A regular complaint over at Instructables is that not everybody can afford their own laser cutting rig. If DK Ahn has his way, however, precision cutting - of at least paper, wood and polypropylene under 2mm thick - would be available to the mainstream, thanks to his MOW microfactory.
Video demo after the cut
"MICROFACTORY is a project centered around designing domestic manufacturing machinery. The project allows people to make their own products at home easily as well as share their own designs. By focusing on concepts of open-source design and the principles of reusing materials around the home, Micro Factory looks to use design to develop new manufacturing methods which benefit society as a whole." DK Ahn
The MOW is a tabletop cutting machine, that sits on a desktop and moves itself via four tethered anchors. Patterns would be downloaded and beamed over to the MOW via Bluetooth, which would then shuttle around slicing through the plastic or whatever material it was dealing with.
While the glossy device in the image above is merely a concept render, DK did put together a working prototype. Made from bits of remote-controlled cars, plotters and other recovered gadgets, you can see the prototype in action in the video below; if you want to skip to the action, start watching from around 8:35.