Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 9, 2012.

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This laser has the potential to be a game changer, making production level home manufacturing and engraving possible.

Finally, an affordable US assembled LASER cutter / engraver with great capabilities and easy to use print driver at a price that non-big businesses can afford.

Our brand new 5th generation totally redesigned 40w LASER with 20"x12" work area. Assembled in Las Vegas, USA.
Our brand new 5th generation totally redesigned 40w LASER with 20"x12" work area. Assembled in Las Vegas, USA.

We designed this LASER from the ground up to set a new standard in affordable LASER technology for precision cutting and engraving. It has numerous features that make it the best LASER the world has ever seen at this price point.

Precision CNC made hardware
Precision CNC made hardware

There is a 20"x12" work area, high quality (metal terminal) 40w CO2 LASER tube and precision CNC made hardware to deliver never before seen quality at this level of affordability. The precision built mirror mounts reduce the need for post factory alignment. The beam combiner is also built in standard at the #1 mirror. Novel sliding lens holder and removable floor allow materials of any size to be placed beneath the LASER.

The prototype works well and we have already started production. We need a kickstart so we can ramp up production.
The prototype works well and we have already started production. We need a kickstart so we can ramp up production.
3D CAD Model by FSL
3D CAD Model by FSL
3D CAD Model by FSL
3D CAD Model by FSL

-Design = DONE

-Functional prototype = DONE

-First batch assembly = in progress! but our first batch is relatively small. Everything is in place to scale up just as soon as this kickstarter is funded.

When it is released for $3,499 it will be the best LASER under $10k on the market. For most tasks the output of our laser is comparable to vastly more expensive units. Take the following comparison for example.

The output from another popular but vastly more expensive laser. The laser used to create this sample reportedly retails for between $22,000 and $27,000 (Identity of other company to remain anonymous)
The output from another popular but vastly more expensive laser. The laser used to create this sample reportedly retails for between $22,000 and $27,000 (Identity of other company to remain anonymous)

We found the design online and repeated it on the back.

Output quality from our 5th generation laser on same material (reproduced on the back of sample above) (the graphic file we found happened to be a left-right mirror of the sample above which we did not notice at the time.)
Output quality from our 5th generation laser on same material (reproduced on the back of sample above) (the graphic file we found happened to be a left-right mirror of the sample above which we did not notice at the time.)

Just for fun.

This spring one of our staff went to Mexico City to install a Laser and visited the original "Piedra Del Sol". Report from the field: "I'm pretty sure our resolution is better than the original."
This spring one of our staff went to Mexico City to install a Laser and visited the original "Piedra Del Sol". Report from the field: "I'm pretty sure our resolution is better than the original."

... and with our removable bed our new 5th Generation Hobby Laser could actually engrave a surface that large - in many 20"x12" increments.

This new laser is the best we've come up with. It has better performance and more features than any laser ever released at this price point and built in the USA. We hope you will fund this kickstarter and get to own one of these amazing machines! We have done everything already. Design, prototype, even the first batch is under way. A kickstart could boost our production speed to the next level. Email sales@fslaser.com if you have any questions.

The prototype at the initial unveiling at Maker Faire Bay Area 2012
The prototype at the initial unveiling at Maker Faire Bay Area 2012

The new design turned a lot of heads.  Especially when we matched the output of the more expensive laser. (Note: the sparkly LEDs behind the grill are only for show and will not be included in the production model, but you can certainly add them yourself when you get yours!)

Side by side with the 4th gen Hobby Deluxe at Maker Faire
Side by side with the 4th gen Hobby Deluxe at Maker Faire

Same external footprint and lighter, it can still ship with FedEx or UPS.

We're really proud of our new laser.  We've been working on it, really ever since we came together in our founders garage a few years ago.  This is the ultimate realization of everything we believed a desktop laser could be at a price that we knew we could make it for!  We're finally done designing, prototyping and assembling it all here in Las Vegas.  We're thrilled with how it turned out and we believe that at this price and these capabilities it can be a real game-changer, finally providing LASER capabilities to a broader audience and thus greatly enabling the Maker Movement.  At the price I can't think of a better tool to start or to continue making things yourself or to start or enhance your business.  Whether for your satisfaction or for your business this LASER can do things no other tool can and is useful in so many applications.  We hope you get one and that you like it as much as we do!

Hello from sunny Las Vegas! - The FSL team
Hello from sunny Las Vegas! - The FSL team

Here are just a few examples of the cuts and engravings you can make with a LASER like this.  With this tool you'll be able to cut up to about 1/4" in acrylic, soft/medium wood, card stock, MDF, fabrics, leather etc., and engrave on many other materials.  Please visit facebook.com/fslaser for many more examples by us and our customers.

Make intricate cuts at a push of a button that are not possible or too tedious to do by hand.
Make intricate cuts at a push of a button that are not possible or too tedious to do by hand.
Mark anodized metals.  (While the laser cannot cut metal it can easily mark color anodized metals, and can also mark bare metals with Thermark.)
Mark anodized metals. (While the laser cannot cut metal it can easily mark color anodized metals, and can also mark bare metals with Thermark.)

The infrared from a CO2 laser is great for etching the color out of anodized metals like this black anodized piece above.  For bare metal you need to use a spray called Thermark.  It allows you to mark bare metal black.

For bare metals just spray on the Thermark, laser then wipe the rest away.
For bare metals just spray on the Thermark, laser then wipe the rest away.

Amazing for model making!

Essential for model making, this laser would make the PERFECT gift for any architect or model maker you know.
Essential for model making, this laser would make the PERFECT gift for any architect or model maker you know.

Model making is of course needed for many careers. Set design, architecture, hobbyist, artists, curators - many people need the ability to quickly and precisely cut pieces to construct scale models.  The repeatability is key. Imagine cutting all the parts for something highly repeatable like a model picket fence by hand!  Once you have the design it can be endlessly replicated with the laser.

Cutting Grip Tape (No more cramping hands and dull razor blades!)

With the 40w glass tube Laser I easily cut custom grip tape to fit this Stowboard - a novel foldable skateboard.
With the 40w glass tube Laser I easily cut custom grip tape to fit this Stowboard - a novel foldable skateboard.

Precision cutting even on tough materials:  Anyone who's cut grip tape the old fashioned way (with razor blade) knows how the stuff eats through blades like no other and the wear and tear it puts on your hand!.  Plus cutting things like perfect circles are really, really hard to do by hand.  Skateboard shops make simple cuts by folding the grip tape over the edge and running a screwdriver over the edge to make a rip zone.  In this design that was not possible.  Using Corel Draw I easily drew the design overlayed on a digital photo of the part I took with my phone scaled to real life size.  Then simply hit print and sent it to the Hobby Laser. The 40w cut tube through the rugged grip tape like butter with zero dull blades and without giving myself carpal tunnel syndrome! :)   

Acrylic Cutting and Engraving.

Cutting acrylic is easy with CO2 lasers and glass tube machines yield smooth edge with continuous beam.
Cutting acrylic is easy with CO2 lasers and glass tube machines yield smooth edge with continuous beam.

Acrylic is an ideal plastic for use with CO2 lasers.  CO2 lasers produce infrared which melts the plastic smoothly when vectoring and engraves nicely when rastering (especially for cast acrylic).

Engraving on acrylic block
Engraving on acrylic block

Wood Working

Lattice Work
Lattice Work

Just imagine the difficulty - no impossibility of trying to achieve this fine a cut without a laser.  Simply not possible even for the best scroll saw artists.  

Engraving work is also very valuable:

Our logo on wood
Our logo on wood

Our print driver Retina Engrave lets you "invert" bitmaps so you can engrave the negative or positive space at the push of a button, as shown above.

It is also possible to engrave photos with this laser:

Dithered photos engraved on black-core matte board.  Dithering done with Retina Engrave's dither algorithm.
Dithered photos engraved on black-core matte board. Dithering done with Retina Engrave's dither algorithm.

Dithering is the process of taking a gradient bitmap like a grey scale image and converting it into a 1 bit bitmap by translating areas of darkness to areas of denser pixel occurrence.  Lighter areas have lower density of dark pixels.  In Retina Engrave we give you two types of dithering algorithms to choose from built into the interface. So getting great results from photos is easy, no intermediary software required.

Stone Work:

You can even engrave stone with this 40w CO2 LASER.
You can even engrave stone with this 40w CO2 LASER.

There are many, many more possibilities.  Be sure to Like us on facebook and see what some of our customers have posted.

facebook.com/fslaser

With cuts and engravings that no other tool can achieve it's easy to see why lasers have been staples of industry for several decades now.  Thanks to this project you can finally have your own high-functioning LASER capable of giving you great results right out of the box with our full hardware/software solution. 

This project gives you some great opportunities to make it pay for itself with return on investment because it can allow you to produce value literally out of thin air and some electricity (uses only a fraction of the power your average microwave oven does).

-Full Spectrum Laser, Las Vegas, NV.

FAQ

  • We will include the following free accessories: honeycomb table, basic water pump. All you need is a bucket of water. If you intend to cut materials that produce smoke/fumes you will need an exhaust fan (we recommend 31810 or 94029 from Harbor Freight) and an air compressor (10CFM or better) to blow away smoke. The laser already has a standard 4" exhaust port and 1/4" air compressor port that goes to the laser head.

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  • We can supply both 110v and 220v machines. Default is 110v. If you require a 220v, just tell us and we will make it 220v no extra charge. However you may need a plug adapter as we use generic power cables (same cable as a desktop computer so easily available).

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  • We have now released an easy to use API for the laser over standard network sockets. This will allow anyone to program the laser to perform basic specific tasks and control external outputs. With this ability you can build all your own accessories like your own conveyor belt, indexer, video placement, etc!

    Any type of computer can use the network interface including PCs, Macs, Linux, Android, iPhone, etc!

    Example code is available in C#.

    We are detailing it here on our forums: http://tinyurl.com/8gb87jc

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  • Kind of. The laser itself doesn't require a computer and can run completely off the microSD card if desired. However currently the direct print driver to create new jobs is Windows specific. We have tested and confirmed VMWare running Windows 7 under Ubuntu or MacOS is no problem. No drivers are ever needed if using the microSD (just writes data to a file) or Ethernet interfaces (just writes data to an IP address).

    We are also writing and beta testing a Cloud services web only interface for multi-platform job creation. Upload a file like a PDF and it will return a laserable .BIN file that you can copy to the microSD card to run your job.

    However for the best experience we recommend a modern Windows 7 computer which can run the direct print driver allowing you to print from any program that can print even MS Word as shown in the video.

    Since RetinaEngrave works with any program that prints you can print to a PDF file from Mac or Linux and reprint this PDF file on the Windows PC/VMWare session or just use our Cloud services.

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  • Yes. We will release some CAD drawings of the removable floor frame to allow anyone to create their own various attachments.

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  • A 40w CO2 LASER can easily cut up to about 1/4" of acrylic or soft or medium wood. It can cut other materials as well such as MDF, delrin, PET, cardstock, matte board, paper, felt, rubber, silicon, fabrics, denim, leather, etc. It can be used to mark under two conditions:

    -If the metal is anodized or coated it will bleach the coloring.

    -If it is a bare uncoated metal, some metals are compatible with Thermark - see thermark.com for full details examples and compatible metals and to purchase this material. If compatible it will leave a permanent black ceramically bonded surface mark.

    -Metal cannot be cut at all. Stone and glass cannot be cut but both can be engraved.

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  • Yes. The 4th generation hobby laser also had a beam combiner as an optional upgrade but it was difficult to install for many users. In this 5th generation model, the beam combiner was completely redesigned using our 3D CAD models and integrated in the design. These elements are also preinstalled during assembly.

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  • We are planning a 90w tube upgrade for the laser. This will be released as a community project and the design files be released.

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  • Yes call us during standard business hours 9am to 6pm PST at 702-605-0644.

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    Our sincere thanks for supporting this crucial maker tool! Plus, have your e-mail address added to our newsletter including our specials and informative write-ups if you wish. Also get to vote on what our new alternative color scheme should be!

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    Group fund lasers for charity. We will allocate all pledges in this category to donate a laser every $3500 to a school, charity, hackerspace or other non-profit. Anyone that makes a pledge can suggest their favorite cause and vote on a cause for donation. In case of vote ties, we will use a random drawing to award the laser. We will have full transparency in this transaction.

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    Everything in #2, plus receive a limited edition test pattern engraving done on our new LASER and signed on the back by the engineer that cut it. (postage included)

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    Get a spare high quality laser tube for your new LASER. (Note: Shipping not included. Please add correct shipping to your pledge total for your reward to be processed correctly: add $25 in lower 48 US, $100 elsewhere. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing.)

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    Get the new rotary attachment sub-floor for your new LASER. (please add correct shipping to pledge for your reward to be processed correctly: add $65 in lower 48 US, $90 elsewhere. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing.)

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    Get a radiator style water chiller for you New Laser. (Note: shipping not included. Please add correct shipping to your pledge total for your reward to be processed correctly: add $45 in lower 48 US, $75 elsewhere. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing.)

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    We'll send you an advanced Freon Water Chiller for your new LASER. (Please add correct shipping to pledge for your reward to be processed correctly: add $75 in lower 48 US, $125 elsewhere. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing.)

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    ULTRA early bird special (Limited, Only 10 at this price.) Become the first to own your very own working laser at the best price possible (will retail for $3,500. Save $500 and get yours first.). Fully assembled in US. Will be available shortly after KS ends. (Note: Shipping not included. Please add $125 for shipping to US lower 48, $275 shipping to Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, $550 shipping to Europe or Asia or $750 shipping anywhere else. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing. Or come to Vegas for pick up!)

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    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! Limited to backers 11-50! Become an owner of your very own complete laser (will retail for $3,500 so save $300). Fully assembled here in Las Vegas and available shortly after Ultra-Early Birders are taken care of. (Note: Shipping not included. Please add $125 for shipping to US lower 48, $275 shipping to Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, $550 shipping to Europe or Asia or $750 shipping anywhere else. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing. Or come to Vegas for pick up when its ready.)

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    Kickstarter special: Own your own laser and save $100 off retail! Fully assembled here in Las Vegas will be ready shortly after the Early Birders are taken care of. (NOTE: Shipping not included. Add $125 for shipping to US lower 48, $275 shipping to Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, $550 shipping to Europe or Asia or $750 shipping anywhere else. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing. Or come to Vegas for in-store pick up when it's ready.)

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    Get the new Laser + the forthcoming rotary attachment. (NOTE: Shipping not included. Add $190 for shipping to US lower 48, $395 shipping to Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, $670 shipping to Europe or Asia or $870 shipping anywhere else. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing. Or come to Vegas for in-store pick up when it's ready. Rotary to ship about 1 month after laser.)

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    Customize your color scheme! You will receive a new laser with your colors of choice. Please apply standard shipping, and allow +1 month for processing. (Note: Shipping not included. Please add $125 for shipping to US lower 48, $275 shipping to Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, $550 shipping to Europe or Asia or $750 shipping anywhere else. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing. Or come to Vegas for pick up when it's ready.)

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    New Laser, Luxury package. Get a new laser + Rotary Attachment and Radiator style water chiller. (Note: Shipping not included. Add $190 for shipping to US lower 48, $395 shipping to Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, $670 shipping to Europe or Asia or $870 shipping anywhere else. Or sign up for UPS or Fedex account and simply supply your account number for direct billing. Rotary to ship about 1 month after laser.)

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