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€57,077 pledged of €200,000 goal
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By FabCreator
€57,077 pledged of €200,000 goal
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About this project


Why have we developed the FabCreator Lasers?

We have used a lot of CNC machines in prototyping and making throughout our highschool and university but these machines are incredibly expensive.  An EU or US made 30W RF laser cutter with a 300x600mm bed is easily 15kEuros! That is a lot of money for a entry level machine. Of course there are cheaper machines from China, but importation and unreliability can cause issues for some. 
We wanted to change this and introduce a European made range of industrial lasers cutters using high quality DC lasers, ideal for professional makers.

With the explosion of 3D printing and the growth of the Maker, we wanted to create a new generation of CNC tools which would be affordable and thus accessible to makers all over the globe. Thus FabCreator lasers were born.

The Machines

During the development of the FAB40 we aimed to optimise our design for manufacturing and assembly. In doing so we ended up with a small pool of components which could be used to make any size of laser by only changing the laser cut components. With demand for a lower cost solution as well as for a high powered laser, the FABKit and FAB100 were born.

 

Machine Size

Bed size comparison
Bed size comparison




FAB-Kit

 

 The FAB-Kit is a DIY-Kit that enables you to build your own laser cutter within safer boundaries. It is the perfect entry level machine for those keen to learn and build their own machine within an open-source community. It comes flat packed with well-designed packaging, manuals and online video guides.


The FAB-Kit does not come standard with a laser tube. This provides you with the option to choose our high quality 40W tube or source your own lower cost solution. 




 

FAB-40

 

The FAB-40 is a 40W CO2 laser cutter for home to semi-professional use. The FAB-40 will be fully CE certified and sold as a Class 1 laser machine.

The FAB-40 comes with a custom high quality true 40W laser tube. This means it has high quality full metal end connectors on an 800mm long, 80mm diameter glass laser tube. Whereas standard 40W tubes come with a 3month warranty, these come with a full-year operational warranty.

Only measuring in at 1080x670x653 the FAB-40 is able to cut up to 800x400mm, making it the most space efficient laser on the market.

The FAB-40 uses a Smoothieboard coupled with the Raspberry-Pi 3 and a 7-inch touchscreen becoming fully stand alone, able to control the machine as well as generate g-code from vector and image files.

FAB-100

 

The FAB-100, a 100W machine that can cut up to 12mm of most materials. The FAB-100 will also be fully CE certified and sold as a Class 1 laser machine.

The FAB-100 comes with a high quality 100W laser tube and with a cutting space of 800x1400mm, it can make quick work of large boards. The FAB-100 has the same safety features as the FAB-40 but is larger and far more powerful.



Materials

The FABCreator Lasers are CO2 Laser cutters. This means that they can cut and engrave most organic materials such as woods, plastic, fabric, leather and many more.



Precision and Accuracy

Our machines use Nema 23 stepper motors with GT3 Timing belt. Using the smoothieboard's microstepping we can confidently have a resolution of 20 microns.

The kerf width of the laser depends on the material, the focal point of the lens and the quality of the laser tube.
We have been cutting on the FAB40 and FAB100 with a kerf width down to 0.1mm. The cheaper laser tube currently in the FABKit gives a kerf width of 0.25mm.

The reason we can get a high quality laser beam is that our tubes are simply one of the highest grade of industrial laser in addition to the use of high quality optics from II-VI Infrared.

Software:

LaserWeb2
 
Open Source Laser Software Laserweb is a new and powerful open-source program. With an active and rapidly growing community, FabCreator hopes to support and help grow LaserWeb into the perfect laser host program.

Simply design in your favourite programme and import your file into Laserweb. Easily position it on your workbed and prepare the code. Either save the code to a memory card or USB stick to run it off the machine, or if you are preparing code on the FAB40 or FAB100, just press go.

LaserWeb is super easy to learn and has unlimited possibilities. Its features are continuously expanding as its dedicated core network are always hard at work.

http://openhardwarecoza.github.io/LaserWeb2/


Autodesk Fusion 360:

Fusion 360 is a powerful CAD CAM tool we designed our machines in fusion and were recently involved in a partners spotlight.

Fusion 360 allows you to design in 3D or 2D and export straight to the FabCreator lasers.




Machine Features

Why do we carry the laser tube on the gantry?
Carrying the laser tube on the gantry has many benefits, first of which is a shortened optical path. Reducing the distance the beam needs to travel increases the effective laser power. Secondly, in the FAB40 and FAB100 the optical path is fully enclosed. This ensures no smoke particles land on the mirror and lens nor get in the way of the travelling laser beam. 

Whereas most conventional laser cutters may have problems with alignment and power, where it cuts better at the back left corner (where the laser exits the tube-compartment) than in the front right corner (furthest beam travel), due to the shorter and enclosed optics path, the effective laser power in FabCreator lasers is greatly increased.

Laser Head Design
Our laser head is specially designed for ease of use. The head allows for automatic levelling to the material height, easy interchanging of lenses and has a specially designed interior and nozzle to allow for good air flow.



Air Flow
Good airflow can greatly increase your cutting speed and depth. This is why we have specially designed our nozzle and laser head to ensure excellent air flow in addition to always cutting with the nozzle at the optimal height.

With a high air flow and velocity not only do you guarantee a clean and deeper cut you also greatly reduce the risk of flames. 

Combined this with the high quality laser tube and optics we are able to cut through 12mm poplar ply at 200mm/m in one pass with the FAB40!



Stand Alone 
All 3 of our lasers are stand alone in the sense that you do not require a dedicated computer to run them. 
The FABKit uses a reprap discount GLCD with the Smoothieboard to run files of an SD card whereas the FAB40 and FAB100 have a fully integrated system. 
Using a Raspberry Pi 3 and a 1024px by 600px 7-inch touch screen for user interface allows us to run Laserweb straight off the machine itself. 
Files can be made on any device and prepared for cutting and engraving using LaserWeb software or through Fusion 360’s CAD/CAM features.


 

Blade Tables 
Whilst developing our machines we were looking for the best type of work table for laser cutting. 
At first we went with honeycomb which has been the standard in laser cutting for some time. It is is great for cutting smaller items as it provides lots of contact points, however this causes a new problem. Flash back, where the laser beam reflects off the honeycomb material and scars the bottom of your work piece. 

In the search of a solution, we noticed two options, a pin-table or a blade table. A blade table still has quite a large amount of contact with the material whereas a pin-table isn’t practical to build many of.
We therefore combined the two into our FAB-Blades.


FAB-Blades are specially designed not to reflect the laser beam straight up to the workpiece. They are easily placed and removed from their frame, making it easy to adjust your work table for larger or smaller cutting jobs. Being easily removable also makes them easy to clean or replace.

These come standard with all FabCreator machines

Over the past few months we have had increasing requests for the FAB-Blades to be available separately, we have listened to you, and they are now available on our campaign in a selection of sizes.

 Planning


Shipping

Shipping cost for all of the machines will be calculated on an individual basis after the Kickstarter campaign.

The FABKit estimated shipping is 100-300Euros within Europe or 300-600Euros worldwide

The FAB40 and FAB100 will be shipped as a pallet. Within Europe we estimate these to cost 300-600Euros maximum. Outside of Europe 1200-1600Euro maximum.

Still have any burning questions? Head over to our communities page at

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110983732206252833240/communities/110904922300345487536

 

Risks and challenges

Launching with three products sounds like a impossible task to some, however in reality we are creating one design in three variations.

The FABKit, FAB40 and FAB100 share almost identical components (the FAB100 is basically a scaled up FAB40)

This means we can make almost any size of machine from the same pool of parts. Only the laser cut sheets change.

Product based kickstarter projects often come with many risks and factors. Manufacturing physical goods can be an expensive and complex process.

At the start of the design processes one of our biggest goals was to ensure our end products would be feasible to produce and on a short turn around by ourselves. For this reason we decided to avoid using manufacturing technologies with large investment costs and tooling time.
The FabCreator machines are manufactured using high tech manufacturing tools; laser cutters and milling machines. (Lasers cutter built by laser cutters!)

These manufacturing technologies have high tolerances and rarely raise issues during manufacturing. They also provide a fast turnaround. Our current generation of prototypes were laser cut within 48 hours!

However with all that said, to help avoid any unforeseen mishaps we have been working closely with our milled components supplier to ensure the parts can be produced with high quality, reliability and still remain cost effective.

The Fab-Kit has the least to do before shipping. Being the simplest and flat packed, the trickiest part is ensuring the instructions and packaging will be clear.
Before shipping we will build one production unit and test it thoroughly. We will also likely ship a few units early to those willing to help us finalise and test the instructions.

The FAB-40 and FAB-100 need to be CE certified as well as certified as Class 1 laser machines. Although there is some risk here as paperwork can become complex, we have designed the machines following safety guidelines to ensure that they should pass without a problem. We plan to use a company who specialises in certifying lasers to take us through the processes.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About $6

    High Five!
    Thank you for your support! You'll get all the kickstarter updates and will be the first to know when all our plans are posted online.

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    Pledge €35 or more About $39

    A surprise selection of commercially usable laser Cuttable plan.
    These same plans will come standard with any FabCreator Laser

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €150 or more About $167

    A custom FabCreator Blade table suitable for any existing laser cutter.

    Size range 200x300 + to 300x600mm

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    Pledge €250 or more About $278

    A custom FabCreator Blade table suitable for any existing laser cutter.

    Size range 400x600 + to 400x800mm

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    Pledge €350 or more About $389

    A custom FabCreator Blade table suitable for any existing laser cutter.

    Size range 600x900 + to 900x1300mm

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    Pledge €1,350 or more About $1,501

    Super EARLY BIRD: FAB Kit

    Receive the FAB Kit at our super early bird price

    Shipping information of this unit will be conducted after the kickstarter campaign. This will be done on a individual basis to ensure the best price for you.

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    Pledge €1,650 or more About $1,835

    EARLY BIRD: FAB Kit

    Receive the FAB Kit at our early bird price

    Shipping information of this unit will be conducted after the kickstarter campaign. This will be done on a individual basis to ensure the best price for you.

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    Pledge €2,150 or more About $2,391

    FAB Kit
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    Super EARLY BIRD: FAB 40

    Get the FAB40 at our super early bird price

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    Pledge €4,750 or more About $5,282

    EARLY BIRD: FAB40

    Get the FAB40 at our early bird price

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    Pledge €5,500 or more About $6,117

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    Pledge €7,000 or more About $7,785

    Super EARLY BIRD: Fab 100
    Receive a FAB 100 at our super early bird price

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Funding period

- (30 days)