Using discarded DVD drives and 3D printing, maker Maggie Shah has built a low-cost laser cutter for engraving and laser cutting. She published the instructions for the DIY project online.
The concept uses the built-in guide rails and spindle motors of DVD drives as drive axes. A 250mW laser module complements the self-constructed mechanics. Everything is controlled by an Arduino Nano with GRBL firmware.
According to Shah, the function and precision of significantly more expensive laser CNCs could be achieved for around 50 dollars. The print bed measures 40 x 40 mm, with a resolution of 0.2 mm per step. In addition to engravings in wood and acrylic, wafer-thin paper cuts are also possible.
Shah’s own designs, which can be downloaded free of charge from Thingiverse, serve as 3D-printed holders. In the illustrated assembly instructions, Maggie Shah explains in detail how to assemble, wire and set up the low-budget laser.