[Noisebridge-discuss] Laser Cutter

Sean Cusack sean.p.cusack at gmail.com
Sun Jan 9 21:06:14 UTC 2011

Techshop SF has 60W Helix lasers...probably nicer than what we'd be able to
afford by scrobbling together cash - a similar item used on ebay goes for
These are some nice laz0rs too - they can actually cut things (though not
metal). A couple examples: 3/8" thick wood, 1/4" acrylic, and a bunch of
other stuff.

If you want to use Techshop lasers by yourself, and whenever you want, you
have to take a class (~$35), and then you have to pay by the day you are in
there ($50/day). You can probably use the laser for about 6 hours or so each
day you pay for just in terms of scheduling.

There is a way to use Techshop much cheaper too - you can come in with one
of us Noisebridgers that are TS members, and your daily rate drops in half
($25/day). Additionally, I'm qualified on the lasers, so I can get you
moving without having to take the class.

So, just doing some quick math. If you can use lasers for 6 hours a day for
$25, that means we could buy 600 days at techshop for $15k (the cost of
buying our own laser), otherwise known as 3600 hours of laser cutting.
Additionally, we wouldn't need to worry about maintenance or upkeep or
damage on our own equipment. Do we really think we're going to use a laser
this much to justify the cost?


On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 12:53 PM, miloh <froggytoad at gmail.com> wrote:

> > As far as burning the place down, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY.  These things
> are
> > as enclosed as a microwave.  They aren't as easy to use, and they are
> > compatible with a limited number of materials, but people would have to
> > REALLY FUCK UP to burn the place down with a laser engraver...like
> engraving
> > gasoline soaked balsa.
> Thanks for using the term 'laser engraver'.
> Does Epilog even sell laser cutters, or just laser engravers?  Perhaps
> everyone donating towards a 'laser cutter' should know that Epilog
> doesn't have any products (that I found listed on its website) that it
> states can cut through metal.  Does everyone who's donating know that
> this thing won't cut unicorn horns out of turds?
> But then, I know next to nothing about laser cutting and engraving
> products.  Organizing numbers and costs are what I know about: if
> laser cutters are between 5x and 10x more expensive, and Epilog's
> 'most affordable' laser engraver is 7.3k$, then there is a large
> initial funding gap to fill.  But why not get something more
> affordable than an Epilog brand laser engraver?
> Jon Foote recommended a couple specific devices last year during
> another discussion about getting a laser engraver/cutter device at
> Noisebridge.  Some people have offered to contribute a monthly value
> towards a cutter which is more meaningful for a device that requires
> large sums of funding for regular and unscheduled (breakdown)
> maintenance (these things break because they are fancy and delicate,
> but not intrinsically because 'Noisebridge Can't have Nice Things*').
> What are the fee systems for cutting time and materials at Techshop
> (do different materials require different cleanup, and who is the
> maintenance technician?), will there be training and defined hours of
> operation?  I am down with that.  Cover the Techshop solutions during
> the meetup (or preferably here with international attention and
> responses), and people will take it seriously.
> One last thing:  I think you should consider dubbing the DJ Booth a
> Noisebridge Autonomous Zone, since I hear grumblings from a friend of
> constipating the procurement of ZOMGLASERCUTTERS.
> *I hate that stupid quote, especially in this case, where most LIVING
> INT for anyone who blithely repeats that quote and doesn't know how to
> use a saw and a hammer, which are quite 'Nice Things'.
>  -rma
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