Have you ever needed an engraving machine that uses the focused rays of the sun, is powered off of a car battery and is the perfect accessory for Burning Man? If so, the Solar Draw is for you.

A recent project that popped up on Instructables, the Solar Draw is an attempt at creating a cheap laser cutter or CNC machine that can burn patterns into food or pieces of wood.

It uses a large Fresnel Lens aimed at a moving gantry. A piece of wood, or any target really, can then be moved with a small joystick to manually create a design.

The metal plate you see in the gif below is a kind of shutter designed to allow you to move the target without drawing unnecessary lines, as well as preventing fires from keeping the heat on for too long.

At the centre of this build is an Arduino-compatible board, and the whole system can apparently run off of a car battery for a week.

You can find a full walkthrough of how this was made on Instructables, along with the bill of materials and the code needed to run it.

Make sure you also watch the short video of the Solar Draw replicating the Burning Man logo and this collection of finished pieces of wood.


Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.