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