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If you have a 3D printer or CNC mill, you can easily add a laser to it. It can cut wood, most plastics, paper products, and engrave most materials.
M K Borri
San Rafael, California
United States
1 Team Member

Introducing L-CHEAPO

Got a 3D printer? Want to work with something you can't melt? Burn through it! With a friggin' laser. L-CHEAPO is a low cost laser cutter that can cut 3/16" wood and plastic, and engrave most nonmetallic materials. It lives on top of a 3D printer or CNC mill, and does not get in the way of using the tool normally -- you can switch from laser to printer mode and vice versa in less than two minutes with no tools. Any hobby grade 3D printer will work, as will most CNC mills. The diode operates at 445nm so protection equipment is readily available - I will provide a pair of protection goggles on request if you do not have them already.

What We Need & What You Get

  • THIS IS ALREADY A WORKING SYSTEM. No vaporware. I've already sold a few to friends.
  • OPEN SOURCE! We've reached our goal, so  the working drawings and schematics are published at http://robots-everywhere.com/re_wiki/index.php?n=Main.LCheapo If you want to buy one but didn't make the funding window, my contact information is mailto:mkb@robots-everywhere.com
  • You will not need an extra power supply, or even new software - just create a special extrusion profile for the software you already use (Slic3r / skeinforge /etc). Any 3D printer will work, if it doesn't, I'm going to design a custom unit just for yours.
  • If I have enough pre-orders, I will put the schematics, wiring diagrams, and mechanical drawings on my website and open the design under a noncommercial open license.
  • If I reach the goal early, I will ship early: this is a finished and tested design already! UPDATE: The goal has been reached, so I've started shipping. This will happen on a first-ordered-first-get basis, unless you have an emergency. If you do, email me.
  • You can get a laser cutter module from me, or have me use it to engrave or cut something for you, so you can see how well it works.
  • Once this succeeds, there will be bigger lasers...

The Impact

Laser cutting requires a significant initial investment, but opens up a lot of making possibilities -- laser-cut parts are tougher than 3D printer parts, for example. With this device, the initial dollar investment goes from thousands to hundreds. The module also requires very little space.

I hope that this allows high school shop classes, small universities and local hackerspaces to be able to work with a wider variety of materials and techniques.

Other Ways You Can Help

Show this to people who may have a use for it! (Remember to never look into laser aperture with remaining eye).

About Me

I have been building autonomous drones, data loggers, and telemetry equipment since 2007. The L-CHEAPO is my first foray into directed energy devices - you can decide for yourself whether I'm building an army of laser robots or not. I do, however, have a laser shark.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 193 people in 2 months
329% funded
No time left
$12,000 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 15, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $1USD

    You will be thanked on the page that will host designs and schematics for this project. The page URL will be posted here when we get the project through!

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $2USD
    Lasercut letter

    This system is delicate enough to cut paper; send me a vector drawing of the cut you'd like and I will mail it to you. It must fit in a letter envelope.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $3USD
    Lasercut cardboard

    This system is careful enough to cut cardboard; send me a vector drawing of the cut you'd like and I will mail it to you. It must fit in a letter envelope.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $5USD

    If you live in the SF Bay Area, come over for lunch! I'll show you the working units, and probably send you home with a lasercut piece. I'm Italian, so expect pasta with homemade sauce.

    3 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $15USD
    Lasercut thing

    This system is powerful enough to cut acrylic or wood; send me a vector drawing of the cut you'd like and I will mail it to you. Maximum size 6" by 6"

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $25USD
    Laser Shark!

    Get a plushie laser shark. NOTE: The plushie will contain a normal 5mW laser pointer, not the laser cutter!

    1 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $50USD
    Laser robot tank video

    Just to show I'm not kidding, I'll take one of my robot platforms, put the laser on it, and make a video of it burning a hole in something. I will gladly plug your youtube channel with it, too! Note that we will NOT sell these, they are too dangerous.

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $200USD
    Laser cutter module

    The whole thing! You get a working laser cutter module as well as a test piece engraved using it.

    53 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $220USD
    Laser cutter module + mount

    The whole thing! You get a working laser cutter module as well as a test piece engraved using it. Tell me what 3D printer or mill you have and you also get a custom mount.

    128 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $12,000USD
    Commercial license

    If this campaign goes through, I will release the entire design under a noncommercial license. If you want to make and sell this design, you can get a commercial license from me.

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
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