Very first Laser Committee meeting

I thought some folks might find this amusing. It’s some notes @rsim took back in 2011 at our first meeting of the newly formed committee to buy/build a laser cutter. The potential names for the committee included:
VCL (Vancouver hackspace committee on laser-related things)
VHSLCC (Vancouver hack space laser cutter committe)

I don’t have the minutes (John/Dallas?), but to recap the meeting briefly, it looks we’re at Stage 2 now, as we know we want a CO2 laser cutter with a belt-driven gantry due to our needs and various constraints. The current thinking is to build a hybrid of the Lasersaur (for its size) and Buildlog (off the shelf electronics) as it will give us the best chance of success and the most useful tool in the end. This shouldn’t pose too many problems as the Lasersaur started as a fork of the Buildlog.

Each of us now will need to do research into all of the following areas in preparation for next weeks meeting, and from there we will assign further investigation for areas (of manageable size) to different people. The idea here is for us all to get a basic idea of all the components so we can provide help and guidance to each other, and then specialize.

infrastructure (location, power, safety, maintenance)




nitrogen tank/nozzle/? (for clearing smoke)


vaccuum table (holding down thin materials)

John will look into pricing of the BOM, but we should also all keep an eye out for ways to cut down the price of the build - especially of the enclosure and gantry as those were ~$2500 alone.


hah! Good find.

For those curious, the intrepid laser committee initially went down the path of building our own laser cutter, which at the time was quite the feat as even 10 years ago there wasn’t nearly the availability of components we take for granted now. As luck would have it, an eagle-eyed member saw a lonely ol’ RedSail laser cutter listed on eBay by the manufacturer as a (new) last-stock of a discontinued model, for a relatively bargain price - so we swooped in and got it instead!

After a crash course on sea freight, importing, ports, negotiating leasing additional space from a neighbour, and a long several weeks, it arrived! It then merely required removing a couple of walls to get it inside…

Back then, you really had to work hard to play with lasers.