Mini Laser Engraver Could Carve Out a Place on Your Desk

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A 3D-printed mini laser engraver made from DVD-RW drive motors.

Got a couple of old DVD-RW drives lying around, just collecting dust? Of course you do. If not, you likely know where to find a pair so you can build this totally adorable and fully dangerous laser engraver for your desk. Check out the complete build video after the break.

[Smart Tronix] doesn’t just tell you to salvage the stepper motors out of the drives — they show you how it’s done and even take the time to explain in writing what stepper motors are and why you would want to use them in this project, which is a remix of [maggie_shah]’s design over on Thingiverse. As you might expect, the two steppers are wired up to an Arduino Uno through a CNC shield with a pair of A4988 motor drivers. These form the two axes of movement — the 250mW laser is attached to x, and the platform moves back and forth on the y axis. We’d love to have one of these to mess around with. Nothing that fits on that platform would be safe! Just don’t forget the proper laser blocking safety glasses!

Need something much bigger that won’t take up a lot of space? Roll up your sleeves and build a SCARA arm to hold your laser.