Somewhere along the way it got ridiculously cheap to build your own laser engraver. I’m not sure where I missed it, but last time I looked the CO2 laser tubes were much more expensive than they are now. As I write this, you can buy a 40W water cooled tube from sellers on eBay for circa $118. They come to you direct from China and look something like this:

40W CO2 Laser Tube

40W water-cooled CO2 laser tube…

More powerful tubes are available too, with the seller I looked at (love happy shopping) offering models up to 100W. Crazy stuff.

Add a laser power supply (about $100), and the rest of the components needed for XYZ CNC and you have a completed laser engraver. Here’s a good buildlog to start from, and here’s what the finished engraver looks like:

40W Laser Engraver

A finished laser engraver…

This buildlog forum member spent about $2000 building his engraver and figures he could do it again for $1000. Very cool project! Thanks to Hack a Day for putting me onto it.

 

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