Boxford Laser Cutter 2023 Pledge Drive

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This is a pledge drive to purchase a second hand Boxford BGL1390 laser cutter from a local person who has offered it at a good price and has kept it in good condition, with light usage. If purchased it'd replace the current 9 year old laser (which would likely be sold).


Brochure from Boxford:

Photos of the laser:

Feel free to discuss this on Discord!

Add your pledge to the bottom of the page if you have a wiki account (the password is the same as your HMS account, but make sure you use your HMS username rather than email address) but if you can't access let the trustees know. Your pledge money will be requested once the pledge is fulfilled and once we have the money the laser will be purchased.

Pledge Aims

£3600 - Base pledge for the Boxford Laser Cutter and assorted parts:

  • 100W Laser
  • Lightburn based controller
  • Built in chiller
  • Camera with automatic laser focus (the autofocus will be repaired and may not be immediately available)
  • Rotary attachment (brand new/unused)
  • 1 x Lens with narrower beam for deeper cutting
  • 2 x Lenses best for engraving and shallow cuts (caveat; we are not allowing members to swap lenses they may be used in particular workshops however)
  • Lightburn Software (3 keys) and Boxford material library
  • Misc Spare materials (will be used for workshops)

If we reach £3600 and go over money will go towards the below items:

  • Transport and installation
  • Spare mirrors and lenses
  • Improvements to the laser area
  • Running the Hackspace

Pledge Money for Laser Time and Inductions Information

Like the first laser cutter pledge we will be allowing the pledge money to be also used against the cost of using the laser in the future.

It has been decided by the Trustees the cost will not be increasing from £3 per hour which is judged to keep it at a good, affordable level and cover usage, parts and repairs.

To use the new laser cutter you will need a safety and Lightburn software induction. If you have already had an induction on the current laser this will be free and these will be done in groups. The laser team is prepared to commit the time to do this.

Inductions for members not already inducted on the current laser will continue to be paid one to one sessions bookable on HMS (cost £20).

Information and Background on the Boxford Laser Pledge

Boxford Laser

We were recently offered the opportunity to purchase a laser cutter that is surplus to the requirements of the owner. The machine in question is a Boxford 100W with A0 (1300mm x 900mm) bed.

It was purchased in 2021 and has had relatively little use, mostly during Covid when their primary business was on hold.

The machine has a built in chiller, air assist compressor and advanced control panel with screen. It also has front and back pass-through panels that are easily opened and closed, allowing sheet materials larger than the bed to be processed. To assist in maintenance all parts of the system are accessible by removable panels.

Also included is a rotary attachment which has not yet been used. There is also a camera to assist in positioning work on the bed accurately.

The laser has been well looked after with the honeycomb bed in excellent condition with only a little residue. It has been tested by the laser team doing cuts and engraves.

The user had a small fire in the machine that led to one of the clear lid panels being damaged. This has now been made good but unfortunately it also affected the auto focus system which is currently not working and we will be seeking to fixing this as part of the pledge. Other than this, the machine is in good condition and is recommended to us by Dominic and is recommended by the Laser Team for purchase.

Software is Lightburn which is one of the best laser control programs currently, allowing use of many different file formats including both raster and vector files.

When new this machine cost £8932, but the owner is looking for £3500 for a quick sale and we want to fix the autofocus for an additional £100 for £3600 total.

Our Current Laser

The current laser cutter was discussed in the last Members Meeting, and rightly the question was raised about fixing or improving the current laser cutter.

Our current laser cutter is currently over 9 years old and in recent times (3-4 years) we have seen multiple problems develop which despite servicing by a professional engineer continue to plague us.

Lasercut software on the PC has always been unreliable, sometimes failing to load files, even the regularly used induction files from both hard drive and removable media and failure to download files to the laser for cutting. Multiple attempts usually result in success but there is no pattern to the problem.

Intermittently the laser head will jog around 10mm to either left or right while cutting and continue while maintaining the offset.

While the base bed on the laser is level, both knife and honeycomb beds have problems with the honeycomb bed having a significant dip in the middle, this may be contributing to uneven cutting with parts of projects not cutting through completely.

We have also had instances of the cut becoming random during a session, which can result in a waste of materials.

While some of these issues could be resolved by modifying the laser, we are faced with it being taken offline for indeterminate periods while work is done and tested. This could cause upset amongst users of arguably the most popular tool in the Hackspace, especially as there is no guarantee of the machine being fixed by this work.

The Laser Team recommends this Pledge Drive to raise the funds required to purchase the Boxford as it will quickly solve the current issues, while giving a significant upgrade in laser performance (25% power increase and much wider capabilities with Lightburn).


How/when will the new laser be installed?

The seller wants it gone ASAP so it could arrive quickly. If we can arrange installation at the same time this will be announced to all members. The lift is currently out of order so will depend on that being fixed.

The new laser will require a short reinduction as noted before, but these can't occur until the new laser is installed.

What is happening to the old laser?

It will hopefully find a buyer since it is in working order. If you are interested, contact the Trustees!

Pledge List

Add your pledge to the bottom of the page if you have a wiki account (the password is the same as your HMS account) but if you can't access let the trustees know. Your pledge money will be requested once the pledge is fulfilled and once we have the money the laser will be purchased.

The pledge was successful at £4330.00.

When paying the code will be LASER2023-XX where XX is your initials. Please send the money in to the bank see the Bank details on HMS:

You do not need to edit this page further (we will be using it to track adding credit!).

Who How Much Paid? Method Paid Laser Credit Added
Aaron Jackson £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Alex Mann £30 -
Andrew Armstrong £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Andrew Hutson £210 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Andrew Walters £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Arthur Moore £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Ax Smith-Laffin £15 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Barbara Childs £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Becky Dowson £25 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Betty Ching £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Bob Wood £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Carl Leoni £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Charlie Cole £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Charlé Clark £100 -
Daniel Obeng £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Daniel Swann £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Dave Isles £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Dave Miller £30 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
David Spence £15 -
Douglas Creek £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Duncan Fyfe £200 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Edward Podgorski £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Emily Roe £150 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Graham Sutherland £25 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Greg Bowring £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Helen Naylor £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Howard Smith £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Humu Choji £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Ian Cutmore £10 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Ian Turner £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
James Fowkes £100 -
James Hayward £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
James Taylor £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Jason Alexander £90 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Jayen Pancholi £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Joe Newton £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
John Rider £300 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Jon Crookston £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Jon Hirst £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Jon Woodcock £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Joyce Farnese £500 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Karen Wilson £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Keelan Hegarty £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Kevin Stevenson £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Kirsty Stimpson £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Lee Hutchison £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Lee Smith £10 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Lex Roberts £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Louise Dennis £75 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Malcolm Childs £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Martin Rayment £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Matthew Walton £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Niall Freeman £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Peter Wasylko £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Robert Skuriat £25 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Ryan Heath £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Sam Roberts £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Samathy Barratt £100 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Simon Bramley £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Simon Hagan £30 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Steve Barnett £20 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Tasos Avgoustidis £50 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes
Tim Partridge £150 Yes Xfer (Confirmed) Yes