I'm willing to spearhead (lenshead?) an effort to get a laser cutter for Noisebridge. Though I've used one a couple times, I'm a relative noob. Some points:
- Is this cool?
- What do we want in terms of power, deck size, cost (i.e. name brand or Chinese)?
- Where does it go? The DJ booth seems ideal in terms of corner location (for low vibration) and access to window/wall (for ventilation). The DJs might disagree. Thoughts?
- How do we pay? Consensus donations seems to be the only real solution, but we would have to work out quid pro quo (i.e. donors get priority or something)
- Maintenance. Who babysits and/or fixes tragedies of the commons? (I will volunteer some but can't be there 24/7.)
I will summarize any email discussion here. Also I asked Bre Pettis of NYCResistor (who makes a living on his) for advice. I will summarize any responses.
Sign up to pledge below:
Jtfoote 15:25, 27 September 2009 (PDT)
Just in: I asked Bre Pettis of NYCResistor (who makes a living on his) for advice. Here's his response:
> Minimum: 35 Watt Epilog Mini. 12x24 Machine + Filter + Tax = 20K
> Very Desirable: 60 Watt Epilog. 24x36 Machine + Filter + Tax = more than 20k.
> We wish we had gotten a more powerful machine, but because we didn't know better and it's a lot of money, we went with the mini.
> Don't get a chinese off brand machine. They are cheap and well, cheap.
Jtfoote 15:42, 27 September 2009 (PDT)
From grey, in 6/2009:
Prices are coming down; and some decent units are out there.
A used Epilog I've been told can be had for around $5000.
However some of these random no name Chinese brands are undercutting that -new-. Matt Westervelt in Seattle recently got a 50W unit from Redsail for about $3000. In a similar price range, Jeri Ellsworth in PDX ordered a JCUT 3040 with a 60W laser bulb after some haggling. Ebay has some very small engraver units for $1000 (dubious quality) and Jake said he saw some units for as low as about $250 in Shenzhen (presumably similar to that low end engraver, questionable quality).
If we can collect information here about some different viable models, how much space they take, how powerful they are, what their surface area is, software compatibility, etc. And can determine what looks good - let's see what we can do.
I've got a close friend in HK who has dual Chinese & HK license plates and if we have a specific model he may be able to hunt it down and slow boat it to us for some costs savings. Maybe not, but it's worth looking into. -grey