The Curse of DRM

(DRM Chair. After 8 sits, it breaks)

Ok… so a couple of weeks in, I have a perfectly working laser-cutter.

The controller of which (only) runs a piece of software called LaserCutter 5.3, which is one of most inadequate piles of shite I have ever seen. It only runs on Windows XP. It looks like it was written 20 years ago. It’s also cripple-ware, which means it’s been deliberately crippled to only run with a USB dongle

(this usb-stick could kill your business)

… aaaaaannnnnddd … the dongle has stopped working… which takes the entire machine out of commission until a replacement can be sent from China… only they won’t send one until the broken one has been sent back. Several weeks, minimum.

And for what? A fucking dongle?

If you’re thinking of buying a laser cutter DON’T buy one that uses a MPC6515 controller – which uses the DRM crippled LaserCut 5.3.

So… it’s looking like I might be looking at an open-source variant sooner than expected.

Here’s a stop-motion vid of open-source Lasersaur being put together. Far nicer looking machine than the commercial ones, and user-innovations (can) get fed back into the next iteration. I’m not sure that it does rastar-engraving mind… and that’s kindof crucial.

Lasersaur (open source laser cutter) assembly timelapse. Feb 2013 from colaborativa on Vimeo.

(NB: This sort of collaborate approach to putting-stuff-together may be great for learning, but it’s not generally how creativity happens. If you want to do any actual thinking, you’re probably better off doing it on your own. Collaboration is massively over-rated, in my most humble of opinions. Extroverts love it)