Hackspace Proposal

Laser Cutter Proposal Alternate Funding Model

David Henshall

The Epilog Laser Cutter currently in the Hackspace is privately owned and has recently experienced some reliability issues.

A proposal to replace the laser cutter has already been set up. The aim of this proposal is to provide an alternative funding model for the same purchase that limits the amount of funds taken from the Hackspace.

The aim of this proposal is to provide a method of purchasing a new laser cutter while making more of Hackspace funds available for additional purchases such as a free standing pillar drill, new tools in G10 etc.

Year 1 Capital Expenditure
  • BotLab/Hackspace will donate £500 to start the fundraising process
  • The remaining capital for buying a laser cutter be raised through subscriptions/pledges.
  • An initial rate of £5hr be set.
  • Every Hackspace member would receive an allowance of half an hour a year use of the laser cutter as part of membership.
  • Further hours of use could be bought at a rate of £5hr (during or after fundraising).
  • In return for Subscriptions/pledges for the initial purchase donors would receive additional hours of use of the laser cutter based on the rate of £5hr.
  • The rate would be set for one year at which point progress could be evaluated to see if this should be adjusted to cover the cost of a replacement in five years.
  • All pledges for hours made in year 1 to buy the machine would need to be used in the first year of purchase.
  • Prices of 'Just Add Sharks' Laser Cutters are known at all sizes. If funds are raised in advance to buy a specific model then there are no questions the funds are there to buy it.
  • All the funds to be raised from pledges (apart from the BotLab/Hackspace initial donation).
  • By limiting financial risk to the Hackspace and providing a clear goal more members are likely to support a fundraising venture whether they use a laser cutter or not.
  • A rate for use needs to be set at an accessible level to evaluate if this is sustainable.

Just Add Sharks Laser Cutters are priced competitively and have been supplied to other Hackspaces over some time.

The prices for JAS laser cutters represent milestones or goals to aim for through fundraising.

  • A3- £3850
  • A2- £5050
  • A1- £6150
  • A0- £7250


These prices are estimates that do not include discounts that may be available. On completion of the fundraising drive negotiation can take place to obtain the best price from the supplier.

The table below is intended to show how it may be possible to raise funds with a distribution of pledges.

Number of Individuals Pledging Hours of use Pledged per person Individual Amount pledged per person Total amount Pledged
15 40hrs 200 £3,000
20 20hrs 100 £2,000
12 10hrs 50 £600
12 6hrs 30 £360
Total £5,960

If a BotLab/Hackspace contribution of £500 and a negotiated discount from JAS are included it would be feasible to either purchase a A0 or A1 machine.

Gathering funds

All pledges would need to be in the BotLab/Hackspace account before committing to purchase a laser cutter.


The final form of inductions can still be finalized although this could be free to Hackspace members on the condition that a subscription can be checked if a member uses the laser cutter.

Subsequent Years Operational Expenditure
  • Hackspace would cover the cost of ‘consumable’ parts as detailed in JAS terms and conditions if required for the first 2 years. Subsequent years should be covered by hourly rate charges.
  • Laser tube £500.
  • Mirror and lense £150.
  • Funds from hours of use bought would go towards the purchase of a new Laser cutter in an estimated 5 years.
  • The rate would be evaluated every year.
  • JAS laser tube, mirror and lense are classed as ‘consumables as such they have a warranty of 3 months. After that it is down to the manufacturers warranty.
  • The Hackspace could cover this initial risk of £650 for 2 years. No funds would be spent unless they were needed in the case of a breakdown.
  • The machine ‘should’ have a suppliers warranty for a year to cover risk to the machine for the first year.
  • Additional funds raised for use through hours bought can go towards saving for a replacement machine.
  • The speed that funds can be raised is unknown but this process can be evaluated at the end of one year.
  • Hours of use could be logged in a book. A the end of one year hours could be added up to see if the manual data entry matched the hours logged by the machine.
  • Hours logged on the machine would be for the laser tube not for logging on to the PC.
  • If they did a more accurate projected time scale for raising funds for replacement could be calculated. This would enable fine tuning of the rate for use.
  • If they did not then a reliable way of accounting for use would still be absent. In this case potentially the initial rate could stand to ensure a safety margin.
  • botlab/hsproposals/hsproposals_2015-06-16-lasetcutter_alternative_funding_model
  • Last modified: 3 years ago
  • by felix.h