Kickstarting The Origami, a new kind of portable laser-cutter

Created by a team from Pittsburgh's Techshop makerspace, the Origami uses a novel, fold-out arm that lets you laser-etch and -cut much larger designs than you could get into a normal, enclosed cutter.

It mounts either horizontally or vertically — you can etch walls. They're looking for $80K to buy the components so they can assemble and start shipping. $4200 gets you a cutter of your own. None of the team list any product development experience, which is a potential red flag, though they've built an impressive prototype and have lots of experience with small-scale production and administration. As with any crowdfunding project, remember that you might end up with nothing at all for your money.

The Origami laser is portable. It folds to save space, and it can be used in a variety of orientations (horizontal for tables, vertical for walls and windows, etc.). It has no limiting enclosure so users can create monumental works of art by indexing and moving the laser across the work area. You can take this laser to wherever and to whatever needs lasering. And really, what doesn't need a good lasering? (The answer is obviously people and animals — please use your laser responsibly!)

The secret to the Origami's versatility is its patented folding arm technology as well as its self-contained ventilation system. No giant hoses and special electrical hookups are needed to run the laser; simply carry it to your project, plug it in, open the arm, and begin personalizing your world! (Proper safety goggles are important, as with any laser)

(Thanks, Ollie!)