The ability to control the frequency of an external-cavity diode laser (ECDL) is an essential component for undergraduate laboratories and atomic physics research. Typically, the housing for the ECDL's diffraction grating and piezoelectric transducer is either purchased commercially or machined from metal. Here, we present an alternative to these commonly used options that utilizes 3D printing, a tool available in many physics departments. We characterize the performance of our ECDL system using atomic spectroscopy and self-heterodyne interferometry and show that it is sufficient for use in undergraduate spectroscopy experiments and a number of research applications, where extremely narrow laser linewidths are not necessary. The performance and affordability of 3D-printed designs make them an appealing option for future use.
The adjusted range of the final product allows for flexibility in the precision of the 3D printer used. Our choice was made due to availability. Any printer with a 4-inch by 4-inch bed could be used.