The Ultimate Laser "Printer"

This article http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1360231,00.asp talks about an easy to use laser printer that cuts, etches and trims various materials
including wood and plastic. This sort of device has been discussed in the NG before but the ease of use of the new product is very good (if you believe the review). While the device is very expensive now, I am sure that, as with all computer gear, the price will come down over time.
I can see a time in the future where any imaginable object will be able to be produced cheaply by a hobbyist using a device of this type. In the meantime, what is the likelyhood of a business using this device to produce modelling products?
Interesting times indeed.
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Ultan Rooney wrote:

I could see one using this thing to make relief-etched photo etch type parts...either in brass, or plastic - imagine that...plastic "etch" that nearly everyone could work with without using special glues, techniques, etc...
Then there's the usual vinyl cutting jobs like paint masks. Or maybe sections of carrier deck for that dio you're working on...
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Funny, I just read that article in the the Dr's office today.. yeah, I know he could get his license taken away for having a current magazine in the racks...
That's just what I was thinking by the way. This plastic 'etch'.. even so far as to copy a given set and make a plastic version. Even just copying out of scale thickness kit parts, Panther skirts come to mind..
Masks would be good too...
But the article says they're $10,000 US which is eaithe VERY expensive (hobbyist) or VERY cheap (manufacturer) and connect directly to the PC and use a standard drawing program.
I also say an article in Hobby Japan about a CCM (computer controlled milling ) machine being used to make Gundam bits. Looks like they use resin blocks and plug to a PC as well..
hmmm we live in Interesting times.. Mike please remove "diespam" to reply
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, perhaps you've misunderstood the situation.
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http://www.afvs.co.uk
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These things can be very dangerous if misused or modified, and that may keep price up or cause restrictions on how they are sold.
On the other hand, there are small NC 'mills' sold that could do similar things. These are already getting down in price range where a hobbyist with a little more money than I have could buy them. Also, I am going to be sending for a book I saw that perports to let you build your own. If you use a 1/32 inch cutter (I already have one for my Sherline ) you could make some pretty tight corners, and not waste much material.
I think most of these machines have good control in two axes, not so good on third, so are used mostly for cutting out sheet stock (or for milling copper off PC boards, the intended use for several of them), or for NC drilling, but they may have SOME use for 3D milling.
Ultan Rooney wrote:

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