March 13, 2015

Build a huge Arduino-powered Laser Cutter and Engraver

Most CNC or laser cutter/engraver projects usually have a bed size of around a square foot - however if you have the space, a larger version would be advantageous. As usual the commercial price of such as machine can be out of reach, so an option is to make your own. This has been demonstrated by Instructables member FamousMods who shows how to make a cutter that is around one metre square.

The largest challenge of such a project is making the frame and enclosure, followed by alignment of the belts for each axis - however with the time and patience you can have a successful reproduction. Furthermore there's an explanation of the software required, design files and how to convert images to vectors for reproduction with the laser. 

To learn more about this great tool, visit the informative Instructable page. And for more, we're on facebookGoogle+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you're looking to develope CNC machines on a larger scale, you will need to control full-sized stepper motors and a servo or two. To simplify the process you can use our new Freetronics StepDuino board:

The StepDuino is a complete, self-contained Arduino-compatible board with 2 onboard stepper motor drivers, 2 servo outputs, a 20x4 LCD, a micro SD card slot, and more! It's a fantastic general purpose board for any project that uses stepper motors. You can use it as the brain of your next robotics project!

The StepDuino uses the same processor architecture as the common Arduino Uno, so you can program it right from the Arduino IDE simply by selecting "Arduino Uno" as the board type. Everything simply works out of the box, just as it would with a regular Arduino - but now you can also drive steppers directly and display feedback on the huge LCD. For more infromation, tutorials and to order - visit the StepDuino page.

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