I decided a while ago to get a laser engraver. The main choice was build it myself or buy a commercial unit. In the end I decided to build it. For the basic unit (without laser) I decided to take a chance on a Chinese import, so I forked over £40 for a VigoTec VG-L3. I thought I’d give some feedback - having just finished assembling it.
The kit comes with aluminium frame rails, 3 stepper motors (and cables), screws and fixings (together with tools needed). The advert said that there would be no laser or control board supplied, but there was a surprise - an Arduino-based control board WAS supplied, together with power supply and green safety glasses.
The instructions are usable and it took about 2 hours to complete the build. The only problem I found was that the supplied 8mm spanner was wrong for the nuts (7mm), but otherwise no real issues.
For £40 this does seem to be very good value - you could easily pay that for just the motors.
The picture below shows the unit completely assembled.
(I haven’t yet trimmed the belts, as can be seen.
Upon powering up the unit all seemed well. I downloaded software called VigoWorks from the website referenced in the instructions and was able to control motion in the X and Y axes immediately.
Since I am still deciding which Laser head to buy it is not yet a functioning unit, but my overall impression so far is that it should be a usable tool for very little money.
The link below goes to the same unit on Ebay, but this one comes with a 500MW laser - I didn’t want the standard laser since I’m planning to use something with more ‘oomph’.