DIY 40W laser cutter

DIY 40W laser cutter

Bdring of built this 40W laser engraver cutter from scratch. The goal is to make a laser cutter for under $1000. Excellent work!

The recent Epilog Laser Challenge at got me thinking about building a low cost CNC laser. The engraver they had as the prize had a list price of about $8,000. The income tax on that would be quite a lot. I thought a larger more powerful machine could easily be built for less than the amount you would have to pay for the tax. The Epilog Zing 16 is 30W with an area of 16″ x 20″. Try to beat that for less than $1,000. I understand that a huge part of what you get from Epilog is software, safety, support and a guarantee, so it is not a really fair challenge.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

22 thoughts on “DIY 40W laser cutter

  1. misterx says:

    Seriously? An open frame laser cutter operating with no sides, or interlocked lid? That is just asking to lose an eye.

    While this is a great project and quite an accomplishment, its things like this that are going to cause the CDRH to crack down on imports of laser components. Very irresponsible to demonstrate such a device without first warning the readers of the inherent danger (of which I am not sure the person(s) involved in the project are fully aware)

    1. Jaba says:

      Yea, what next?! Sheesh, at this rate people we’ll probably start seeing other dangerous things like… a super sharp steel circular steel blade revolving at thousands of RPMs as a hand tool available at local hardware stores.

      Seriously, I can’t stand people who offer nothing constructive and try to turn people away from doing anything – believing they are the only person in the world who has the capacity to understand it. Yea, it’s one thing to note that precautions should be taken, if that isn’t obvious to anyone who could conceivably even begin to attempt to build this. It is another to act like a dbag alarmist. There is no danger in recording that open air with proper eye protection at that distance. It’s also obvious this was done for the purpose of the video to see it in action. Oh, and there are sides, go figure – the safety police fails at observation.

      1. a1av8ter says:

        he and ppls .like him are the reason they put warning labels on lawn mowers telling you not to use them to trim your hedges… sry.

    2. Jeremy says:

      You tell that Ralphie he’ll put his eye out!!!

  2. bdring says:

    That is a good reminder on safety.

    IR lasers present many dangers. The invisible IR beam needs to be respected because it can instantly blind, cause burns and start fires. Even looking at the the meterial while cutting is bad even with safety IR laser glasses because it is like looking at a welding torch. The IR glasses do nothing to mitigate that. The high voltage is also something that need to be respected.

    If you check out the build log, you can see that the finished design has an interlocked cover, and well placed power and emergency stop buttons.

  3. says:

    Someone needs to start selling a kit.

    We’re seeing more and more people making, and trying to make, their own laser cutters. Frankly, I’m not sure I’d trust myself with all the laser safety on a machine I designed myself, but I could handle a kit.

    And it would look awesome on the workbench next to the Makerbot.

  4. ansil says:

    this is a great little project. i can see the concerns but the web is full of stuff that can be dangerous just like books {albeit an easier way to access it is the web} the books i had as a kid were just as dangerous and had no for warning in it. however saying that is also like reading a bottle of hairspray “not to be used as lubrication” people under the average iq shouldn’t really read stuff like this let alone try it………………forrest put down that soldering iron.

  5. Christopher Bright (@ArtificerMade) says:

    As many have already said, Building a laser machine like this is dangerous. You could accidentally burn your vagina off like some of the earlier comments seem to imply happened to them at some point.

    Jesus, have we sunk so low that the quest for self sufficiency and personal greatness is cast aside because you might have to breath a little carcinogenic smoke? Or you might get a burn on your pretty and soft supple hands? Put that hammer down! You wanna break a nail there nancy?

    Back to the build … Love it. I never built a cnc or laser anything but those two things are meant to be together and meant to be locked up in my basement with the other pretty things.

    1. Chad says:

      Mr. Bright, your awesome, I love your comment. Now lets go build something!

  6. Debra says:

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a superb article… but
    what can I say… I put things off a lot and don’t manage to get nearly
    anything done.

  7. Adrian says:

    Beautiful – keep up the good work !
    Safety ? Lol – this world has already become sick !
    It reminds me of a picture I saw on the net which only words read:

    “Warning – this sign has sharp edges !”

    You should seriously consider putting few of those warnings on it – or if you manage to lift up your budget and buy “professional” cover for it – there’s gonna be enough place on it to cover it all with it! I was thinking ….

    “Do not look directly into laser beam as its not healthy”
    “Warning – this machine uses electricity”
    “Warning – do not sit on the machine while operating”

    You know – there should be a warning for EVERY possibility a man can interact with it regardless of the IQ of the operator :)

    All the best !

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