If you've been hankering for a laser engraver, but can't justify the cost of a commercial unit and don't want to play online store lotto, then the other option is to make your own. Doing so may sound difficult, however by following the process documented by Instructables user "getburnt" you can have a reasonable device working in a weekend or two. All of the parts can be obtained by typical retail hardware outlets, and with the Arduino as the brain of the engraver - command and control is simple as well.
Controlling the engraver is via a series of text character commands, and with the included code you can convert bitmap images to these files to engrave the images, and also create your own PC-interface software for your own customised control. The engraver is demonstrating its "Hello, world" moment in the following video:
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