An Arduino-Powered Laser Engraver That You Can Build

Arduino Laser Cutting Technology Workshop
An Arduino-Powered Laser Engraver That You Can Build


MichielD99 is a 16 year old Belgian teenage maker. It is amazing that, with the tools and materials available today, a young person, really any person, can create something as sophisticated and professional-looking as this laser engraver.


It took Michiel about three months to plan and construct the machine. He created templates of all of the structural components, transferred them onto MDF, and then used a jigsaw to cut everything out.


To drive the machine, he used an Arduino UNO with two NEMA-17 stepper motors and stepper motor drivers he got from AliEXpress. By using AliExpress, he was able to keep the component costs down, with the entire thing costing about US$220. The laser is a 1.8W 445nm module.


To keep all of the hardware cool inside of its enclosure, he drilled out vent holes on one side and installed a computer fan. He also installed a heat sink on the laser head as well as a smaller fan that travels with the head.


Michiel designed the device in such a way that he can also install a Dremel tool as the head. This will allow him to turn it into a CNC router when he wants to.


Instructables is running a contest, sponsored by Full Spectrum Laser. The grand prize is a H-Series 20×12 laser cutter (complete with lens, exhaust fan, and air compressor). Michiel entered his engraver and we think he’s got a good shot. He not only executed a pretty impressive project, but he also did a great job of documenting it, in a second language. These kids today!


You can see the complete plans for his build on this Instructables page. There he also includes a Bill of Materials with links to all of the parts available online and PDF and STL versions of all of the template files used to create his engraver.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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