You may have noticed a strange looking device in the back corner of Open Design City these days – something resembling an oversized photocopy machine – and perhaps found yourself wondering when the next DIY time-travel workshop would be held. However, what you are seeing is, in fact, none other than a Helix laser cutter. Manufactured by US-based Epilog Laser, this piece of equipment will be available at ODC for one month. ODC manager Tom explains further.

So what does this laser-cutter do, exactly?

The laser-cutter can be used to cut a variety of materials – wood, cardboard, plastic – based on a digital design you can create on Photoshop or on Illustrator. The laser-cutter can also be used for engraving – t-shirts, business cards,

Who gave you this laser-cutter, and when?

The laser-cutter was presented to us by the anstiftung & ertomis foundation – an organisation dedicated to sustainable urban development and DIY culture. As part of their Offene Werkstätte (open workshops) network, ODC receives materials and equipment that circulates among similar workshops throughout Germany. We just received the laser-cutter this weekend, and will have it until the 3rd of March.

How can members use it?

Members of betahaus and ODC can use this laser-cutter for a variety of things – business cards and stencils would be two of the more practical uses for it. There are plenty of websites with pre-made laser-cutting patterns that allow you to create a wide variety of things.
Using the laser-cutter will cost members and non-members alike 5 Euros for every 10 minutes of cutting time.

Sounds interesting. We’d like to see this thing in action – is there a workshop coming up?

Yes. Our first workshop will be an introduction to laser-cutting, and will take place on Thursday, the 9th of February, from 19:00 to 21:00 (5 Euros for members, 15 Euros for non-members). Following that, we will be holding a more advanced laser-cutting workshop, which will take place from 14:00 to 20:00 on Saturday, the 18th of February (20 Euros for members, 60 Euros for non-members).

We will also be holding a workshop on the 27th of February, where we will be using the laser-cutter to make screen-printing stencils (5 Euros for members, 15 Euros for non-members). Additionally, members who already know how to use a laser-cutter are welcome to hold their own workshops, and pass their skills on to others – just contact me at

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