Pocket Laser Engraver

Check out this tiny laser engraver from instructables user Groover. Using easily sourced and salvaged parts including and a couple optical drives and an Arduino, Groover was able to assemble a unit that, though low power, is able to mark wood and cut paper.

36 thoughts on “Pocket Laser Engraver

  1. Anonymous says:

    love the tech, not so much the symbol…why are misanthropic themes so “cool”? I know its mostly just in jest, but, give it some time, and where it leads…

    1. Anonymous says:

      Dude, you really need to look at your own interpretation of symbols….

      1. Anonymous says:

        As a matter of fact, i do, quite actively, and this is where my comment comes from, not reactionary, but thought through.

        ill put it to you this way, in a an opposite example:

        If it was a heart, rainbow, or unicorn, would you feel aversion? or perhaps a sense of kitsch?

        This last point of kitsch is what my initial argument refers to. But kitsch is a complicated idea. It is not static, or definable at the moment, since kitsch refers to a paradigm usefulness, towards the “easy” But again, perhaps the defining or describing of what makes an object kitsch is beyond the scope of this post. Suffice it to say, that i see this symbol, and many like it on things having nothing to do with danger, poison, or pirate death. It seems fashionable, and therefore subject to the kitsch category.

        So, in ernst, what is your interpretation of this symbol?

        1. Luke Guildner says:

          I thought this was the hackaday.com logo… oops, they use wrenches in place of the bones…

        2. Frank Canaan says:

          Jesus man. My interpretation: whimsy. Get over yourself

          1. Anonymous says:

            Whimsy it may be, and probably is, but there is no reason to “speak” so personally and in that tone.

            it seems you missed the commenting guidelines, and i expect your comment will be deleted soon enough, but, i can imagine the scope of things you justify with this whimsy category, which goes to the point of the original comment, but it also seems futile to engage you, since the attitude would trump logical thinking, yet i do anyways in the hopes that you might rethink this way…

            i think im not the one that needs getting over myself in this case, and find that commenters such as this tend to be clasified as trolls, who disengage readers and other potential commenters, in this forum, but in real society, its even worse , since they discourage free constructive expression just because they do not agree or want to, making it harder for out of the box thinking in any social light.

            And i would add, that even this comment is a bit out of theme as i am addressing mainly to you, but have experience with others like you, so perhaps some may find a value to this exchange. and perhaps the comments should remain…

            plus, this mean-spiritedness should be accounted for, not deleted as if nothing ever happened…

          2. Frank Canaan says:

            Sorry if your feelers got hurt, but I still stand by exactly what I said. I love people like you, pontificating to a group of people who can smell your pseudo-intellectual BS from a mile away. I just could’nt stand it any more and had to say something. In my opinion, posters such as yourself are in many ways worse than Trolls. Trolls, even if rarely, provide a mite of entertainment. Verbally masturbatory posters such as yourself, dont.

            Point being, its a pirate sticker, made on a really cool little project. Thats it, no need to mentally masticate it for 3 hours, and then post a holier than thou message about the “Meaning” of the demo cutout.

            That is all.

          3. Anonymous says:

            well Frank
            i really wish you could see what you are saying. i really do, but have met a few people “like you”, and i dont actively love them, just matter of factly. So, i will not respond to your comments after this since you are, as i mentioned, decided on your attitude (there’s nothing wrong with it) and that is the inconvenient aspect of continuing a conversation where you would likely continue the bashing, either in full aggresive mode, or passive aggression. I imagine that you would also not respond to this in that vein, since you have said “that is all”, but know i am not calling you out. you demonstrate your view yourself, and i would suggest asking a neutral party to see if you might just be guilty of what you are accusing. This is what i refer to by not deleting it, since maybe, at another moment/mindframe you might see, and others would benefit as well.

            But see, this is where the moderators would have the last say. I understand the maker movement as integrally supportive, and although discussion may ensue, one of the implicit and explicit rules is “be nice”, since society at large has exempted this common sense rule in favor of tolerance only defining it as something that must be endured. But, since tolerance is an activity, not an attribute, we must actively help it along by reminding ourselves and each other to “be nice”. Before, i used to think tolerance was achieved through silence. But i too have had it not with your kind, but your attitude. Really, objectively read your comments, and you will see, but doubt this will happen today…

            look for whimsical behaviour, (in light of why it might be reconsidered, as i point out initially)

            look for pontification and the hurting of feelers…

            happy making…

          4. Frank Canaan says:

            Ugh. , oh well. You are right. We should all fear the slippery slope of jolly-roger cut-outs and their menacing misanthropic might. How could I have been so wrong. Next thing you know, we will all peg-legged rapists.

            Do you see what Im getting at? I know its awfully subtle.

            I completely agree with not letting ourselves be carried away by society and its strange way of putting awful things on pedestals, but show some faith man! People are so quick to jump and candy coat the world, and that doesnt help anyone. Bad shit exists, and we should know that.

            I dont think, in this case, it was the authors intention to promote the horror of Barbary Coast.

        3. Adam Tolley says:

          It’s a symbol of bad-assness, maybe through several arguably misguided evolutions, but here its not misanthropic.

          Maybe it suggests a distaste for normal society (maybe not) but making something with a laser cutter which is in turn built out of recycled computer parts is pretty much as humanistic as it gets.

    2. VRAndy says:

      In modern day culture, pirate themes are more about independence and lawlessness than misanthropy specifically. In the way pirates are popularly remembered the murdering and plundering is incidental to the primary fact that they owned their own boat, could go wherever they wanted and obeyed no master.

      This is a pretty … rose-colored … way to remember the pirates of the Spanish Main, but not entirely irrelevant to so-called “maker culture”.

      1. Anonymous says:

        i agree that the intention is to promote the independent thinking associated with this symbol. But it is worth noting that pirates often stole and plundered without discretion, so if they were in it to stick-it-to-the-man at first, so to speak, suddenly, they became the man-that-needed-it-to-be-stuck-to. Do you see where im going with this? And then there is the issue of independant thinking having a logo…i am for community, but not as differentiated or secular, truly the whole that we are.

        I know, i can be over-analytical for many tastes, and seem condemning, but know, my intention is to beware of what an ideology is in a whole sense, so that down the line it doesn’t trap.

        Its like the mad scientist idea. That is typically an external view of the situation. He is just misunderstood, somehow different, and socially awkward in the own path, beat of drum way. I dont discount the evil mad scientist, he who seeks to punish the humanity that allowed some sort of injustice to be commited against him,or the selfish grab at power at any cost, but this is a condition many may feel throughout all aspects of culture. But the scientist is particuar in that he has at his disposal and “understanding” the history of science, so the power it implies is more than brute force, hence to be contended with by many, rather than one on one.

        i appreciate the discussion, and feel it has many ways to go, but i would not like to distract from the subject at hand, so i will concur with the most recent message about the danger of an open laser with those reflective parts so near its path (perhaps some sort of integral clamping mechanism instead, matte black of course), and allow for insertion of the symbol so that observers may be aware of this danger.

        I like the build, scale, and repurposing of tech, so im checking out that instructable…Thanks

        1. Adam Tolley says:

          You’re making a lot of leaps in judgement and then bolstering them with superfluous discussion. A skull and crossbones does not identify a single quantifiable ideology. Symbols evolve over time and branch out to represent concurrent ideologies, and often their meaning is drastically transformed, or lost.

          You are being under-analytical, and all your conclusions are prejudiced by an arbitrary understanding of this symbol without regards to the context in which it is presented.

          People are angry with you, not because you are too intelligent, but because you are applying intellect to the wrong end of things.

  2. VRAndy says:

    This is very cool. Won’t be long before this technology is commonplace.

    This article could have used a little discussion of safety though. It’s probably because I’m inexperienced with this technology, but I’d be pretty nervous with all that lasers stuff just hanging out exposed like that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, it was mostly a nice discussion. i hope the discussion has been more invigorating than infuriating, but know thats out of my control, i just hope. I will in fact take into account what was said, look at my own reasoning and syllogisms. In the course of the discussion i’d hoped the theme could be commented on rather than the author, and i realize that i also did this, so, i apologize if i have offended anyone by making my strokes too broad, seeming pedantic. Sometimes symbols are in fact just pictures…they are not pipes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    very cool project!

  5. Anonymous says:

  6. Matt Fenner says:

    wow there is more discussion on here about pirates and symbols than about laser engravers

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