April 16, 2013

Building a laser cutter from a printer, scanner and an Arduino

 With the advent of open-source hardware and sharing of the knowledge, making your own laser cutter is certainly within the realm of possibility. Putting the laser itself to one side, you need a device that can move a small object along an x- and y-axis which can be controlled by a computer. Coincidentally enough this is easily accomplished with an Arduino and a couple of motor drivers, and the process has recently been documented by Arduino forum member "DocBrown". By using an old flatbed scanner as a base and an Epson printer for another stepper motor, an Arduino and motor driver board a workable system has been created. For first use, a pen has been used instead of a laser with the following success:

And once an appropriate laser has been sourced, it can replace the pen and start cutting - and overall much cheaper than a normal laser cutter. For the plans and notes, visit the project page. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

When creating external devices for your Arduino, such as the mechanisms for the project above, you'll need a protoshield to mount the external circuitry. In doing so, consider our range of ProtoShields. From the tiny LeoStick to the Mega range, we offer a complete range for you to work with.

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