Several members pledged enough money for BuildBrighton to buy itself a laser cutter. We now have two!
The first model we obtained is a Full Spectrum Engineering '40W Deluxe Hobby Laser (v4)' with RetinaEngrave (yikes!) upgrade and software. This has a white case so it is called the White laser cutter. It has a bed that is roughly A4 (about 200mm by 300 mm).
The manual and software can be downloaded from their site - it is *highly* recommended to read the manual, regardless of training given by Laser Operators
We also have an HPC LS3020 which has a red case (the red laser cutter). This has a slightly smaller bed and different operating software (NewlyDraw). A manual for NewlyDraw is available here: https://docs.google.com/gview?url=http://www.andyslater.com/laser-cutting/newlydraw_1_manual.pdf&chrome=true
Both these cutters are intended for cutting acrylic, foam and ply up to about 5mm thick. They will also engrave materials such as acrylic and slate. They should only be used on approved materials. This because chlorine-containing materials such as vinyl emit toxic fumes and should NOT be cut or engraved. These cutters will not cut sheet metal.
Because the two L-cutters have different software there is a specific checklist for each l-cutter (currently under preparation). This gives advice on how to prepare a computer graphics file for the cutter you are planning to use, how to turn the equipment on and off and tips on use of the relevant software.
To spread the cost of the laser amongst the members, we require a one-off payment of £50 for Laser Training to become a certified Laser Operator! The training is mandatory - you must have training so that you understand how to use the machines correctly as it is possible to cause damage by incorrect use.