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Basically in laser engraving the laser beam burns the top layer of the surface
to be engraved. The burnt area is left uncoloured(black) which makes it
appear different from the surrounding surface. While in laser cutting, laser
beam has to penetrate through the surface. This can be achieved by
prolonging the beam on a particular area for a long period of time, duration
being decided on the strength of material to be cut. We are still collecting
data from different resources to know this topic more in depth.

In our project we have decided to develop working model of laser cutting and
engraving machine. This machine is very useful in our department since it’s a
kind of rapid prototyping machine. It can cut out paper patterns and
thermoplastic sheets to produce desired shape and patterns. Till now we have
collected information on laser cutting, laser and what engraving is. Laser
cutting is different from laser engraving, in case of engraving very low
intensity laser torch is used as compared to laser cutting. We got a brief
introduction on laser, how it works, what are its properties, how to generate it
and how to control its intensity. The machine is made using a ~500mW blue-
violet laser. It might nut cut through chunks of wood but surely burn the top
Now a day’s technology is increased in rapid growth the usage and
implementation of CNC system in industries and colleges but at greater cost.
According to our idea on fabrication of compact and cheap cost CNC Engraver is
introduced to reduce complexity, cost and man power. This paper discuss the
design and implementation of two dimensional CNC router which can engrave
2D & Gray scaled images or pictures with help of high watt burning laser module
on surface which can be a paper, wood, leather, plastic, foam.
The CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control used in the manufacturing
sector that involves the use of computers to control machine tools. Tools that can
be controlled in this manner include lathes, mills, routers and grinders.
On the surface, it may look like a normal PC controls the machines, but the
computer's unique software and control console are what really sets the system
apart for use in CNC machining. Under CNC Machining, machine tools function
through numerical control. A computer program is customized for an object and
the machines are programmed with CNC machining language (called G-code)
that essentially controls all features like feed rate, coordination, location and
speeds. With CNC machining, the computer can control exact positioning and
velocity. CNC machining is used in manufacturing both metal and plastic parts.
Inspiring from this CNC technology and revolutionary change in the world of
digital electronics & Microcontroller, we are presenting here an idea of
“Arduino Based CNC Machine Controller”. The idea behind this project is to
make a small Two Axis CNC router which can engrave 2D and Gray scaled
images or pictures with help of high watt burning laser module on surface which
can be a paper, wood, leather, plastic, foam etc. It uses two stepper motors as
linear actuators on each axis X, Y. While engraving, the proper synchronization
of all this axis i.e. stepper motors, is most challenging task.
As proposed idea, the machine will be built within a miniature structure. Entire
structure will be built from wooden or aluminum sections. To keep a lowest
weight as possible, aluminum will be preferred. The X, Y actuators will be made
with high torque industrial stepper motors & Timing Belt – Pulley combinations.
The stepper motors will be driven by A4988 based micro stepping stepper motor
drivers. It drives & controls the operations of stepper motor by using STEP-DIR
algorithm. It provides high current play on each coil of stepper motor. It controls
the stepper by giving supply voltage directly to the coils of the stepper motors
(Bipolar Logic). The high watt Ultraviolet Laser diode is used to engrave objects
which has ultimate burning power. The brain behind the system will be AVR
ATMEGA 328 Based control unit with Arduino programming structure.
Arduino is today’s most popular open source hardware prototyping platform.
Arduino will receive the G-Code over serial port from the G-code interpreter &
sender utility tool running on PC and will give the actuation commands to the
stepper motor controller. The G-code parser program is loaded into the Arduino
From this module we describe the design of a small two dimensional
CNC router, monitoring and controlling system based on stepper
motor using Arduino. Some of the previous systems used three
dimensional CNC machines to design, milling and drilling etc.[1]. Old
paper CNC machines were suitable for designing metallic and non-
metallic materials using three axis. The biggest drawback of these
systems was complexity, high cost and heavy weight of model. To
overcome these problems we proposed an idea of designing two axis
CNC router which has low weight as compared to the previous one
because it has two axis and is compact in size. In our system we have
to give instructions through the software which is installed in the
laptop and it contains G code to that is to be send to CNC router via
Arduino Microcontroller, then signals are applied to the stepper motor
drivers and according to changes in position and location as per the
commands, laser starts to engrave the images on given object, and
laser module is operated by laser driver. The object must be all non-
Metallic materials like wood, foam, plastic, rubber, paper.

1. Arduino Software(IDE)
The part of software programming is through Arduino Uno software
(IDE). It is easy to write code and upload it to the board. C and C++
language are used for programming in Arduino.

2. Laser GRBL V2
This software converts the image to be engraved to G Code or the
machine language which the microcontroller understands and sends the
data of pixel's resolution and location to the Arduino which then is
engraved on the X-Y (2D) plane of the surface to be engraved.


1 channel relay module

CD/DVD Writer Scraps

500mW Laser Diode module

Arduino Uno ATmega 328p

CNC Shield V3

A4988 Stepper Motor Driver

Block Diagram

The basic block diagram of proposed system is as shown in figure. The

Arduino is an open source electronics prototyping platform based on
flexible, easy to use hardware and software. In this, engraving is done by
the CNC machine module and CNC machine understand only G-code
language. G-code stands for Gerberic code. It is the programming
language which includes set of commands on which CNC machine
operate. Command gives path, position and direction for engraving given
image. Image may be consist of logo, nameplates, shapes, and letters.
In this, G-codes are generated by the software “Laser GRBL”. In that
software according to customer requirements, we can insert the image
for engraving-code. Engraving means burning process on given object
which is done by LASER module according to command given by G-
By using Arduino Uno and G code it is possible to engrave any shape
on any non-metallic surface with LASER.

Using high wattage LASER module, we can engrave the tools in three

[1] http://www.brighthubengineering.com/manufacturing-technology/55787-what-is-the-cnc-
[2] http://wings.buffalo.edu/academic/department/eng/mae/courses/460-564/Course-
[3] http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~mech410/CAM_references/CNC_Computer_Numerical_Control_
[4] https://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Robotics/A3967.pdf
[5] www.arduino.cc
[6] http://www.adafruit.com/products/1438
[7] http://www.instructables.com