Upgrading your 3D printer is a fantastic way to improve performance and print quality, as well as learn how the machine works. Often the upgrades are simple things to make it run quieter, get better cooling, control the environment through an enclosure, detect filament jams, and other things of that nature. This upgrade however adds a whole new function to your printer.

Instructibles user Marzsolt shares an extremely detailed guide on adding a diode laser to a Prusa MK3.  This tutorial does a few things really well, but foremost they are sure to warn people adequately. It can be easy to feel like these lasers are harmless, but they are actually very dangerous and should be handled properly.

Disclaimer: Lasers are very dangerous, so you need to use proper care and basic common sense to not get in trouble. I warned you, I will not be responsible if you shoot down a space pirate… or lose an eye. Arrr.

The quality that they managed to get out of the machine is fairly impressive, just check out the example images!

With the proper precautions, a laser is actually a fantastic addition to a 3d printer. Laser engraving doesn’t put any force on your 3d printer frame (as opposed to something like adding a small spindle for milling), and can be added quite easily. Just follow along with the instructible and be safe! You’ll find full details on what laser to buy, files to print for a nice looking mount, and full instructions on how to actually run the laser as well.