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I'm a maker and compelled DIYer. I'm also a "cheapskate", so when I decided that the laser cutter available at my local makerspace was too small (24"x36") to do what I wanted, I looked at larger laser cutters. Unfortunately, I don't have $50k lying around to spend on one the size I wanted (4'x8' and +150w), so I decided to make my own.

This CNC machine was originally made for use as a laser cutter, but as I built and designed it, I realized it could be used for more types of CNC machine than just a laser cutter. As I was conscious of needing to move the fully built laser cutter through standard 36" wide doors, I intended to make my laser cutter modular from the beginning, so it was a "no-brainer" to start splitting pieces up to sell as a module, rather than a full laser cutter.

Even though I might be a cheapskate, I didn't skimp on the quality of the parts or the features, just the price and unnecessary "extras". I did, however, include all kinds of things I considered necessary. I'm also continuing to work on new features and capabilities.

The internal dimensions of this CNC machine are 49" by 97", so it'll fit a 4'x8' sheet of plywood, acrylic, steel, aluminum, or whatever else comes in that size of sheet. It will also fit a standard household door, since the standard size is 36"x80". The milling head has a travel of about 7", so you'll have plenty of travel for most sheet products, and with the adjustable height bed, you'l be able to put in items around 2.5' thick. It won't cut through that thick of an item, but it'll at least fit into the machine.

When I was first designing this machine, I found an eBay listing for a 4'x8' 150 watt laser cutter, which was $45k, and what I based the $50k price tag mentioned earlier (with estimated S&H). It can only be used as a laser cutter and didn't have much Z-axis travel. If you were to put together a laser cutter with my modules, it should cost you about half that price, and then you can add a milling head to convert the machine for considerably less than buying a 2nd dedicated system.

Eric's Gear
Eric Ingamells
102 E Kimberly Rd Ste I, PMB 157
Davenport, IA 52806
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