Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Open Source Laser Business Opens In New York 96

Posted by kdawson
from the burn-baby-burn dept.
ptorrone writes "If you can't stand the idea of a cookie-cutter laptop and you live in New York City, you have a new option: laser-etching. Phil Torrone, an editor at Make magazine, and Limor Fried, a former fellow at the tech-focused art studio Eyebeam R&D, are working together on Adafruit Laser Services, a new, by-appointment-only business in Manhattan that etches custom artwork onto customers' laptops, iPods, cell phones, and other gadgets." The entire business will be open source. From the Adafruit Laser Services site: "We are publishing how to use the high powered laser system, set up, techniques, business practices and templates. You could start your own laser business, we'll even help you."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Open Source Laser Business Opens In New York

Comments Filter:
  • by Drooling Iguana (61479) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @08:57PM (#17217170)
    And are they attached to the heads of sharks?

    That should be.
  • Pshh!!...All they do is add an apple and CALL it an upgrade!
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:10PM (#17217324)
    Bank account numbers and passwords please !
  • by binarybum (468664) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:16PM (#17217404) Homepage
    mod points to the first person to get a goatse etched powerbook and post it.

    you know it's going to happen.
  • Nice Slashvert. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Nice Slashvert. Come on folks, this is unique? Special? New?
    • by snark23 (122331)
      The laser-etching part isn't unique...

      but a completely open-source business? If that's not novel, it's certainly unusual. I think it's pretty cool. Hopefully we get a follow-up post in six months to see how well the concept works.

      What would be really interesting, though, would be to have some more "standard" open source businesses... laundromat, convenience store, teriyaki joint, etc. The kinds of shops that don't take immense resources to start up.

      I suppose the franchise concept provides a closed-sourc
  • by ahem (174666) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:20PM (#17217444) Homepage Journal
    "Do not look at laser with remaining eye."
  • Open Source? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flghtmstr1 (1038678) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:24PM (#17217488)
    I thought open source referred to simply making the source code available for public viewing. How can a business "open source" something which is not code? I have noticed an increase in the improper usage of the term "open source" as of late; I've even heard people say that pirating software is "open sourcing" that piece of software.
    • Re:Open Source? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Drooling Iguana (61479) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:40PM (#17217630)
      From TFS:

      "We are publishing how to use the high powered laser system, set up, techniques, business practices and templates. You could start your own laser business, we'll even help you."
      • by Firehed (942385)
        Okay, who do I contact to send over my shipping address? I'd like two-day delivery of my high-powered laser system, but I'll settle for UPS ground since they're so willing to help out.

        Maybe I am asking a bit much from their offer to "help", but we're all in the holiday spirit of giving, right?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MyNymWasTaken (879908)
      Can you not even spend the slight moment to RTFS?


      We are publishing how to use the high powered laser system, set up, techniques, business practices and templates. You could start your own laser business, we'll even help you
    • Re:Open Source? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ptorrone (638660) * <ptNO@SPAMadafruit.com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:42PM (#17217652)
      well - all the templates, files, schematics, software we make, jigs, tools - anything that we can open source will be. we didn't construct the laser cutter (maybe we will make a new one) but we'll do our best to put everything out there.
      • See, the issue here is that the 'source' in 'open source' refers to source code - jigs, templates etc are not source code. However, this is a regular enough linguistic phenomenon - see "Irangate" "workaholic" etc. There's no Irangate hotel, nor is there a lot of workahol going around, but we get it.
        • However, this is a regular enough linguistic phenomenon - see "Irangate" "workaholic" etc. There's no Irangate hotel, nor is there a lot of workahol going around, but we get it.

          No, you hit the nail on the head with your first sentence. It's not Open Source. It's way cool, very neat, but it's not Open Source. Typical Slashdot rocket trajectory, high on fumes.

        • by ptorrone (638660) *
          there's other software that will be developed, right now no one has anything out there, and certainly not open source - i'll try my best!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by trentblase (717954)
          You're not really thinking like a computer scientist. Schematics, templates, jigs (presumably the instructions on building them), etc. can all be source code if you define the language and target system correctly. For example, the template is presumably a set of instructions that tell the engraver where to engrave, what power level, how long, etc. These instructions get compiled or interpreted by the engraver and executed just like any other source code would. amirite?
      • I am very interested, and have sent an email to you, but still is there a link to look at the system besides the products you engraved?
        • by ptorrone (638660) *
          hey will, i'm responding to 100+ emails. the system is an epilog mini 35w + filter system. i'll look for your note and send back infoz too.
      • by takuto (1037526)
        The company I work for does etching as a courtesy to our customers. We use co2 and yag lasers, as well as more conventional mechanical etchers. The lasers range in size from smaller desktop etching units, all the web up to a beast of a cutter whose cutting area is slightly larger than my carport. I have worked with these machines for awhile now, and over the years I've created the equivlent of everything these guys are saying they will 'open source':

        well - all the templates, files, schematics, software we

        • by ptorrone (638660) *
          wait what? really software we make, templates and hardware jigs - i guess you'll just need to watch and see. the how-tos, material settings, everything you can't "get" without paying will be available. since you created the "open source" of all this, where is it?
      • by K8Fan (37875)
        This sounds very interesting. I do tech support for a small company (about a dozen employees) that has a 100 watt laser that we're needing to replace. It's just one part of a business that also does rubber stamps, signs and badges. Researching different models of lasers, equipment and software has a cost, and knowing what works and what doesn't has quite a bit of value. We're half the country away from you and have no interest in providing this service outside our immediate area. I'll be contacting you. Th
    • Re:Open Source? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ampathee (682788) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:58PM (#17217790)
      I've even heard people say that pirating software is "open sourcing" that piece of software.


      Wow, we need to stamp THAT out quick. Look what happened to "hacker".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by seanadams.com (463190) *
      How can a business "open source" something which is not code?

      It's a pretty intriguing question actually. Maybe not open source, but businesses can certainly be a lot more open. At Slim Devices we pushed that envelope quite a bit by inviting customers to participate meaningfully in developing the products. <plug>There is an interesting article [fastcompany.com] just posted at Fast Company which asks Is this the company of the future?.</plug>

      I believe it _is_ a model that will work well for many other companies, a
    • by Speare (84249)

      Um, the term "Open Source" was in use in the business information and intelligence communities for a long time before someone decided to use it for computer source code and all-around informatic hippy-ness. Anything that's known on the street, published in a newspaper or magazine, is open sourced; this is the opposite condition of something which is secret or privileged. And by the way, who the hell made you the language police?

    • Re:Open Source? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RealGrouchy (943109) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:14PM (#17218268)
      It's like an Open Source business model.

      Compare Microsoft's software with Wal-Mart's business model: we see the output of it, but we don't quite know what techniques they used to get there (like upper-level management techniques, how they decide where to locate their stores, etc.) Try to track down the manufacturers for Wal-Mart products. Try to get a tour of the factory to see the working conditions. Hell, try to take a look at Enron's accounting practises (oops. Too late for that one).

      There are many companies in many sectors who go to great lengths to protect their "source": what it is they're doing that will eventually be their output. An "open" company (okay, I admit that the "source" part is unnecessary, but it does add context to what is meant by "open") will let you see the practises of the company, so that company can show it has nothing to hide.

      With business as with software, openness builds trust.

      - RG>
    • by hhawk (26580)
      Any "trade secret" could be opened sourced.. from a business rule to some secret formula...

      Not only what's in Coca cola?

      But, How to make it. (how much of x and y, and how to make a batch)

      How to build the machines that make it. (how to build a bottling line, etc.)

      The business logic for how to market and sell it.

      If they hedge their raw products through purchases on the open market, the math behind how they buy and sell the options, etc.

      I could go on and on..
    • by iabervon (1971)
      ccording to the GPL: "The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it." Open source applies just as well to fields other than software, but there are a lot of fields in which it is not valuable to the user. There are a lot of types of works where the creation of a modified work is meaningless, because what matters is a particular official version (anyone could create a modified US Constitution, but only the original has any particular force). And there are some
  • Laser cookie cutter? If yes, that is freaking cool!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >> The entire business will be open source.

    Freakin' open source lasers!
  • Neat idea. I predict these laser-etching machines will propagate first to the Cartridge-World-type stores, then to the ubiquitous Kinkos stores, and eventually Dell/Gateway will accept your image via upload for burning at the factory.
    • The O2 store on Oxford Street will laser etch an image onto your phone if you're an O2 customer. Its all part of their way of giving away freebies at festivals and other events to keep customers loyal without having to drop their prices.
  • garbage (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    this is garbage and completely a spam advertisement. why is this allowed??????
  • Ironic that the anti open source astroturf likes to associate Ayn Rand ideals when here is an excellent example of how the open society subscribes directly to one of Rand's principles, namely that perfect capitalism cannot happen without idealism and openness. Capitalism is not about the money, it's about the joy of doing something.
    • Actually Capitalism is about paying workers 20$ to do something, which they may or may not enjoy, and then charging others 100$ to enjoy what the workers did. And I'm sure the capitalists enjoy this, so I guess you have somewhat of a point.
      • by kanani (882288)
        of course, capitalism also gives said workers the ability to start their own business in which they can charge their customers $100 for work performed by their workers for said $20
    • Calm down there guy. If you don't like Rand read something else. If your professor whines about Rand too much, tell him to read something else. This is about fricken laser beams, not Randian Objectivism BS.
  • I guess that they're not being used for research purposes, but whenever I've worked with lasers it's always been key that communication with the manufacturer is possible. Continuum (etc.) certainly benefits if they're the only ones that ever fix my laser, but then again they have processes for verifying that their calibrations won't screw up my data by more than a certain small amount.

    I guess it really doesn't matter if you're just blasting a CO2 laser in the vague shape of words or something. Sure, alig
    • I guess it really doesn't matter if you're just blasting a CO2 laser in the vague shape of words or something. Sure, alignment is tricky, but I've aligned a low-power open-cavity HeNe on my own--and I imagine if a laser of that power and size gets misaligned, it's probably beyond help.


      I've done some work on the laser etchers by Laser Systems. The CO2 laser is a sealed RF pumped unit from 15-50 watts. The alignment to get it to the target is no big deal. I have aligned one that was knocked out of alignment
      • Hm. With the HeNe lasers I always worked with, the symptom of a misaligned output coupler or high reflector was that you didn't have any significant laser output. I didn't think gas flow lasers were different, so maybe it's something further up the beampath you're talking about. I imagine if the cavity itself were to get damaged, there'd probably be bigger problems than the mirrors.
        • Hm. With the HeNe lasers I always worked with, the symptom of a misaligned output coupler or high reflector was that you didn't have any significant laser output.

          Due to the laser power and wavelength (invisable and starts fire) the laser unit is factory sealed. The alignment I was talking about is entirely downstream of the laser head. The alignment is completed with all interlocks in place and functional. The lid is opened, the mirror tweaked and tape replaced and then the covers are closed and the alig
  • Is this new? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:00PM (#17218178)
    Just remember, most pyramid scheme businesses are open source too.... they depend on it.
    • I beg to differ... the last thing a pyramid/Ponzi schemist would want you to discover is what's behind the curtain... for you would then see the lack of value in the product/service you're ostensibly being pushed to promote or consume, and the house of cards would come tumbling down.

      In some sense, nearly every form of viral marketing is a pyramid scheme itself, the difference being that the products and services promoted successfully through such a method usually have a value or utility associated with th
      • In a pyramid scheme, the only "value" rests in extending the pyramid

        Yeah, and as a member of the scheme you know this because that's the appeal... the concept of getting others involved and getting a cut of their income is widely the basis of recruiting others into such an organization. How can you claim this isn't true?

        As for lack of value in a service or product: are you crazy? Just about everyone out there knows that WalMart is a (small) step above a second hand store and look at the people flock to i
  • .

    The intro began with:
    ""If you can't stand the idea of a cookie-cutter laptop..."

    Why would such a person want a cookie-cutter business? If you follow directions closely, you will have a duplicate of the original business. Well you might as well open another t-shirt business, taco shop or Starbucks and join the retail lemmings of the world. A business must have some thing or things unique to prosper.

    --

    But the crux of this discussion is the word 'open source'. Is it appropriate? And the unique thing my post h
    • by Shadyman (939863)
      Why would such a person want a cookie-cutter business? If you follow directions closely, you will have a duplicate of the original business. Well you might as well open another t-shirt business, taco shop or Starbucks and join the retail lemmings of the world. A business must have some thing or things unique to prosper.

      I don't see laser shops on every street corner, so it's obviously not yet 'cookie-cutter' enough. It's still a relatively new idea (using lasers to etch various things like laptops, etc)
    • by bensch128 (563853)
      If a program as unique and popular as PacMan or VisiCalc was produced by an open source organization, what would happen? Would it be immediately pounced upon by imitators and perhaps even more interesting versions? I'm asking because I'm not sure. I tend to think it would be watered down somehow and I doubt anyone would get much credit or money from their inspiration.

      Look at gcc or glibc or linux kernel or libstdc++. These are all hugely popular and used programs with no equally popular forks. It's not wort
  • If this catches on,it might even become like a chain of laser etching shops.Just that no royalties or franchise fees needs to be paid and if everyone contributes back to the "source code",then most problems can be ironed out and everyone is happy

    Though there is one problem,how does one etching business gain over the other?Is it purely like Burger King where its based on geographical location or through special things the shop can do.

    If this comment is crap,just mod me down
    • by djupedal (584558)
      >'Though there is one problem,how does one etching business gain over the other?'

      That question is rooted in a traditional business model, which is what this type of business is trying to not be.

      Instead of thinking that competition is part of the business plan by default, why not think cooperation instead. If your shop uptown gets a large order that it can't handle and meet the delivery date, you hand off the excess production to another shop downtown.

      If you can't afford to pay for a promotion, c
  • Now I can get "Bad Mothafucka" [imdb.com] etched on my iPod!
  • With all the privacy concerns around here, I'd've thought a cookie-cutter laptop would be a good thing...
  • Adafruit? haha Lemon, that's a good name. But your still Lemon! - SR
  • Website hosted on 199.201.145.20 by the l0pht, if people still remember them.

    OrgName: L0pht Heavy Industries
    OrgID: LHI
    Address: 46 Waltham St
    City: Boston
    StateProv: MA
    PostalCode: 02118
    Country: US
  • but Tom came in to work hung over and turned the laser all the way up. We burned a hole right through your new MacBook Pro. Thankfully, you signed the waiver, so we're good. I hope you have backups of all that business data though.
  • The laser etches you :)

    If you are in the Toronto Area you can visit

    http://laseretch.sublimeideas.com/ [sublimeideas.com]

    There are also 20 free etching giveaways....

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer

Working...