DaVinci 1.0 – Conversion To Laser Etcher

With my DaVinci 1.0 3D printer proving to be useless as a printer I was looking for a way to repurpose the machine. After creating a few electronics enclosures I needed a way to label the terminal connections and that got me thinking about converting the old printer to a laser engraver. A quick google search gave me this Instructable which I referenced for the installation and software. I purchased this laser module from Amazon: Laser Head for DIY CNC 3 Axis Engraver Machine.


Since the printer would no longer continue life as a printer I removed the hot end and extruder and was left with the y carriage. To mount the module I printed up a quick mounting bracket that utilizes the original mounting holes on the y carriage. Some modification was needed to make clearance for the mounting bolts on the laser module, of course the Dremel and cutoff wheel made quick work of that.

2017-04-30 12.17.372017-04-30 12.17.53

The only connection on the laser was 12VDC power, I will be able to control the laser by turning on and off the power. The Instuctable I was loosely following uses the cooling fan to control the laser but that particular printer has a 12VDC cooling fan, the DaVinci 1.0 uses a 5VDC cooling fan. I threw together a quick circuit that allows the 5VDC fan signal to control 12VDC power to the laser.


2017-04-30 13.22.38
Laser Control Circuit


Again the Instructable I was following suggest to use Inkscape with a svg to laser gcode extension from J-Tech. This works great for engraving outlines of text or cutting shapes but I wanted to be able to etch filled in images and words so because of that I purchased Laser Etch B/W from the makers of the Inkscape extension. The Inkscape extension and the purchased software so far is easy to use and works for everything I want to do.

The Results

This turned out to be an easy conversion and I am happy with the results. I have some settings to tweak for getting the perfect marking in 3D prints but that is all software related.

I have uploaded all stl files and Fusion 360 files to Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2437495

2017-04-30 12.56.44
Ok laser marking, looks like I need to move a little faster to avoid excessive melting
2017-04-30 12.56.57
Testing the setup on paper
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Etching PLA
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The final marking for my cycle counter enclosure
2017-04-30 13.12.22
Safety is a must have.

11 thoughts on “DaVinci 1.0 – Conversion To Laser Etcher

      1. Yes, the inkscape plug-in and the purchased software from JTech work with the firmware as is. I think most other software can behave this way. The laser is turned on and off with the g-code command that normally controls the layer cooling fan. The x and y axis are moved normally and the z-axis is ignored by the software.


  1. I’ve been looking all over for an instructable on how to do this since I’m retiring my 1.0. Do you have the stl file for your mount and a link to the laser you used?


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