Core77 recently posted on the Zing laser cutter, an $8000 home laser cutting/etching solution that appears to be as plug and play as a printer.
Unfortunately there is preciously little information on the Zing website to explain what the capabilities of the machine are in layman’s terms. All I can muster is that it has 25 watts of CO2 laser goodness and has a particularly durable ‘all-metal’ laser-tube – presumably in response to comparisons with the extortionate price of cartridges for printers.
The product appears to be aimed at those who wish to high-quality engrave photos and images onto their iPhones, or perhaps set up a cottage industry to do said engraving, given the initial capital outlay. As we have seen with 3D printers, it’s another step towards affordable fabricators for the masses, but with sophisticated consumables such as laser-tubes, is this really a responsible choice given the new waste streams fabricators such as these will create?