Ever since TechShop went under one of the things that you found was really useful was a laser cutter. We had two different ones. An Epilog Helix 45W machine and a Chinese built Rabbit with a 80 watt laser. The chinese made machine was actually pretty good. Not as polished as the Epilog but in some ways was actually superior.
So I decided to build one. Not going to start from scratch though. At my friends surplus store two Hamilton Starlet Microlab fluid handling robots showed up. Its kind of a light duty gantry robot that can do repetitive tasks. A company that builds electron microscopes and FIB machines had bought these to try and automate loading wafers into a SEM. Didnt work out. So they are basically brand new. Here is a video of one:
He had it for a couple months and there was zero interest in it. The software is proprietary and you have to go to them to take a class before they will even sell you the software. Even the company that made it would only offer a pittance for it. The other day it hit me that it would be perfect for a laser cutter. Its completely servo driven. Maxon motors throughout. Rexroth slides on the Y and Z axis and THK on the X. Travel in X and Y is a little more than 36" x24"
Pic of the main board. Uses dual Infineon processors. Nice 41v, 15A Astec power supply.
The encoder for the X axis, magnetic, .01mm resolution.