Now, this is not a plug and play machine. It came without electronics and software to control it. This because an open source alternative to both electronics and software will be used to operate it.
Yesterday the first step was made to bring the machine to life. After getting myself a building kit for the electronics (again through Jaap Vermaas), I suggested a meeting of those that had bought a laser cutter with me, to build the electronics. Jean-Claude of JeeLabs (great stuff there!) kindly hosted us at his home, and we spent a very enjoyable day soldering and testing. Jean-Claude proved to be invaluable both when it came to testing as well as providing spare parts that got blown up in the process. Over lunch in the garden we concluded that humans are monkeys, but we’re monkeys with laser cutters, we’re Maker Monkeys. (and I registered the domain for fun)
Elmine and I both did more soldering (following the documentation closely) yesterday than in the past 10 years combined, but the result was there. We now have the finished electronics, and it has been tested on a laser cutter and proven to work. This is but a first step to get to a functioning machine, but an important one. Especially as without the help we got it would have been very hard to determine whether everything was working properly.