Laser Cutters

Laser Cutters are a key digitally controlled FabLab machine. We've identified them as one of the best technologies when it comes to value for money. Apart from electricity and replacement laser lenses, the running costs may be minimal, as materials cut can be existing or recovered items.

If we raise budget to purchase machines, a laser cutter is likely to be an early purchase. However, in the meanwhile, does this mean we're stymied? Of course not!

  • Pen Plotter Based Laser Cutter One suggestion is to use this kind of mirror arrangement and use an arduino as a USB to serial convertor which also is listening for pen change and pen up and down instructions and turn s the laser power up / down or off depending. It could also be used to slow down the instructions so that the laser has time to change power.
  • Another suggestion is to mount a dvd laser in a plotter pen shaped mount. An attempt to do this is documented here


The software needs for a HPGL based laser cutter (something mounted on the flatbed we have already for instance).

  • Any svg or other graphics program that can output Postscript Files inkscape being top contender
  • (aptitude install pstoedit)
  • (has to be built from source, setup on pidgeot.lowtech.lan)
  • We will need to do some work to sort out scaling factors etc. but its all doable.
  • You then cat the resulting file to the serial port with the plotter on. (do have to make sure you have write permission for it.
laser/start.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/18 12:27 by andrewt
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