Possible 2.x laser Kits Batch #7

Questions, Suggestions, Tips, Etc

Re: Possible 2.x laser Kits Batch #7

Postby All3n » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:45 pm

TheRulesLawyer wrote:A more productive approach might be finding a shop that will machine these for a reasonable price on demand and partnering with them. That way nobody has to wait for bart to make up the kits. They just go somewhere and hit order. Might not be quite as cheap, but avoiding the bottleneck of when the next kit comes out seems to be the biggest issue. I don't want to even start until I have a kit because of this.


Agreed.
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Re: Possible 2.x laser Kits Batch #7

Postby madmike8 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:48 pm

I'm not building a laser, but have you guys ever thought to take the drawings to a high school metal shop teacher to make as a project for their students? I'm just saying that you might want to give that a shot...
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Re: Possible 2.x laser Kits Batch #7

Postby gavztheouch » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:50 pm

On a side note, you may as well stop throwing the word "open source" around. This is not a piece of software, this is a tangible three dimensional object who's parts have to be sourced from somewhere.
The plans are claimed to be "open sourced" but at the same time you have to pay or simply not obtain all the parts to make the device work.


The phrase "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" springs to mind
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Re: Possible 2.x laser Kits Batch #7

Postby All3n » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:47 pm

gavztheouch wrote:
On a side note, you may as well stop throwing the word "open source" around. This is not a piece of software, this is a tangible three dimensional object who's parts have to be sourced from somewhere.
The plans are claimed to be "open sourced" but at the same time you have to pay or simply not obtain all the parts to make the device work.


The phrase "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" springs to mind


Don't be so dramatic. At this point in time it would be quicker, easier and cheaper to buy and reverse engineer a Chinese laser, and upgrade to a larger frame with some aluminum extrusions. It's the essentially the same electronics anyways, so your ahead right there.

Please don't infer that I have some sort of problem with the project, because I don't, it's a great project. It's the parts availability that suck. It's not like I'm looking for something free, it's like I am in the twilight zone here. lol Gift horse please, I still have to source parts, purchase materials and build the thing.

I would gladly pay $10- $80 for the plans alone if I could just go ahead and order the parts. Put that open sourced gift horse in your pipe and smoke it.

Thanks anyways for your interest in my situation, no need to turn this into a personal flame war, I feel I expressed my needs clearly.
Best of luck to others waiting to complete theirs.
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Re: Possible 2.x laser Kits Batch #7

Postby cvoinescu » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:13 am

This is a series of mostly unrelated points that I feel compelled to make in response to All3n. Please skip if not interested.

This first point is a bit of an apology, so I'll admit that upfront. While I don't like the fact that the kit is mostly unavailable, and when available it's small quantities that go like hot cakes, and maybe Bart's policies (no preorders, etc) aren't the most customer-centric around: you have to understand that this is somewhere between hobby and part-time job for Bart. I am, on a much smaller scale, in the same situation. Having put together a kit, I realized it was a much more massive undertaking than I would have guessed, and had more delays and other problems (dud pulleys from China, out of tolerance laser-cut holes that I had to ream) than I bargained for. I had decided to take pre-orders, and boy what a pressure that is, having customers who have paid and I can't give them what they want because a fairly standard part I ordered with plenty of time to spare became suddenly unavailable: apparently, it was made in New York and the factory was left without power by Hurricane Sandy. I wanted to sell the kit from stock, so I did a small test run and it sold out; the next, larger lot sold out before I could even order all the parts for it; so now there's a huge lead time, which was never my intention. The only way to get around that would be to order parts for a much larger batch, but that's more money than I'm willing to risk. So I totally understand that sometimes we have to make decisions that don't appear particularly friendly, just to avoid our entire lives being sucked into the online shop part of the project. Just remember that the alternative may be no shop, or even no project at all.

If you are frustrated with the lack of parts, you could take a leaf from Harry Raley's book: annoyed by the insanely high cost of importing US-made MakerSlide and the one meter length limit, he started a campaign to get it manufactured in the UK, raised enough interest (and money) to pay for the extrusion die and a production run, and he's getting his first delivery from the manufacturer next week. Had MakerSlide not been open-source hardware, he would not have been able to do that (at least not legally). I'm piggy-backing on his success, as I need MakerSlide for my kit.

Open-source is not the same as free. You can sell open-source plans for money. Of course, anyone buying the plans from you could then redistribute them for free, or even sell them in turn and keep all the profits (naughty, but legal), so it would not make a lot of sense. What does make sense is to make the plans freely available for anyone to use them, and to improve on them, and then make some money selling the hardware to those who can't make all the parts themselves, or don't have the time to chase a dozen suppliers around. (In the case of open-source commercial software, the money-making hook is paid support.) Also, paying royalties is customary, even though not technically required. Your buying MakerSlide from Inventables puts money in Bart's pocket, you are right about that, and it's as it should be.

The availability of the parts has nothing to do with the openness of the project -- and you were the one who brought that into question. We just pointed out that a project being open-source has nothing to do with ready-made parts being offered for sale (or with them costing money: of course they cost money!).

Also, I'm not insulting your DIY skills. I'm just saying that some people (certainly not I!) can make those parts, so for them the plans are directly useful. For the rest of us, they are useful inasmuch as we can take them to a friend, the local hackspace, or a fabricator -- or a high-school shop teacher, great idea -- and get the parts made. And people do build their own brakes with woodworking tools; it may mean a few afternoons spent bending stuff to get it right, but hey, it's a hobby, that's what hobbies are for. You're building it because it's fun to build it yourself, not because it's cheaper than a Chinese laser.

There are some parts that are inherently difficult or impossible to make with amateur tools, and some that require specialist equipment, skills or knowledge. Aluminum extrusion is most emphatically not DIY. Home anodizing is not everyone's cup of tea. I can't weld to save my life. I have no idea whether I can bend aluminum, because I never tried and I don't have a brake. Some people don't understand electronics. That doesn't mean that there's no value in open source hardware that calls for aluminum extrusion, anodizing, welding, bending, or building electronic circuits.

Sometimes, one may choose a "more advanced" technology for a part just because it happens to fit better in that particular case. I could not find anyone to machine a particular UHMWPE part for me, and I decided it was not good use of my time to mill them myself, so I redesigned the part as a laser-cut stainless steel assembly (of which I already had to order a few other parts). Clearly less DIY, but for me it meant one less fabrication technology to deal with. And now there are two options out there: one you can make from a plastic chopping board on a small CNC milling machine, and one that's laser-cut out of stainless steel. You choose which one suits you best (or wait for me to begin selling the laser-cut parts in my shop and put up with my mark-up and erratic supply; that's a third option: the more the merrier!). If Bart had the tools to bend aluminum, it would have been only natural for him to choose bending it instead of assembling together several flat parts, with all the extra fixings and fasteners that that would have entailed.

But, by far, the best thing you can do is redesign the difficult parts to make them easier to make with commonly available tools, test them out, and then publish your plans! Then there will be one more option, and everyone will thank you too!
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Re: Possible 2.x laser Kits Batch #7

Postby canadianavenger » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:55 am

Just a point of interest here... several people have 3D printed all the custom fabricated parts... so it is possible to DIY at a reasonable cost still, without involving expensive custom fabrication for small quantities. [though I'm willing to bet if you look hard enough, you can find someone to do the parts quite affordably]
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Found One Set.

Postby bdring » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:35 pm

Thanks for all the supportive answers on the recent off topic posts. I can understand the frustration though. Frustrated impatient builders are what is pushing the open source alternatives ahead so fast. Impatience is a good thing.

I don't use a waiting list for a lot of reasons, but the primary reason is I don't like to make promises I can't keep and even a simple waiting list is a promise in my mind. I wait until I know I can deliver.

I have not sold any secret 2.x kits. I can't even imagine why I would want to do that. If I want to be a greedy about it, I would just sell very limited quantities on eBay to the highest bidder. If I find the occasional extra part, I let everyone know.

With that said....I just stumbled across a lost motor side gantry bracket. That gives me one full set of metal parts. The first person to PM me on the forum can have it. This includes All3n.

(1) motor Side Barcket
(1) mirror Side Bracket
(1) laser carriage
(4) Z lift brackets.

The price is $50 + shipping EDIT: These have been sold and are no longer available

This is metal only, no other parts are available right now. Please only buy this if you can make the other parts in the near future.

I will be ordering a bunch of metal parts early next week to go in full kits. I will give status on that order soon.
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Remaining Batch 6 Parts

Postby bdring » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:29 pm

That parts mentioned in the previous post were sold.
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New Rear Panel Deign

Postby bdring » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:00 pm

I am making one final change to the design before ordering the new rear panel plates. The previous design had (2) holes for USB bulkhead cables. The DSP controller has since added Ethernet as an option. I decided to remove those holes and add (3) standard Keystone hole patterns. These are easily found at Fry's and Home Depot type places. This will allow you to mix and match connectors to whatever you want.

new_rear.jpg
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Re: New Rear Panel Deign

Postby mlconti » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:51 am

bdring wrote:I am making one final change to the design before ordering the new rear panel plates. The previous design had (2) holes for USB bulkhead cables. The DSP controller has since added Ethernet as an option. I decided to remove those holes and add (3) standard Keystone hole patterns. These are easily found at Fry's and Home Depot type places. This will allow you to mix and match connectors to whatever you want.

new_rear.jpg


Glad to see that change! Much needed improvement.
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