With some simple hardware and a disused DVD or Blu-ray player you can have all sorts of laser-based fun and one example is a home-made CNC machine with a laser cutter. We'd just like to note at this point that working with bare lasers is dangerous so please take care. Moving on, Nava Whiteford has used two old CDROM drives and the laser from a Blu-ray drive to make a simple CNC (Computer Numerical Control) laser cutter.
The CDROM drive mechanisms provide movement over the X- and Y-axis for the laser, which can cut through thin plastic quite well, which you can see demonstated in the following video:
If you're interested with making your own CNC-type device, save time and increase reliability with the Freetronics CNCPlotter Stepper Motor controller:
The CNCPlotter is a complete twin stepper motor solution - from the onboard Arduino Leonardo-compatible microcontroller, microSD card socket, USB interface and twin stepper motor controllers - all topped with a 20x4 LCD. Simply connect power and your motors, upload a control sketch and your CNC-based device is ready to go. For more information, details and to order visit the CNCPlotter page.