What would be kinda cool and synergistic is if you can think of some clever parts for BookScanner v.4.0 that can be made in bulk with the Epilog, and then sold (like the electronics kits) for profit that continues to fund the development of the BooSca...
What sort of input does the Epilog take? CorelDRAW? AutoCAD? SolidWorks? (All things I'm good at...)
This is definitely the way things are going (though I'll probably only use my laser for prototyping). I've got some ideas and progress photos
The driver seems almost too-perfectly suited to working with CorelDraw. I'm using X4 -- I've always been an Illustrator guy but now I just love Corel. However, my main skillset is Maya. Do you think I'd be happier with Solidworks or AutoCAD? I was thinking about getting my hands on Rhinoceros because of the excellent slicing-dicing features they have, so I could print out 3D objects.
But to better answer your question, it hooks up to any software, raster or vector. It exposes itself to the system as a printer with a special properties page. In the document, the shape, size, and color of linework can all be used to program how the laser will cut (or engrave). It is possible to color-code stuff in documents to get different results. For example, on the plywood box in the above link, I used two colors. One to engrave the small text (20% power, 100% speed, 1khz) and another to cut the outline (100% power, 15% speed, 500hz). Having seen how the whole thing works now, I understand what the real secret sauce of these lasers is -- it's the vector sorting algos they have in them. If you send it, for example, a square containing engravable text, it will engrave the text and then cut the square. It knows what any given shape is inside of, and it also knows a bit about where it is going. Often when a job starts it is interesting to watch it travel, because it is doing some kind of cool path-optimization.
I had good results playing with your camera cover idea, sorry, no pictures yet. I will take some after I find the right material. I might just do black synthetic felt