Working with a cheap amazon laser engraver - help getting connected & started?

I’m working with this little critter that i picked up on amazon… would love to get it started… how do i go about getting under the hood and identifying the controller? will that be sufficient to use laserweb? i’ve got mac and pc machines to test with…

Picture format: JPG / GIF / BMP / DIB / ICO / CUR /PNG

It’s not clear from the description that it does anything more than engrave image files on a USB stick.

(Note that there’s a lot of concern expressed on this site about non-enclosed, non-interlocked lasers like this being unsafe. “Do not look into laser with remaining eye…”)

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Thanks for responding, Michael - so i control the machine via their proprietary software over usb - the USB stick option and on-board controller is pretty poor. as for controls i’ve been able to run vector and raster images, although the vector controls don’t seem particularly robust… and yeah - i use and recommend the wyze ~$20 controller to keep an eye on mine while i’m working on other projects

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just curious if anyone has any suggestions for working with these ~100-300 dollar machines? i really want to work on some projects that would benefit from this

To be honest, I think that there’s not lots of enthusiasm for trying to reverse-engineer controls for a fairly unsafe laser, especially with a competitive open-source unit with safety features for a similar price.

@Adam_Haile reports in that thread building his for about $350, so not much more than the unit you bought, and it’s all open source (hardware and software) and has safety features like being actually enclosed.

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yeah - that’s neat. the 3d printer in the lab is broken, and that guy looks like ~$350 and about 30-40 hrs… so not something i have bandwidth for. if anyone has actual useful suggestions on moving this forward I’d be interested in learning more about the underlying hardware.

I understand that you are frustrated, but you will not get any help with that kind of response to sincere replies. There are a lot of very talented and smart individuals that frequent this forum who have shaped the Maker Space. If you are patient or have more information on your controller, I am sure you will receive the help you are looking for.


Seriously? i’ve posted a reasonable question, and have gotten “watch out, lasers are dangerous” and “you can buy another laser to solve that” which is fairly antithetical to open source work. My original question stands - how do i go about diagnosing this? if this is not a good forum for asking basic questions i’m glad to go elsewhere… but i asked a basic question and have gotten really pedantic replies (no offense to anyone, just stating the facts here)

I was trying to explain why the folks on this forum with lots of laser experience might not be motivated to have even acquired the knowledge to attempt to assist in your chosen path. This includes the note about safety. I’m sorry that you have chosen to interpret those attempts to help you avoid an interminable wait as “pedantic”.

I’m not sure what your background in or contributions to open source are, but open source does not create an obligation for other people to answer your questions, whether or not you perceive them as basic. I did not tell you to buy another laser; I told you that the existence of that project might explain why people might not share your motivations.

All participants in this forum are expected to have read our FAQ. If that expectation is a problem for you, or if you disagree with the expectations set out in the FAQ, then I’d suggest that other forums with different rules and expectations might be more your speed.