DIY Laser Cutter/Engraver (CHEAP!)

SciCynical Inventing
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I don't know why most people don't go this route to build a laser cutter. Can't wait till I get my hands on a 80 Watt Co2 laser tube, image what kind of power supply I would need to build then.
ZVS INFO LINK: adammunich.com/zvs-driver/
QUICKJOINT: inkscape.org/~Jarrett/%E2%98%85quickjoint
ELEKSROM (to flash new arduino nano): wiki.eleksmaker.com/doku.php?id=eleksrom
N-Channel Mosfets I used in the final ZVS circuit: SD20N60
N-Channel Mosfet for Switch: 09N70P
EDIT: I fully recommend using the SD20N60 MOSFETS for BOTH the switch and the ZVS circuit. I used the 09N70P mosfet because I just had that on hand.
Optocoupler: EL817
1.8v Regulator: AMS1117
My Laser: 50 Watt
Laser Life Expectancy: From what I can gather, laser tubes in the 40, 50, and 60 watt range have a life expectancy of around 3500 to 4500 working hours. Thats roughly half a year until you would need to replace the tube, but its also very common for a tube to last much longer if you dont abuse it (over current/volt it) so dont quote me on this but I think you can safely assume a full year of service from a tube if treated right and used properly/regularly.
Control Board: Eleksmaker Mana SE
Cardboard thickness I cut: 1mm (100mm/min and 2 passes to cut. Note tube was not running full power)
Edit: According to people who have more experience than me on this matter, a 40 watt CO2 laser is capable of cutting 3-6mm thick acrylic in a single pass. This should give you an idea of cutting power.
Work area: About 9x15 inches or 22.86x38.1cm straight from the Eleksmaker frame they give you. It's also very easy to upgrade to longer t-slotted aluminum extrusions for a bigger size (bigger size would be better for more powerful/longer laser tubes).
I had to add a big heatsink to my Mosfet Switch because it would get so hot during cutting that it would stop switching the laser on and off.
Where did I get (certain item)?
Stop the video at 1:16 and look at my list of parts. I didn't include links to specific items because those links can either expire or simply not be the best deals out there and usually the best deals for things are found by doing your own research. I provided a parts list so you can simply type that part name into your favorite online store and see what prices there are for that item. However, I do get all of my parts almost exclusively off Ebay.
How did I connect the tube up?
Electrically speaking, the tube doesnt really have an orientation (positive or negative terminal) because it works both on HV AC and HV DC but as to which HV is better I'm not sure. I made sure NOT to SOLDER the wires on but just twist them on tightly with pliers and insulate with electrical tape, otherwise the heat from soldering could crack the glass. Physically speaking, the tube rests on a block of carefully measure wood that I attached garden hose clamps to with screws. I layered foam padding on top of that so screw is hidden and glass tube rests on something soft. The way the wood is attached to the extruded aluminum is with more pieces from the metal toy kits I mentioned in the video. I want to replace this construction because its still shifts around too much.
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Ciencia y tecnología

Publicado el


24 nov 2018






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Comentarios 80
Ned Gligich
Ned Gligich Hace 6 días
Small correction regarding the use of Rubbing Alcohol! You should state "Isopropyl Alcohol". Most Rubbing Alcohols are oil scented and contain a skin moisturiser that would contaminate the mirrors.
SOILFIT Hace 21 un día
LOL the pop n whistle was funny, also the gate with resistor part I really like, never would have thought about that, thank you!
Camus Hace 22 días
You can use a Solid State Relay to send a signal from your arduino you might be surprised.
Lord Terra
Lord Terra Hace 29 días
All that to cut some cardboard... I mean more power to you but considering what you spent including your time I think a bought laser is still better.
Graham Bate
Graham Bate Hace un mes
gr8 video, one question ? can u adjust laser to cut at 45 degree angle? I son makes foam planes and there is 45 degree cuts, I want to make a laser cutter but want e able to do the 45 degree cuts, cheers Graham
Waffle Modz
Waffle Modz Hace 28 días
you can always use a sharp knife or look up wire foam cutters.
RolandThsive Hace un mes
I am stealing your idea!!!
Edo Hace un mes
I wonder if the kids being butchered in the background were tasty
jjechternach Hace un mes
Or could you recommend one for cutting?
J. Cracovia
J. Cracovia Hace un mes
Instead of isolating the lines through an opto-coupler, why not design your circuit with freewheeling diodes to provide a return path? That would also possibly solve the static problem, since the excess charge has a return path.
ShadowMage3D Hace un mes
I'm no expert, but you could isolate all your long runs using Ferrite cores. You can also (and probably should) put them on your high-voltage lines to prevent leakage. I have a few that I pulled out of a large-format printer that were used to isolate the long runs of the data cables.
Jeremy C Barnhart
Jeremy C Barnhart Hace 2 meses
..."And in the news today, a family was murdered while boy builds laser in next room"...
Stampy36 Hace 2 meses
Yeah, MacGyver this shiiiet! I say that all the time.
Randomaker Hace 2 meses
Wheres the radiator keeping the water cool??
Dal Hace 2 meses
Awesome! Thanks so much for the detailed explanation. How did you figure out the electronics? Your extremely clever! What are it's cutting maximum capabilities? I'd love to see another video of you pushing it to it's limits.
lil nug
lil nug Hace 2 meses
13:50 for the love of god man just orders some PCBs! i cant imagine trying to make a circuit like that without one. awesome project tho!
samy samy
samy samy Hace 3 meses
Hello there u r really genius , very nice video , wish if u can tell me some advice about my Eleksmaker A3 pro i bought one i load the pic the laser working and flashing but the three motors don't move at all they have power i feel it by touching them , they don't make noise just they don't move at all can u pls advice me how can i fix it , thanks
beatriz Soto
beatriz Soto Hace 4 meses
It is possible use this for make hole in pvc pipe
Danhoven Hace 4 meses
Your knowledge of electronics is much more than my plumber's mind. Incredible work! I need to get a laser to just just do text, or basically burn the paint off clear acrylic for a back lighting project. For days now I've been watching these videos, and although your build is superior, I just don't see anyone using it for any practical use. People do burns on wood that would most likely end up tossed out, or at best put in a milk crate in a cob webbed corner of the garage. In other words, in about 30 videos, I've yet to see anyone make anything interesting at all that's worthy of keeping out in the house as decor. Burnt wood is really all I see people using it for. Not trying to be negative, just can't understand it other than a hobbyist perspective in tinkering with tech. The box could be made better with a simple utility knife in my opinion. I mean how useful is a laser than cut card board? I can still highly appreciate your intellect, but is this more of a hobby to further your education? Or do you plan to use it for anything that can't be done with simpler tools? I recently bought a 3D printer for my same project and that too I see people spending 200x more for resin or pla to print something that looks horrible compared to a store bought $0.30 version of what they printed, hahaha. My overall project is in itself the hobby, but the things I need to buy along the way are just the tools I need to replicate the real world panels that can't be bought. Your video amazes me because of the science in it and the exploration in creativity. I'm just curious to why so many people find burnt wood and paper cutting to be amazing things and hoping I'm missing something of more interest. One thing I don't like about all the programs I've seen for lasers and that's I've yet to see one that I could use a Sketchup file for, Cad, etc. At the very least Illustrator or Photoshop. I have tons of vector graphics that are highly detailed but from what I've so far seen, there's no way to import them. Just seems like vectors, or paths would be the more precise thing to go hand and hand with a laser as well as easily changed data for quickly changing a design. In any case, I applaud your efforts because you seem to at least be using this tech to exercise your brain rather than just one of the many that will most likely burn down their parents house very soon! :)
Atoool K
Atoool K Hace 4 meses
hi where did you get your mirror mounts from?
x2net Hace 5 meses
Mosfet as a switch: where is your 10 Ohm gate resistor?
The Rust Admin
The Rust Admin Hace 5 meses
0:20 doesn't big M mean mega?
Damian Hace 5 meses
17:24 W końcu jakiś polaków słychać ;)
Lawrence Wade
Lawrence Wade Hace 6 meses
This is pretty amazing. Just because you can't see the beam doesn't mean you can avoid laser safety glasses - in fact, IR lasers like CO2 are one of the better ways to go blind because you may be staring into the sun but you don't see it. The damage to your eyes is the same. The accidental flash if the beam hits something reflective can blind you or a bystander or your cute little pet dog instantly. Talk about that a lot. The power supply to drive a CO2 laser at full power is multi-thousand volts and if you have even a few watts available, it will kill you instantly. To drive a 5W CO2 laser tube at full power requires the sorts of voltage and current involved in an electric chair. And yes, Hollywood depictions of electricity aside, a wall outlet can deliver that much energy. We have amazing technology available to us now, let's use it responsibly. This is not just a point-and-click "I found out how to build it on ESvid" type of thing, this is a device that can kill and disable and maim you and other people. Get your safety priorities right, and I will be completely behind your innovation and creativity. Please be safe.
Péter Atilla Kardos
11:14 Use a simple serial resistor (100 Ohm) instead of voltage regulator for the optocoupler. It much cheaper, and faster in switching....
Bob Schaffer
Bob Schaffer Hace 6 meses
You might not think it's important, but when you use the "F" word (16:40)in any venue that goes out to the public you show a very immature attitude toward others. You never know how such vulgar words might offend your audience, and you obviously don't care. Time to grow up and be a man who thinks for himself, and not be such a follower of the usual crowd on the street. Anyone can use such vulgar language, but the one who consciously controls his use of such words, especially in public, is the one I would call a man.
C0MPAQ Hace 6 meses
weird sex at 18:30
Steven Watson
Steven Watson Hace 7 meses
Your taking a huge risk with your eyes with this. The light is at too high on the spectrum for your brain to trigger a response to blink to protect your eyes and they can be damaged almost instantly. All it takes is one stray beam. Take care of your eyes. I had cateracks and was almost blind till I got Ocular implants and got my sight back. Trust me, you don't want to lose your vision. Also the fumes can cause cancer. Where is your parents? Put that in a case and if you have a window to view through make sure it will filter the correct wave length for that laser. Should be certified material also not just tinted plexiglass. After saying all that, I was young once and know you don't always use good judgement at that age. I didn't. Just don't push your luck...
flynnt77 Hace 7 meses
Nevermind the safety creeps, this is great work! I am curious about how you sourced that laser tube, though. If it's in the video, i missed it. Thing looks like it was salvaged from Dr. Evil's volcano base. Awesome work, sir!
FIT ONLINE Hace 7 meses
you could mod a k40 to do the same
mediahype Hace 7 meses
Next video: home made fusion reactor. And when I plugged in my 2MW laser the whole... Great project 👍
Joey Novak
Joey Novak Hace 7 meses
Awesome project, thanks for the video. I am SO glad you upgraded the mirror mounts. Have you seen the video with the cow eye and a laser cutter? I was just imagining that mirror flopping around while the laser being energized. Anyways, way to go!
mass Hace 7 meses
LMAO. ELECTROBOOM. I'm still giggling.
SciCynical Inventing
UPDATE! I made a recent video showing the improvements I made on this systen and also explaining the connections from the Arduino to the CO2 Laser PSU. esvid.net/video/v%C3%ADdeo-w7B12Cl_7gU.html
Darus_ Hace 7 meses
This is bad ass! Love the Polish ;)
iKingRPG Hace 8 meses
I'm thinking of modding my cheap -$200 3d printer with a laser, wish me luck
Rik Hace 8 meses
Nice. I just had the exact same idea lol. Funny I'd stumble apoun this. I was looking at the cheapo frames for regular laser engravers, and was like... well.. whats stopping me from upgrading the laser and driver and turning it into a laser engraver/CUTTER? Lol. See somehow beat me to it XD Well done.
Jacek Nowicki
Jacek Nowicki Hace 8 meses
Dobra robota chopie =)
hmx Hace 9 meses
It may have been the cardboard, but it looks like your laser may need to work on the focus/alignment a little. I also think you may have over-engineered the optocoupler portion a bit, but I'm not sure what mosfet you are using so you may have been working within those limits. The actual prints towards the end looked pretty good, but there was a bit of deviation I noticed when tracing over the same line. A really nice starting point for improvements and I think the first improvement I'd make might be with that power supply. Seems you had a few issues to over come there, but you did it. I'd love to see how things work out in the long term and with really long projects/high usage. And maybe a larger reservoir for the water cooler. Now I think I might go purchase my own Eleksmaker engraver and some other parts...and once I am done having fun lasing things, I might try my hand at making my own laser cutter/engraver. And that ending felt a bit abrupt, but still an awesome build.
Ben Phillips
Ben Phillips Hace 9 meses
Well, that is in fact the cheapest cO2 laser I ever done did see, but it is also the sketchiest. LOL! Good work.
Shawn1174q Hace 9 meses
Watched this video hoping a normal person like myself could build one. 4 minutes in I'm like..... Yeah I'll just buy one off of Amazon
Lis0v Hace 10 meses
Nawet nieźle
Roboticus Hace 10 meses
That's pretty cool. But *please* do something about the laser safety! I don't want to hear that you've blinded yourself one day.
Mr Anderson
Mr Anderson Hace 10 meses
No one has commented on the sound from 18:29 to 19:00? Is that a murder or a good time?
Lime Bread
Lime Bread Hace 2 meses
Or both...
Roman Hace 2 meses
BRO WTF oh he replied "LOL holy crap Im sorry yeah I know theres screaming at that part I should have mentioned in the video it was just my little brothers fighting at that exact moment hahaha Im also going to make some 3D printing related videos in the future too, thanks for being interested!"
Ricky Racer
Ricky Racer Hace 10 meses
I really like the fact that you know how to make this all work, but you've quite evidently never been injured by one of your inventions... Lasers will seriously burn you and destroy your eyesight in a millisecond!! You need to practice being safer mate, for yourself and those around you, including the neighbours! One loose mirror, and the neighbours cat explodes.... Be safe first, not after the 'accident'!
Alex Buchanan
Alex Buchanan Hace 10 meses
Couldn't you also use a zener diode to isolate the back end?
Thomas Heisler
Thomas Heisler Hace 10 meses
do you have a fb group?
Thomas Heisler
Thomas Heisler Hace 10 meses
Woodsman & Wilderness
Woodsman & Wilderness Hace 10 meses
Very interesting man Wish I had your brain 🤗
Mrs P Sades
Mrs P Sades Hace 10 meses
As soon as i heard FULL BRIDGE RECTIFIER, i knew i was in good hands
xConundrumx Hace 10 meses
Next video ... Do a DIY fire extinguisher for when your house burns down. JK Nice work, but by god make this thing safer please.
Kris Knowlton
Kris Knowlton Hace 11 meses
I am impressed by your ability to make something like this. I am not trying to be derogatory in any way but I don't think your little jar full water is enough to dissipate the heat generated by a 50 watt laser. I hope your laser tube lasted longer than a couple of hours. A little advise from an old man, do what you do well to make money and buy things from people who do what they do well. I learned this way too late in life. If you did this to prove you could do it, fine, I understand that and applaud you for it.
SciCynical Inventing
SciCynical Inventing Hace 11 meses
I really appreciated this advice, thank you.
Arnold C
Arnold C Hace 11 meses
Why not add a fly-back diode in parallel to the load? This will shield your microcontroller from undesirable back-EMF and is common-place in many MOSFET switch circuits.
Modrih Hace 11 meses
Jesteś polakiem?
dot dot
dot dot Hace un año
I want to make a laser cutting machine of size 4'/6'(feet).can it possible with this kit what u described. seggest plz..
dot dot
dot dot Hace un año
how can i cantact u.
Waffle Modz
Waffle Modz Hace un año
just wondering can your machine cut wood
Waffle Modz
Waffle Modz Hace un año
lol i thought you were american until 17:28 i understand what you said regardless the subtitle because im polish too.
Damian Hace un año
Inspirujące :o. Swoją drogą świetny akcent :]
Max M
Max M Hace un año
I am in the process of designing my own laser cutter and I was just wondering how much grounding is really necessary. Also, is it ok to ground to the ground terminal of an outlet or should I run a wire directly from the machine to the ground outside my house?
Max M
Max M Hace un año
​@SciCynical Inventing Thanks for the advice! I've grounded the frames for all my control boards and your video may end up saving me a lot of time and money. :D Thanks!
SciCynical Inventing
Grounding is important when you have sensitive electronics nearby or not isolated to a high voltage source. What I would first concern myself with is simple isolation of the sensitive electronics from the high voltage power supply. Of course high voltage can create static electricity on surfaces so grounding the chassis of the frame and/or HV power supply is always a good idea but may not be necessary if you connect the high voltage lines correctly. So what im saying is it depends how much grounding or isolation you need based on how you design it. I would start with isolating and putting the sensitive electronics as far as possible from any high voltage sources and see if there are any issues with simple testing. Thanks for the comment! Edit: Grounding to an outlet can be unreliable, but can work. Grounding straight outside may be impractical, but can also work.
Radical Marley
Radical Marley Hace un año
Ok i need some guidance. If you have the time. I already have a cnc ive made running on a arduino with grbl. If i buy a 40w co2 laser case n all. Is there a way to adapt it to my cnc. Im new to lasers. Ive been cncing wood for over a year. Any help will greatly be appreciated.
Radical Marley
Radical Marley Hace un año
@SciCynical Inventing thank you. I will investigate further.
SciCynical Inventing
Ive messed around with arduino and grbl before so If I remember you can attach a co2 laser to it but what you will need is a proper co2 laser driver which are maybe 80 bucks. Probably cheaper ones exist for lower wattage lasers. That laser PSU will allow you to connect it directly to the arduino and from there you will need to modify code or files to make the laser work properly with it. It might be difficult but I know for a fact its possible.
aretardridesmotard Hace un año
hahaha oh my god. its so destructively and horrifically beautiful.
Mahdi Mohammadi
Mahdi Mohammadi Hace un año
Jacek Walczak
Jacek Walczak Hace un año
Dobra robota... :D
Jorge L. Pérez
Jorge L. Pérez Hace un año
Fuck... Just watch 20 seconds of you video and I already regret about just buying the k40 laser
KW Daily
KW Daily Hace un año
Im not sure if this had been covered, but using a regulator for your opto is unnecessary; being an LED, you can drive with 5v straight from ur micro through a current limiting resistor and that’s it. You can look up calculators or just use ohms law to figure the resistor value. Nice project though!!!
Solutions Architect
Solutions Architect Hace un año
9:01 why not just use a relay? that would be a whole lot simpler and better.
Max M
Max M Hace un año
Relays are way too slow for this type of application. They can take up to 10 milliseconds to turn on and 20 to turn off. The driver used has switching times in the nanoseconds, making it about 10,000 times faster. This makes a much cleaner cut because the laser can start and stop cutting almost the instant it receives a signal from the control board.
VileStorms Hace un año
Just curious why not just drop the voltage before the controller instead of using an optocoupler? Seems more complicated the way you have it
Hamza Nallwala
Hamza Nallwala Hace un año
That placement of resistor is a genius move 🙂
53rdcards Hace un año
So if you were going to mount this to say a mpcnc machine, and have it where the machine can control the on off, would it largely be exactly the same as what you built?
SciCynical Inventing
Yeah basically the same thing, i dont know if it would be cheaper or more expensive though.
sergio urquijo
sergio urquijo Hace un año
no whood cutting?? Really great video by the way. I have a solid diode one and it cuts 5mm mdf with 22pases at 700speed
Jarosław Król
Jarosław Król Hace un año
What power?
area46241 Hace un año
Fantastic laser video! I wonder how long it would take to cut an oak tree down...think it could?
Artur Hace un año
Witaj masz moze jakis schemat do tego i spis elemetow jestem zainteresowany
Piotr Baja
Piotr Baja Hace un año
Nawet nieźle :D Naprawdę się zdziwiłem gdy usłyszałem polski, masz świetny akcent! :)
WavePusher Hace un año
18:17 damn your neighbors having a little mommy daddy time or what!??
Lime Bread
Lime Bread Hace 2 meses
I assume it's a TV show on the background, seems normal to him because he either knew it was on, or could hear that it was coming from the TV. But to the viewer who hear it right now, it does seem very worrying/odd. :'|
barnoftheyard Hace 2 meses
that was either an intense session, or severe domestic abuse
Hybrid Fish
Hybrid Fish Hace 5 meses
I think that was his brothers playing a video game or something ;)
Drew Gossett
Drew Gossett Hace un año
Dude, what the hell was that... he didn't even hesitate either.
pahvalrehljkov Hace un año
Michael Yount
Michael Yount Hace un año
Man, this video really made me turn on my load.
BASTIEN747 Hace un año
fuck you have an incredible english accent for a polish dude cudos bro and siema
Chad Shumaker
Chad Shumaker Hace un año
So you spend $400 on a super sketchy home brew option with no enclosure rather than spend $400 on a enclosed known working system??? Seems like a logical way to waste money. One thing you will learn is that your time is worth money. You gave away your time and came out with a lesser product.
SciCynical Inventing
@Chad Shumaker being smart about it is breaking up a complicated project into manageable sections and doing that for a completed system is more or as complicated as my build. Often times for complete systems you are forced to use proprietary hardware/software which makes something hard to understand at the fundamental level. Each to their own though.
Chad Shumaker
Chad Shumaker Hace un año
@SciCynical Inventing that's where you are wrong everything you listed as a positive can be done on the one that's ready made. You can educate yourself on one that already Works figure it out and then make it work better. But you wasted a lot of time to figure out something that already existed. And listing that it works is not a bonus for the same money or actually even cheaper you can buy one that already works. And upgrade it from there if you would like for all I care. This is where you're confused in life education is worth something yes but you don't always have to pay extra for it learn to be smart about it
SciCynical Inventing
I don't think you see the big picture, first this was a learning experience, I'd rather not spend a lot of money to learn if I don't have to. Second, it WORKS and there's lots of room for custom improvements and upgrades. Some value the educational experience but I guess you care more about results, good for you.
Özge Turan
Özge Turan Hace un año
I need to contact with you for asking something for my project. Could you give me your instagram or facebook if you have ??
shuvo sazzad
shuvo sazzad Hace 2 meses
I'm also going to be try a project.....convert normal laser to co2.......r u did already?
Giovanni csc
Giovanni csc Hace un año
wanted you as my neigthbour friend
A continuación
DIY Homemade Laser Cutter