tool, pliers, a small triangular file, and scissors.

FUSION 360 makes it easy to express and convert design ideas into reality. Additionally, you can quickly assemble components and check whether there are collisions in your designs. Use the circuit diagram to connect the X and Y motors.

Once you plug in the laser, test the precision and accuracy of your machine to know where to make adjustments.

5. Handmade Mini CNC Laser Engraver

This handmade project doesn’t require a lot of time to set up, making it perfect for beginners. It has four key parts, including the laser module, stepper motors, controller, and surface.

The wiring process is smooth, requiring you to connect the cables to their corresponding connectors. You can use this handmade laser engraver on items like wood and rubber.

6. Mini CNC Laser Engraver

Anyone with little electrical know-how will have an easy time making this mini CNC laser engraver. The electronic components required include two A4988 stepper motor drivers, one 1000uf 16V capacitor, one 47ohm, a 20mm x 80mm blank PCB, a 2-pin male connector, and one LM7805 voltage regulator. You’ll also need two DVD driver mechanisms to act as the Y and X-axis.

The laser safety glasses are a must-have to avoid causing injuries to your eyes. Note that burning vinyl produces carcinogenic fumes with an awful smell, so work in a room where you won’t distract others.

7. Frankenstein DIY Laser Engraver

Are you tempted to toss your old printer and scanner into a trash bin? Wait, here’s a handy project of making use of them. The machine can engrave leather, bone, light wood, and blank CDs/DVDs.

Calibrating the steppers is a crucial step, and creating a spreadsheet for this process will prevent some headache. You’ll learn a lot from this Frankenstein laser engraver, from electronic concepts like stepper motors and mechanical ideas like self-replenishing brass bearings.

8. Arduino Mini Laser Engraver

Create something simple with cheap materials this summer with the Arduino mini laser engraver DIY. The mini design makes the process beginner-friendly, so there are minimal chances of getting stuck when assembling the frames. The resources required for this project are an Arduino Uno, stepper motor, pins, drivers, and a soldering iron.

You’ll work with powerful lasers, so wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.

9. Pocket Laser Engraver

This project is pocket-friendly and easy to handle. The pocket laser engraver project involves choosing the convenient software from Arduino. The next step will be setting up the mechanics and the electronic function of your laser engraver.

You’ll need some basic soldering, drilling, measuring, and assembly skills. The pocket laser engraver has a small engraving space, meaning you only engrave miniature items. Provided you choose the right software, you’ll enjoy making key holders, stamps, note holders, and pencils, among other items.

10. Wood Design: DIY Arduino Laser Engraver

This wood design DIY Arduino laser engraver has a large engraving space of about 500 by 800mm. It uses a 1.8w laser with a wavelength of 445nm, which makes it powerful. Some parts are made from MDF sheets, which make it quite appealing and budget-friendly.

Provided you have the design ready, the materials needed are quite affordable. With this wood design DIY Arduino laser engraver, you’ll produce top-quality engraved pieces.

11. Arduino CNC Laser Engraver

Once you set both axes to maximum, the Arduino CNC laser engraver should engrave limitless pieces. You can reclaim old CD or DVD drives for this project. For the laser, use the diode from the DVD but remember to provide an active cooling method to avoid overheating.

It works under the open source GRBL concept, which is fast and smooth.

Build Your Laser Engraver

With any of the above laser engravers, you can add a personal touch to various things without breaking the bank. Although you’ll invest significant time and energy, the entire process will help you explore your imagination while learning various new concepts.



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About The Author

Robert Minkoff
(32 Articles Published)

Robert has a knack for the written word and an unquenchable thirst for learning that he applies wholeheartedly to every project he tackles. His eight years of freelance writing experience spans a range of web content, tech product reviews, blog posts, and SEO. He finds technological advancements and DIY projects quite fascinating. Robert is currently a writer at MakeUseOf where he enjoys sharing worthwhile DIY ideas. Watching movies is his thing so he is always up-to-date with netflix series.

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