We all know the possibilities of a Laser cutter, and even more so when we like DIY. These types of laser cutters are quite expensive and sometimes they can only be allowed by a professional who will amortize them. However, there are ways to create our own laser cutter and that is what we are going to cover in this new guide. With it we can build our own and save a few euros, as well as having fun and gaining the satisfaction of having created it ourselves.
The laser cutter can cutting or carving marks on certain surfaces, something that is quite practical for some projects. However, it is a machine that must be handled with care because of its danger, so we must take adequate precautions to handle it, since we are using a tool that can cause problems if we do not respect safety measures.
Table of Contents
- 1 Ways to have our own laser cutter:
Ways to have our own laser cutter:
One way is to buy a cutter, but as I say, the prices are usually high and it takes away the possibility of creating it ourselves. Therefore, we are going to focus on specifying the other ways we have to build our own laser cutter, although I already anticipate that it will not be a simple DIY project if we choose to create it from scratch ...
Projects to build a laser cutter from scratch
One of the options we have is to create our own laser cutter from scratch, but this is quite a complicated task and we may run into some limitations or problems when making it work correctly. Therefore, this option is suitable only for experts or more advanced makers. Within these possibilities we can create our own design or take ideas from some existing projects that have been tested and known to work.
Project 1: CO2 laser cutter from scratch with Match3
InventorsFactory has taken it upon themselves to create a fantastic project of an awesome homemade laser cutter. It is based on a fairly sophisticated modular design and has specified everything in detail on his blog. The laser engraver or cutter allows you to move its head quite precisely and has a large number of plans and details for those who want to reproduce it. You can follow the steps here:
Project 2: laser cutter with Arduino
Another of the well-known blogs in the DIY world is Instructables and from there we get another project to build a cutter or laser engraver from scratch using the Arduino board and some very simple elements to get, such as the 1.8w laser module with a wavelength of 445nm. Specifically, it is a project by a 16-year-old Belgian boy known as MichielD99. It took him about three months to design and build this machine, but with the templates and information he offers you will be able to do it much faster.
By the way, there is a project on Kickstarter called ZelosLaser of a CNC laser engraver / cutter made with free hardware similar to this one that may also interest you.
Using DIY kits to assemble a laser cutter
The other option is best for most users and consists of making use of kits that are already prepared so that everything works if the assembly is adequate. We will only have to limit ourselves in following the assembly steps and we will have a laser cutter or engraver ready to use. There are them from € 95 to just over € 300, so they are quite affordable prices compared to a professional laser cutter.
If you want to know what are the best laser cutter or engraver kits Here is a list with our selection:
It is one of the best-selling laser engraving or cutting machines. Have a 1500mW laser power, Bluetooth, USB connection, multi-language support, and capable of engraving on different materials such as leather, bamboo, wood, plastic, cardboard, integrated circuit boards, etc. It also has a 6000mAh Li-Ion battery that gives it a pretty good autonomy.
It offers compatibility with different operating systems, such as Windows, Android, iOS, etc. His assembly is fast and it does not need great knowledge. Once assembled, it weighs almost two kilos and is about 20x29x20 cm in size.
It is an engraving machine 02w power C40 laser. It is one of the most expensive, but it also offers more power. It can engrave stamps, advertising, art supplies, gifts, clothing, leather, plastic toys, upholstery, computer embroidery, screen printing cardboard and paper packaging, shoelaces, wooden furniture, handicrafts, and even other industrial uses.
It connects to the PC through a USB port and it supports TIF, BMP, JPG, WMF, EMF, and PLT formats. As for the assembly, it is not very complex and once assembled it has compact dimensions. The duration is estimated at about 1000-1300 hours that it can work without fail.
It is another machine with a power equal to the previous one, also the rest of the characteristics are quite similar. That is, it connects via USB and has a 40w CO2 type laser to record on acrylic, wood, leather, plastics, bamboo, etc. The use is professional, like that of the previous recorder, but also its price is high as in the previous case.
Its assembly is simple and its use too, it also includes the CorelDraw software with NewlySeal and NewlyDraw features to be able to use it in the engraving and milling of objects.
It has similar characteristics to the Metek, but it is the laser engraver / cutter cheaper that you can find. It is compatible with Windows, iOS and Android and has apps for its management. It has multilanguage support and works through a Bluetooth connection to connect from your mobile or PC. It offers the ability to carve on wood, plastic, bamboo, rubber, leather, paper, and other similar materials, but cannot engrave on glass or metal.
Regarding its battery of 6000mAh of Li-Ion gives it a good autonomy and it also has a power supply like the Metek for when it's not enough. Its dimensions are somewhat more compact than the Metek, since it measures 16x15x20cm once it is assembled.
It is another laser cutter / engraver kit very interesting and minimalist. Its price is somewhat high for what it appears, but it allows you a simple installation and operation with CNC control and using the software provided by the manufacturer. The engraving speed and power is also adjustable, so you can choose from a power range of 500-2500mW.
That raw power gives you both engraving and cutting capabilities. Supports JPG, PNG, DXF and more formats, as well as compatibility for makers who use MacOS, Linux and Windows.
Similar to the previous kit, although here we have a GRBL 3-axis control laser engraver that allows engraving on wood, plastic of different types, acrylic, etc. It also allows milling and cutting using an ER11 nozzle. Its dimensions are somewhat higher than the previous ones, but it offers a work support and a somewhat more robust structure.
Like the previous one, whose price is also similar, it allows modulating the laser power from 500 to 5500mW. But in this case, it is compatible with Windows, although the control system is open source, something that some makers will like.
I hope I have helped you soon have one home laser cutter / engraver...