My work is getting to an interesting point with some projects where we want to buy a laser cutter to start some part prototyping/engraving, and I’m after some advice. They’ve identified some industrial ones that seem heinously expensive, and generally run on proprietary firmware/operating systems (Windows only etc.).
We don’t want to extensively modify it to work with an open source tool chain, we want it to work offline and open source from the get-go. Our Lulzbut taz5 was about perfect for what we wanted in terms of toolchain+setup, and an equivalent cutter would be great. Glowforge looked sweet until I saw it only operates within their cloud set up – they’ve open sourced the firmware but I think it’s still only cloud operated.
In terms of power, they want to cut steel and etch titanium. I’m not sure what that means in terms of using CO2, fibre, mirrors, and wattage – my mixing those words together might elude to my lack of knowledge
If there’s no retail solution like a lulzbot for lasers, does anyone really take commissions to assemble custom jobs?
We’re not averse to buying an expensive or high quality product, our ignorance just makes us hesitant to buy the first laser we see.