Photon Printer – Micro Laser Engraver

The Photon Printer is a 3D printable laser engraver made from recycled DVD Drives. A list of necessary components is in the instructions.

The Photon Printer started out as a quick weekend project then quickly escalated when I saw that there was room for improvement in the current designs. The design turned out to be quite fun and I really enjoyed seeing it work at the end.

Safety – None of the designs I have seen have any sort of shielding around the laser. Given that even a 5mW diode can be dangerous any sort of engraver should have safety features. These include
• A full enclosure to block reflected laser light
• Roller door access
• Safety cut off switch on door
• Angled ventilation to prevent light leakage

3D printability – Printing allows for a lot of features that are not included in other versions.
• Accurate positioning of components
• Fits a wide range of DVD Drives
• Z axis fine tuning adjustor
• Built in roller door guides
• Custom axis mounts
• Low part count
• Ease of assembly
• Buildable by people without access to machining tools
• All parts have one large flat surface to aid in printing

Photon Printer - Micro Laser Engraver

• Coarse laser height adjust for material thickness compensation
• Fine laser adjust for focusing
• Spring tensioned Z adjust to reduce vibration
• Sliding lugs to fit a range of DVD Plates
• Suits an Arduino Uno and CNC shield for an easy build
• Low parts count
• Low cost


2015-10-01 Instructions updated, Solidworks and STEP files added
2015-09-27 A small gap added to top of nut traps to compensate for sagging during bridging.
2015-09-27 V2 uploaded – Now suits an Arduino uno with CNC shield. Sliding mounting lugs support a wider variety of DVD Drives. Springs are now printed, no need to tap the parts.
2015-07-17 Improved electronics schematic by pepperm
2015-07-15 Electronics Schematic updated in better quality.

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First off get some safety glasses! The laser cutter is fully enclosed while running but you’ll need safety glasses for testing and focusing the laser.
A lot of inspiration and knowledge came from this tutorial
I’ll reference it a lot as I go.


For more detail: Photon Printer – Micro Laser Engraver

Current Project / Post can also be found using:

  • Homemade laser based microchip printer projects
  • PIC microcontroller laser cutter

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