We’ve been on a quest since forming Just Add Sharks to find a small desktop laser cutter to complement our fleet of larger laser cutting machines. But despite looking at smaller models from China we could not find anything of sufficient quality and capability to put the Just Add Sharks name on. But that’s about to change. Say hello to vanillabox, an open source laser cutter, designed and built in the UK and driven by our passion for laser cutting that’s made Just Add Sharks a success in the last 4 years.
We feel strongly that by designing and manufacturing our own small format laser cutter we can stay true to the open and collaborative philosophies of the Hackerspace and maker movement from which Just Add Sharks was conceived back in 2013. The vanillabox will be an open source laser cutter that can run on PC or MAC and will be customisable and hackable for those who love to tinker and improve, but at the same time reliable and straightforward for those who want to just get making. Because laser cutters are relatively simple CNC machines we think with good documentation and a little help from a big community supporting each other, most vanillabox owners be confident operators of their laser cutter in no time at all.
We didn't want to reinvent the wheel so our laser cutter uses common off-the-shelf parts common to most lower cost laser cutters and it uses software built upon GRBL and Visicut to drive the machine. We strongly support the open source community and will support these existing projects and follow them through their lifespan while keeping the vanillabox system as flexible and upgradable as possible.