Laser cutters aren’t the sort of thing that you might think about making at home, but there’s no reason not to if you are careful and do your research. That’s what [Daniele Ingrassia] did with the Laser Duo, an open source laser cutter that has two light sources for cutting various materials. His final product is not a small device: it has a press-formed aluminum case that looks more like a World War I tank than a piece of precision machinery. But that’s for a good reason: you don’t mess about with lasers, especially the 130 Watt CO2 and 75 Watt Yag lasers that the Laser Duo uses.
[Daniele] is going to open-source the entire project, starting with the custom motor controller that he uses, the Satshakit-grbl. He’s looking to release final plans for the cutter in August after he has duplicated the build at Hamburg University. The two lasers mean that it can cut a wider range of material than most: the CO2 laser can cut or engrave wood, fabric or MDF while the 75W Yag laser can burn its way through harder materials such as brass, stainless steel, copper or marble. This opens up new uses for a laser cutter: it can create PCBs, engrave metal or even make a nice tombstone. The 150 x 100 x 50 cm (about 60 by 40 by 20 inches) working area means that you could also just about do the whole tombstone in one piece.
[Daniele] says that the parts are mostly 3D printed, CNC machined or press formed. The latter might put it beyond the capabilities of the typical home hacker, but most decent sized hackerspaces will have the required capabilities, or know someone who has. We’ve seen lots of build your own laser cutter projects before and hacks to improve the cheap models from Ali Express, but the solid design and capabilities of this one make it a project to watch. In the meantime, you can check out the DuoLaser at the Fab14 conference in Toulouse in late July.