3D Laser Printer for DIY Enthusiasts

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3D printers have created a booming “maker” market for machines that can literally print objects at home. And after setting a Kickstarter fundraising record last fall of $27.9 million in just one month, Glowforge is poised to enter this market with a 3D laser “printer” that cuts and engraves a variety of materials including wood, acrylic, leather, fabric or even glass.

Technically a substractive rather than additive manufacturing process, the Glowforge etches out objects instead of building them up layer by layer like a conventional 3D printer.

You can create your design using Photoshop, Illustrator or similar software, and the machine will cut or engrave your designs for you. But what makes the Glowforge different is that has integrated cameras for autofocusing to align the laser head with your pattern and simplify the cutting process. The camera even follows the hair-width beam of light, so it can adjust beam along the way.

But you don’t have to be a designer to use the Glowforge. You can simply draw your pattern onto the surface you want to print and the camera will trace it for you.

Pre-orders for Glowforge start at $2,395 for the basic model.

Check out the video and photos in the image gallery to learn more about Glowforge and the types of products it can produce.


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