Fundraising for a Frickin Laser Cutter

Fundraising for a laser cutter

Fundraising for a Frickin Laser Cutter

Lasers are cool.

Lasers that cut things are even cooler.

After discussion at home, and a not insignificant amount of research, we’ve decided we want to acquire a laser cutter for us to create magnificent pieces with. Ranging from art, toys, cases, boxes, gadgets and more, we want to build and make so much it’s ridiculous.

For Roz, my permanent roommate, it’s an opportunity to experiment and develop a new way for her to showcase her work and love of cephalopods.

For myself it’ll allow me not only to create finer and more intricate custom made dungeons & dragons cases, but also dice towers, tokens, toys and games. An added bonus would be to create other gadgets and machines like CNC routers, 3D printers, and even robots (oh I have plans)

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More importantly, it’d also allow an opportunity for us to sell our creations to the masses, and accept commissions. Either online, or via local markets and events. We do live in a tourist town after all, so customized gifts of Clacton in such a unique style would definitely be a winner.

So what do we need? The laser cutter.50w Laser Cutter
After having spent a lot of time reading and talking to people, we’ve settled on an imported 50W laser cutter that’ll have a build area of 300mm x 500mm. About A3 size which’d allow some pretty great cuts. Imported laser cutters from China come with their risks, however I’ve learned so long as you are prepared to do modifications, which I am, it should work out alright. Things like unaligned mirrors, dodgy build beds, poor ventilation, loose wiring are common. Factoring in the costs of replacements and consumables, importing from China still remains significantly cheaper than buying from the US or UK.

What’s the fundraising goal? £1000 GBP, which is roughly $1270 USD at time of writing.

This isn’t something new, it’s not groundbreaking, and it’s not a product, so this isn’t a kickstarter. However, anyone who donates over £50 if they want, I will add to a waiting list to receive one of my tabletop RPG cases, created with the laser cutter and customized in some form. There isn’t a time limit on this fundraiser, so it might take a while.

If you’d like to lend us a hand with this, and help us get started in creating magnificent art, intricate designs, mysterious cases, tourist knick knacks, or just love frigging lasers, please hit this big donate button which’ll allow you to donate via Paypal.

Current total: £300
Goal: £1000

However don’t feel terrible if you can’t donate. The next best thing is to share this fundraiser with as many people as possible, especially creators, artists, makers, hackers, and benevolent yet mysterious financial backers. It is appreciated just as much.

Making a living

Sponsorships, selling out and changing my mind

Making a living

Years ago, I was a fiercely independent individual wanting to be a self-made man, and part of that carried over into certain areas I work in. The idea of compromising my morals and ethics in favour of commercialism and selling out was such a foreign and disgusting concept to me, that I avoided it all costs. Even if financial pressure set in I could say “I might be poor, but I stand by my convictions.”

To this day, I still struggle with overcoming the “I can do this myself” type approach.

I often do things for others for free or for cost. Spend time helping others set up social media for their projects, or sites for their bands, build props for at cost or just gifting it to them, or spend my time working on something like editing or writing that’d benefit others.

I think a huge factor to this is I understand being broke, hell, I am broke myself, constantly, so I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on someone else. I want as many people as possible to be happy, though I’m well aware it’s impossible to keep everyone happy.

This has all come at the cost of my own happiness, and more importantly, progress to create more things. I can’t afford new equipment, can’t afford supplies, and bills are getting postponed as long as possible.

My time IS worth recompense, and I have developed skills that others do not have. Much as it’d be great to share and teach these skills, I have no patience for teaching either. I’m an artist, administrator, developer, and creator, and no one should expect to do these things for free.

So with that said, I’m going to make some changes to how I do things. I will charge for my time, at least minimum wage, and a mark up on items and development. I will start using marketing techniques, advertising, sponsorship, funding, and yes, even merchandise systems like Zazzle, Cafepress and Spreadshirt.

Because much as I like the idea of building things from scratch, and gifting people things, I still need to eat, drink, feed my family and be able to have a semblance of living.