Check this out, campers:
That's just suspiciously cheap. But hey, we know from gcode, right? And it's big enough to make a Makerbot.
It seems to have (some) spare parts available: http://www.lightobject.com/CNC-CO2-Laser-C11.aspx
And a bigger brother (still cheap): http://www.lightobject.com/Professional-40W-CO2-Laser-EngravingCutter-with-DSP-Controller-CorelDraw-AutoCad-lover-P299.aspx
BUT: After several bad experiences, I (Jtfoote 05:23, 13 May 2010 (UTC)) am considerably less gung-ho about shared equipment at Noisebridge. I find myself unwilling to lead an acquisition, and I have substantially reduced my pledge. It would still be a great thing to have, but I am unwilling to commit much energy to this.
The laser cutter issue has been revived. We may be able to lease one for around $150/mo. Make a pledge below to help make it happen!
There had been talk in October of laser cutter access outside NB but since then it's been all quiet on the laser front.
Any news? --Hurtstotouchfire 13:59, 14 November 2009 (PST)
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)
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
There are rumors of Epilog having a rent-to-own program for what sounds like very reasonable monthly rates. Does anyone want to follow up on this?