I got email from NORTD that the alpha lasersaur kits are shipping and was wondering if anyone else on cnczone was building one. They thank cnczone in their build credits, so Addie and Stefan must be hanging out around here somewhere...
lasersaur is a project to build a true open source laser cutter from scratch. About the only thing that's proprietary are the motors and some of the chips, the controller boards, software, and everything else is open source; similar to the RepRap and MakerBot 3d printer projects.
I looked at buildlog but didn't see an easy way to control it from USB. I already have one PC dedicated to being a front end for a mill, didn't want to set another one up to be the front end for a laser cutter.
From a motion-control perspective, a Cartesian XYZ machine is pretty much the same as any other. It's just a matter of how many axes you have (XY, XZ, or XYZ) and how many steps per unit of movement are needed for each axis. So I would imagine the control from the Lasersaur guys would work with pretty much any XY machine.
The Buildlog folks have been building laser cutters since around 2009. The Lasersaur guys are doing much better marketing. The USB-based controller would be a much bigger step forward if they get that to work well. The Buildlog lasers all seem to be Mach/EMC or the Retina controller from Full Spectrum Engineering which sells for ~$450 IIRC.