Trinn (523103) writes "Everybody's seen the $10,000 CO2 laser systems that cut and engrave various materials to CNC spec. Many of you already have a 3D printer at home. The L-Cheapo can turn any 3D printer or CNC mill into a laser powered acrylic/wood/leather/whatever mangler for $200 and about 2 hours time investment to set it up. The 2W laser diode is pretty powerful, it can handle many materials and can be used to help turn your ideas into reality, artistic and technical both.
This is really the next logical step in the home manufacturing/prototyping market, with the success of 3D printers, lasers were not far behind. The L-Cheapo helps bring the capabilities of the corporate giant back home. The possibilities are quite significant, as the device can be used to precision cut, engrave and ablate many materials to exacting specification, as accurate as your 3D printer happens to be. Finally you can print those gears and struts you needed for that gadget you've been working on forever, all you need is a scrap of 1/8" acrylic.
Just as the cheap home 3D printer ushered in the era of rapid prototyping of whatever the cat dragged in, the L-Cheapo will help bring about a sort of popular evolution in capability. Once upon a time everyone had a toolbox and that was it. Then came the computer and such. Obviously this requires a bit more specialist knowledge than either, but as long as you wear your goggles and don't look into the laser with your remaining eye, the L-Cheapo should help you make an interesting future."