How Social Capital Brought a Community Laser to Chandler

Connections are everywhere around you.  The stepping stones to get where you want to be already exist under your feet.  The secret to exposing them comes by sharing your ideas with others.  Sharing exposes opportunities.  Leveraging those opportunities provides the path to achieve your desires.  Being able to leverage social capital to expose and leverage only accelerates the rate at which that path unfolds.

HeatSync Labs, an anchor company at Gangplank, brought up at an anchor meeting that they were considering purchasing a laser cutter for their workshop.  Scott Cate, also an anchor at Gangplank, asked some detailed questions about the type of device they might be looking to obtain.  He mentioned that he believed he could possibly get Epilog Laser to sponsor getting a device.  Sixty days later an Epilog Legend 36EXT has been delivered to Gangplank.

The lesson here is that sharing opens up opportunity much more than hoarding does.

We plan on unveiling the laser cutter this week.  It will be open for community use shortly.  We are looking for community projects to highlight the power of such a device when made accessible to the masses.  Expect classes, demonstrations and insanity in the coming months.

Epilog Legend 36EXT Features:

Wattage:  60 watts

Work Area:  36″ x 24″ (914 x 609 mm)

Red Dot Pointer, Air Assist, Auto Focus, Integrated Vector Grid & Vacuum Table, Radiance™ High Energy Optics, Permanent Job Storage, and more.

7 thoughts on “How Social Capital Brought a Community Laser to Chandler

  1. Weird — what about all the money that @heatsync raised???

    Where is that going? @heatsync is getting the laser right? I love to see communities working together. No rivalry, no internal competition… just pure unadulterated cooperative accomplishment.

    Its a beautiful thing when politics have no place and power doesn’t corrupt!

    Nice work everyone!

    Yours truly:

    MXC’s very own Kenny Blankenship

  2. Hey! That’s great news! Didn’t HeatSync also order up a laser engraver/cutter from funds provide through their KickStarter Funding Project? (I know I contributed!)

  3. This is a great news and an example of “What if” of collaboration and community connections. Nicely done; great story.

    My concern, however, is that the guys at HeatSync Labs went to great effort to fund raise to buy a laser cutter ( not knowing that one would be forthcoming to Gangplank. It was great to see them exceed their fundraiser goal, but now it seems like the money perhaps could be better spend on other equipment if a laser cutter will already exist via Gangplank.

    The other confusing part is that HeatSync Labs is looking for a new home ( I’d much prefer them to stay at Gangplank. One of the stated reasons was the need for a ventilation system for the laser cutter (and presumably some Gangplank lease contract issues that can’t accommodate it.) If Gangplank now has an Epilog laser cutter how will the ventilation system for that system be resolved?

    In the end I hope Gangplank and HeatSync can coordinate and stay at the Gangplank location, have one laser cutter (does Epilog retain ownership? If not, does Gangplank own it?), and put the HSL laser cutter $s to use on other equipment improvements. That would be ideal and really beneficial to the entire community.

    • Jim,

      HeatSync was aware that Epilog was shipping the laser. It is on loan and is the property of Epilog. I believe this weighed in the decision for HeatSync to go ahead and purchase something of their own. Long term we are looking at a Gangplank in Tucson, which if things work well will have a full functioning hackerspace. We will likely move the laser to Tucson in the future.

      With regards to HeatSync looking for a new home. This is an issue of space. Gangplank would love to see HeatSync stay here, but know that they are out growing us. We want to see them succeed and do not want our lack of space to be a factor limiting their growth. We have tried to find some adjoining space to Gangplank that would allow them to grow, but understand they have to take an option that is best for their members.

      The Epilog laser has a filter that allows for indoor use without ventilation and does not require any specific power needs.

      We are huge supporters of Heat Sync and the community.

    • @Jim
      re: HSL fundraiser. Upon first mention of the need/desire for said laser cutter, scott offered his connections to get a free one and a higher quality with more features than the one that was readily affordable to HSL. The offer was on the table very early, it was in our anchor meeting we all attend weekly. HSL after some talking came back and said they wanted to get their own through a fundraiser, mostly because they wanted to negotiate their own deal with the vendor instead of taking the friend-only offer that was currently on the table. We all agreed that we’d continue to pursue the Epilog deal while HSL was going to try and raise money for their own. They ended up buying one and the Epilog deal came through too. Here we are.

      re: the ventilation issue and power issue. The one HSL bought has requirements that our building cannot provide without substantial modifications to our leased space, which isn’t allowed at the moment. The laser that we had donated from Epiloge has (granted I don’t now exactly how it works) it’s own ventilation filter thingy?? but whatever it is… it’s allowed indoors and will work with the current space sans any modifications. Also, the laser can plug into a regular 15a, 120v again not requiring any modifications or additions to the building.

      re: the moving / space issue. HSL is simply getting big… and that’s awesome. We just don’t have the space that HSL needs to grow… we’re working with the City to find locations to help HSL out and want to find them a sweet place to call home if we can’t provide it but there is no animosity there at all over anything, including a laser. I think HSL will have the power/venting issue wherever they go in a leased space.

      Hope that helps :)

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