How to Build Your Own Laser Cutter

Written by gregory taylor
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How to Build Your Own Laser Cutter
You can make a simple laser cutter from home using easily available materials. (dvd laser image by Warren Millar from

Homemade laser cutters may not cut through metal, plastic, wood or stone but can burn paper or cut through a sheet of thin wax. The parts used to build the laser cutter are readily available in any electronics store at an affordable price. Laser cutters are based on the principle of directing light along a narrow path.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pair of tweezers
  • Philips screw driver
  • 16x DVD burner
  • Small metal flashlight
  • Soldering wire and soldering gun/bit
  • Electrical drill
  • Copper pins
  • Axis Laser Housing (at least 650nm)
  • 2 AA batteries

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  1. 1

    Disassemble the DVD burner using a Philips screwdriver. Begin by removing the casing and the disc drawer to expose the carriage assembly (where the laser diode of the DVD burner is found). Remove the rails on which the laser assembly rides on by pulling them out of the bottom of the assembly. Remove all the screws in the laser assembly to remove the laser diode.

  2. 2

    Disassemble the Axis Laser Housing by unscrewing the top part and removing it. Remove the laser diode that is inside the Laser Housing using a pen or a screw driver to pop it out of the housing. Be careful not to damage the connections within the laser housing.

  3. 3

    Remove the DVD laser diode from the laser shell using a pair of tweezers. Carefully insert the laser diode in the laser housing. Insert the right hand pin of the laser diode in the right hand connection of the laser housing. Screw back the cap of the laser housing.

  4. 4

    Solder two ¼" copper pins onto the negative and positive terminals at the bottom of the laser housing.

  5. 5

    Unscrew the top of the flash light to remove the bulb, the rim and the reflector. Use an electric drill to expand the hole in the reflector so that the laser housing can fit into it.

  6. 6

    Reassemble the flash light leaving out the bulb and replacing it with the laser housing. Insert the laser housing in the flash light followed by the reflector and the outside rim. Insert the two AA batteries and switch on the flash light.

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