Kickstarting The Origami, a new kind of portable laser-cutter


Neat. I’d love to play with one these :slight_smile: On the other hand this seems like an ideal tool for creating industrial accidents. A laser cutter beam can punch right through the laser opacity of safety glasses.

Not really, I’d say. Try to put a slab of regular silicate windowglass into the beam and see what happens. (In focused beam it will make a brightly shining spot, and after a while it will crack. A composite of glass bonded with elastic something to another glass slab, similar to bullet-resistant glass, will be a good bet here.) Unfocused collimated beam will just disperse the same energy over larger area, so no shining spot but it will crack after a while too. With a 40-watt laser the times to crack are at ten or more seconds, with 3mm glass. Not sure about higher powers, but could be calculated. The depth of cut is at fraction of millimeter, regardless how much I tried. (Todo: try cutting a microscope cover glass, it is almost a glass foil.)

At CO2 wavelengths, normal transparent things like glass or acrylic are opaque like the blackest black.

How are they going to deal with ventilation? I just got a laser cutter at work with a ventilated, enclosed work area and co-workers are complaining about the smell.

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Most likely either a plastic “tent” with some support, or just suck it up.

“Ships within the US only” - boooo!

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That’s what US friends are for - buying, packaging, sending.

How about a link to… you know… the project’s actual Kickstarter page?

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Hi Skeptic,

Of course, we’ve been very focused on safety. We have carefully reviewed the FDA regulations which apply to our device and have determined that the Origami meets those requirements. We have also discussed compliance with an expert in laser manufacturing and laser safety who has indicated that they see no problems with our device conforming to regulation. Once we have reached our final design, we will file our paperwork with the FDA to comply with their standards.

In order to further ensure the safe use of our laser system, we are providing to each recipient an online laser safety training course, based on the standard ANSI Z136.1-2014 (American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers), as well as a pair of properly calibrated protective safety glasses. It is important to us that our fellow Makers have the training and equipment necessary to operate the Origami Portable Laser System safely.


Hi pg1million,

Ventilation is definitely a challenge for all laser cutters and the Origami is no exception. The Origami has ventilation ports surrounding the laser aperture which draw in smoke and fumes directly at the point of the cut. The fumes are then passed through an activated carbon filter or the user may attach a flexible hose to the back of the unit and vent the fumes out a window. The system works well but it misses some of the fumes that can escape through the bottom of the material during a through cut. We are adding an additional system to address this issue and we will have some video showing its effectiveness soon. Keep in mind that if you are cutting a particularly smelly material, you can always take the Origami outside.

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Hi Zotlerg,

We have had significant interest in an international version of our device and we are looking into the feasibility of offering one during our Kickstarter. Check back later this week to see if we’ve offered a Kickstarter level for international shipping. We will of course offer an international version when we are in full production.

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I was kinda hoping for something like this:

Random thought. Make the design friendly to aftermarket power upgrades - in the way of mounting the laser tube in a way that will make it possible/easyish to replace it with a longer one?

The integrated suck around the nozzle is a nice trick.

Yikes! That ANSI document is over $170. Care to publish your safety training course, or at least a decent summary? I feel like I’d have a better time believing that this open air laser is safe if I could see how much is involved in using it safely.


Edit: There are quite many laser safety documents from various university labs, floating all over the Net. Mostly distills into eyewear, safety interlocks, preventing of specular reflections (at lasers with power low enough that diffuse reflections aren’t a hazard), and some tables of safe distances/powers. And not putting hands into the beam when it is on, though in this case the result will be likely at most unpleasant but not really dangerous burn.

And beware of laser fires, or, the materials being cut catching fire. It happens to everybody. Be prepared and do not panic and just blow it off or smother if it gets bigger.

A bit here:
Only the CO2-related things apply. Similarly, from the non-beam hazards, only the high voltage applies, as there are no cryo or high-pressure issues, and maybe a bit of the plume-related ones.

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There’s plenty of laser safety docs out there. That’s not the point. I want to see the one that the Origami safety rationale is derived from specifically. Without seeing that or the derivative work, there’s no way to know the maker’s point of view. I have a lot of experience with an Epilog laser cutter, and I never needed a laser safety training course to use it, because there’s no unsafe way to do so. If the Origami does require a course, that suggests that there is an unsafe way.

You would be surprised what various safety nazis can come up with - and then there are so many procedures to follow and gear to wear that people skip it all instead of paying attention where it actually matters. Too many pointless warnings and people stop noticing them all. Too many interlocks and they will be so cumbersome to use people will bypass them.

A course may be a sign that there’s a problem, or that the vendor is American and covers their posterior against hungry lawyers that always circle around there. In this one specific case, you get a laser beam out of the end that can be pointed in open-space direction, so a bit of extra care is needed.

In perspective, people are driving around huge chunks of metal, with dozen or more of gallons of flammable fluids, without blinking an eye. A much less dangerous laser raises eyebrows.

My K40-III has plenty of unsafe modes. Little to no safety docs too, and no switch to cut off beam when the lid is opened. But that comes with the low-cost territory and just means you have to be appropriately careful, and not opening the lid during operation if you don’t really have to (e.g. inevitable minor fires) and pay attention then. I’d prefer Origami over the K40 but it came earlier and the cost was much lower.

Also, free CO2 laser mirrors:

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