We have created the L-Cheapo to add laser cutting and engraving to your 3D printer or CNC mill.

 

 

 

 

What is the L-Cheapo?l_cheapo

The L-Cheapo is an attachment for a CNC device such as a 3D printer or CNC mill that simply and cheaply adds the ability to cut and engrave many materials.  At its heart is a 2 watt blue laser diode that can run continuously without additional cooling, plenty of power to burn through acrylic, wood and leather.  As with any high powered laser, it is not safe to look at the bright blue spot without appropriate goggles, remember, “do not look into laser with remaining eye”.

Initial attachment and calibration of the L-Cheapo should not take more than a few hours, after which switching from printing to engraving/cutting is a tool-free two-minute task.  There is no need for a separate power supply for the L-Cheapo either, the average 3D printer’s hotend uses significantly more power than this laser draws, so it can simply draw from the same supply.

What can I do with the L-Cheapo?laser material test

The L-Cheapo cuts paper, acrylic, balsa, plywood, hardboard, cardboard, leather, felt, and foam. It engraves on all these, plus ceramic and protoboard.  The image to the right is the result of the materials test that determined this.

In addition to the wonderful reality of rapid prototyping that extrusion 3D printing has brought to the home shop, now you can create parts from significantly tougher materials for those bits that take all the force.  Acrylic and wood make significantly better materials for things like gears and manipulators on your next robot design.  This also means those parts of your design that need to bear heavy loads can be replaced with better materials without having to have them machined.

As this tool can also engrave, it is equally useful for artists interested in adding to their capabilities, or even just adding your logo or a cute little touch to your next prototype or that laptop you love.  It is capable of working with leather as well, which opens up the possibility for translating all those complex intricate designs you have in mind to physical reality.  The laser can also be used to ablate material, creating arbitrary 3D relief, though it should be mentioned the high temperature will blacken most materials.

 

NEW! L-Cheapo Mark 3

The L-Cheapo Mark 3 is smaller and outputs 70% more photons! That’s a lot of photons. It will cut up to 1/4″ plywood. Please contact us if you would like to buy one.

lasers

How do I get one?

Right here! You will receive a laser and a pair of protection goggles.

L-Cheapo 2.1 plus goggles

L-Cheapo 3.5 plus goggles

98 Responses so far.

  1. Jerry says:

    You mention it will work with most CNC mills..whats most?
    I have an 6 year old system that uses a parallel port and Mach 3 software, will your laser system work on my CNC?

  2. Jim says:

    Is there a limit to the number of kits you are selling through the Indiegogo campaign?

  3. Colin Gearon says:

    I do not yet own 3d printer but when I do in the not too distant future I shall purchase one of these.

    Please add me to your mailing list for this and future laser cutters.

    Colin Gearon.

  4. Jeff says:

    I missed the campaign, but want to buy one, how long until it’s commercially available?

  5. kiran says:

    I want to buy laser module for my delta 3d printer. I want details what you supply on kit aNd its price. Its potwer capability. Can it cut acrylic upto 5 mm

    Is your laser kit compatible with 1.4 ramps a board that is normally used for 3d printer.

    Regards

    • admin says:

      If you are still interested, please contact us! The laser was designed specifically for RAMPS compatibility.

  6. mkb says:

    The laser has 2.1W power and can cut 5mm acrylic, but NOT transparent. It must be opaque or semi-transparent (red or green is best). It was designed specifically for RAMPS compatibility.

  7. tmc says:

    I would like to buy an L-cheapo kit but am wondering about international shipping. Could you please say, if international shipping is possible and under which conditions? Thanks.

  8. Carsten says:

    Hi,

    Will this laser cut through soft materials like polyester foam? If yes, I’m planning to use it on my Shapeoko2.

    Thanks.

  9. John Burke says:

    I have a QUBD One-Up printer which I just got. Will it work with that? Are there any special programming considerations? Since I’m new at this, how difficult (hours) do you think it will take to get up an working? I’ll be using it to cut/engrave wood.

  10. hi, I’m interested in your getting more information of your product and how to create the gcodes for it. please contact me via email

  11. KnightFire says:

    What are the differences between v1 and v2?
    How to request a third pair of “goggles”?
    Any special shipping love for Canadian buyers?

  12. Dave Smith says:

    Very interested in more information about this attachment (both versions) and how soon I can get one. Looks like the perfect solution for what I need.
    Thank you,
    Dave Smith

  13. Trevor says:

    Will this cut through 1/4″ mdf will it work on a Shark cnc

  14. Aaron says:

    Hello, will this work well on a 24″ x 48″ Shopbot CNC?
    I am also interested in the thickness of material it will cleanly cut without too much burning.
    Thank you!
    Aaron

  15. Sergio says:

    Hi,
    I have a cyclone pcb factory with ramps 1.4 , i can make a pcb With this laser?

    Have you experience for sw for pcb with laser? Is the same gcode?

    Thank you

  16. Sergio says:

    Hi, you know if i can make PCB with this?

  17. Jviera says:

    Hello, I am interested in purchasing this laser cutter, but i want to know what I need to adapt it to use on a XYZ printing Davinci 1.0. Is this possible? Thanks for any advice!

  18. David Fleming says:

    I am interested in marquetry and wonder what thickness of wood it can cut without blackening? Thanks David

  19. eFalegname says:

    Will this laser marking or engraving alluminium plates? Do you ship it in Italy?
    Thanks

  20. OldGuy says:

    This laser is not dependent on ramps…and it works perfectly on my home built Smoothie powered Delta..all it needs is a proper g-code generator..get Inkscape and the laser extension and enjoy. This works exactly as it says and if you are using any standard g-code capable machine this really is a no brainier to use. I LOVE it and thank you for the creation. Please let me know when 3.5 or 5 watt is ready…I want one!!!!!

  21. mkb says:

    Thank you! We will.

  22. Richard Barbosa says:

    I have a Wanhao Duplicator 4, a Replicator Dual look a like. I want to convert it with your LCheapo. My question is what software would I use for the Replicator Dual(Duplicator4) to be able to cut or engrave. I,m a newbie and would feel more comfortable buying a laser that is compatible with my set up and be able to use the correct software.

  23. mkb says:

    Hello! We’ve done Replicators before. I recommend Pronterface, for software, but ReplicatorG will do the job.

  24. Sergey says:

    Hello. Can you send your laser to Europe?

  25. mkb says:

    Sure, we can

  26. Jay says:

    Hi – any progress on the higher wattage version you have previously mentioned?

    • mkb says:

      We’re updating the website Sept 1, with that and other things we’ve been working on. Pre-production models have been sent to beta testers and seem to be working well.

  27. Richard Barbosa says:

    Hi
    You helped me out with some questions earlier this month and sold me on the unit. I was wondering if there was word on the higher wattage unit. I would like to purchase the stronger laser and have it fitted on a Replicator Dual clone. I will be removing the Dual Heads completely except the wiring and leaving just the carriage for the laser mounting. Would that be fine?

    • mkb says:

      Yes, that will work but removing the extruder heads is probably overkill… the higher wattage units have started shipping, please email me for details.

  28. Os adrezco el compartir con todos nosotros toda esta practica información. Con estos granitos de arena hacemos màs grande la montaña Internet. Enhorabuena por este post.

    Saludos

    terminado piezas http://www.fiberlasercastilla.com/servicio/terminado-piezas.html

  29. Casey Weininger says:

    I’m very interested in this laser cutter. Has anyone been able to get it to work on an XYZ Da Vinci AIO printer?

  30. achei clean seu tipo de design! qual você usa aqui?

    possuo um blog que escrevo sobre o mesmo enredo, quem queiser ler..

  31. Woodjunkie says:

    Just received what is supposed to be a mark 3.
    Looks suspiciously like a mark 2.
    Unit didn’t even come fully assembled and looks like it has
    Been heavily used.

    I guess I’ll see what kind of customer service these
    Guys give.
    HOPEFULLY.

    • mkb says:

      We had some shipping mishaps last week. Can you email me a picture of what you received?

      • Woodjunkie says:

        Update.
        So the guys responded quickly and seem to have no problem supplying
        A new unit for me. Said it was already in the mail
        Great service so far.

        Although I hope they got my message I really wanted the new pwm capable model.

        Thanks guys.

  32. George Seebeck says:

    I would like to order a 3.5 W unit. Please provide price and availability.

    I would prefer a 7 W unit if available.

    I plan to use this unit with a ShopBot.

  33. Roberto says:

    Hey, I read a lot about this laser, but I did not find the answer to my question, how thick leather can it cut?
    I’ll probably order one if it cuts a decent thickness :)

  34. Barry says:

    Will this unit work on a Taig Micro Mill?

  35. Tammy Mink says:

    I contacted them about the 3.5W laser for the Solidoodle 2, he was very helpful and very responsive. I must have literally asked 50 questions and he did his very best to answer each question with in reason. When I ended up purchasing, he got the product to me very quickly. When I realize I didn’t ask for PWM, I was even able to send it back and he made the addon for me! So if you want PWM, be sure to ask for it ahead of time so you don’t make my mistake on that! All this and I should have my L-Cheapo laser back by Christmas, since it’s a Christmas gift, for me! I will add some additional comments once I get the laser, but I think it’s going to be awesome!

  36. Amr Elsherbiny says:

    Dear Sir,
    can you ship your product to Egypt
    thanks before
    Amr Elsherbiny
    freeware11234@yahoo.com
    +201110011021

  37. Drew says:

    mkb,

    What’s the price/availability of the 3.5W Mark 3 and of the 7w Mark 3 Heavy. The picture above mentions that the Mark 3 Heavy will “MELT GLASS LENS.” Which lens are you referring to?

    Drew

  38. Vishnu says:

    Sir,

    I am an aeromodeller and I am having a cnc router which is having 3 axis, from which I used to make flying aeromodelling kits and some part of static models. I like to attach a laser torch on to it so that it will be easy for me to make flying model kits. So I humbly request to help me out in this matter.
    Execpting a speedy reply.
    Thanking you
    Vishnu P

    • admin says:

      Certainly, we can do that. Do you prefer the 2.1W or 3.5W model? What voltage is the spindle of your CNC router?

  39. I love the efforts you have put in this, appreciate it for all the great blog posts.

  40. Truly such a important web page.|

  41. Christopher Lange says:

    i have a just got a verson 2 with the positive and negitive wires on it is it capable of pwm or ttl?

  42. Tim Blackwell says:

    I want to purchase one of your laser attachments. I need a little pre purchase feedback. I intend to use it on a Fadal VMC 40 Vertical machining center. My machine has a programmable 110 volt outlet. For power can I use a 12-24 volt wall style power adapter to power it?

    Second, I want to cut foam for model airplanes. Anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Will the laser do this?

    Third, how will I know the height above the work surface to bring down the Z axis? Trial and error?

    Forth, my logic leans toward purchasing the more powerful mark 3. Is there any reason that for my application, I should go with the less powerful one?

  43. Really….this is a useful site.|

  44. Travis Thompson says:

    I am interested in the either your PWM 3.5w Mark 3 or the PWM 7w Mark 3 Heavy, just not sure which one I need.

    Have you tested cutting leather and wood with these models and if so, what thicknesses were successful?

    I am using a TinyG controller with PWD on a CNC from SMW3D.

    Thanks for any assistance,

    Travis Thompson

  45. mkb says:

    Hello! I’ve engraved and cut a leather belt with the 2.1W so the 3.5W will have no problems with it.

    For wood and plywood, we recommend limiting to 3/8″; it will work well.

  46. Julio says:

    The 3.5w laser listed here at 225USD doesnt come with the PWM is that it? Without it can i still do both engraving and cutting? Like with acrylic?
    Thanks

  47. Jeff says:

    I have a few homemade CNC machines that use LinuxCNC and typical GCode and could use this for prototyping.

    How is the power controlled? Is it just from the same line that controls my spindle on/off and speed?

    Thanks

  48. 2allday says:

    Looking to hook up my M3D Micro printer with the Mark 3 version of L-Cheapo. The laser has 3 wires coming from it. Can someone explain what each does? Here’s a photo of the heater element that has two wires, that I assume I will need to hook-up two of the wires to: https://printm3d.com/solutions/assets/img_55a70040dc4cb.png

    • mkb says:

      Starting from revision 2.5 the L-Cheapos have a PWM wire to allow control by a TTL input (Parallax Propeller, Arduino and so on).

      If you are not using the thin white wire for PWM, simply tie it to the red wire.

  49. Barry says:

    I’m thinking of buying this product, but the lack of responses to questions here makes me feel I’ll get no support.

  50. mkb says:

    I generally answer by email, like I did with you :) Ask away!

  51. Tim Blackwell says:

    I am slowly learning to use my L-Cheapo on my CNC vertical milling machine. Your support is awesome, thanks!

  52. Ffneil says:

    I would be interested In alpha testing the mark iv. I have a 2×4 ft cnc that I use to cut plywood, balsa wood, plastics and foam. Thank you

  53. Gonzalo Aguila says:

    Can you send it to Mexico with no kind of problem, because I am interested in becoming the owner of the highest power version of this product

  54. mkb says:

    Yes, we can, international shipping is $20 extra.

  55. Paul Szudzik says:

    I too would be willing to be a beta tester for the 7w depending on the price. I have a Tormach PCNC 1100 Mill, that I wanted to add on a laser for engraving, gear cutting in wood or acrylic. I saw that you respond by email… so.. here it is

  56. mkb says:

    Thank you! You’ll have to sign a waiver. We’ll contact you in a bit.

    • David Hunt says:

      MKB,

      I am willing to be a Beta tester for the 7W.

      I am ready to sign te waiver and get started.\

      I am planning on attaching it to a JoesCNC Evolution 4X8 Table (Actual size is (6X10).

      I would love to particpate in your Beta.

      David Hunt

  57. Federico Heine says:

    Hello,I have a Velleman K8200 3D printer, and I would like to buy your 3.5W model, with PWM. Can you indica if there is stock, and an estimate shipping time? Besides I need yo know if it ships to Argentina.
    Thanks!

    • mkb says:

      The 3.5W model is available; they are made to order so assembly time is 1 to 2 days. It takes about 10 days from the US to Argentina in our experience.

  58. Jonatan says:

    I have a chinese Cnc 3040, would it be possible to add this to that in some way? Do you have any experience with that cnc?

    Thanks!

  59. mkb says:

    You’ll have to add a power supply (a laptop power brick will do the job) but most customers have had good luck installing on a CNC mill. We have an example at http://robots-everywhere.com/re_wiki/pub/web/Main.LCheapo.html

  60. Greg says:

    Just added the 3.5W to my WhittleCNC. WOW! Time to start saving for the 7.5W.

  61. Jim says:

    I have an X-Carve kit and am interested in either a 3.5 or 7 watt laser. We want to cut out model airplanes from Addams foam board from the Dollar Store or Dollar Tree. We will also like to cut plastic gift cards and light plywood. Have you done any testing on Addams foam board? Which would you recommend.
    Thanks.

    • mkb says:

      I recommend the 3.5 for this purpose. We have tested foam board, it doesn’t work very well unless you get the Z axis distance just right, but balsa wood comes out perfect.

  62. John says:

    When is the anticipated release of the Mark 3 Heavy? Does any of the listed lasers cut 1/16″ rubber viton?

  63. Steven says:

    I am interested in the 7w model beta test. How can I get more information? I have a 3D printer and a CNC router to try it. Thanks.

  64. Suraj Jaiswal says:

    Need 100W laser to cut 0.7 MS sheet. You contact me directly. Or any suggestion for it. It will be a great help

  65. John says:

    Are these still for sale or are they not available anymore? I don’t see questions being answered.

  66. my blog says:

    Wow because this is really excellentexcellent job! Congrats and keep it up

  67. Richard A Rothgeb says:

    Let me know when you have some to sell, or if you are still selling them at all.

  68. home page says:

    You’ve one of the greatest online websites

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>