March 14, 2011

Origin Laser Cornerstone Classic


Look at this thing. Just look at it. It's unbelievable.


This is one of those rare times when industrial design arcs up and breaks the sound barrier of art. Meet Origin Laser's Cornerstone Classic, a self-leveling three plane reference laser that's the damn prettiest looking tool we've seen in a long, long while.

There's a lot that this tool can do that no other laser can. We got in an email exchange with Tim Litvin, the inventor of the tool and we'll just let him speak for himself...

Our self-leveling system is not pendulum-based, but uses a precision tilt stage with two brushless DC motors; the motors are slaved to tilt sensors capable of leveling to better than 1/32" at 100 feet. The Cornerstone can also be manually leveled when necessary, and its alignment is unaffected by pushing its buttons... unlike a pendulum-based laser level.

The Cornerstone also features a "goniometer" steering function: this is a virtual pivot enabling the tool to be steered, pivoting around the axis created by the intersection of the vertical planes. Put another way, the laser cross on the ground can be positioned over a mark, and the Cornerstone can be steered pivoting around that mark. This makes for a very quick setup. The juice comes from rechargeable Li-ion batteries, helping us to keep the weight down to a solid 3.5 lbs, and the size down to that of a holster-able tool for spontaneous use anywhere.

Bosch recently released a similar item, the GLL3-80. The Cornerstone seems to be based on an entirely different technology that affords the phenomenal accuracy of 1/32 over 100'. According to Bosch their tool can attain 1/4" over 100' and doesn't have any of the manual leveling or 'steering' features.


The tool is completely made in the USA. That, bundled with the precision technology involved makes for a bank-breaker. We pulled this off their website,

Machined from 7075 aircraft aluminum, 360 brass and 440c surgical stainless steel; projecting three athermalized laser reference planes through patent-pending, diamond-turned aspheric optics, and powered by rechargeable Li-ion cells.

If you think that sounds expensive, you're right. The Cornerstone Classic is going to set you back about $5,000. Big money, no doubt.

Check out Origin Laser Tools for more information.

Press release and more insane images after the jump.



New Portable Tool Projects Three Laser Planes

March 1, 2011 Santa Cruz California - After more than three years of R&D, OriginTM Laser Tools has announced that they are now accepting orders for their patent-pending "CornerstoneTM Classic" reference laser, designed for the construction industry professional. The CornerstoneTM is the first tool to generate three complete orthogonal laser planes, providing builders and craftsmen with a portable plumb- level-square "Cartesian" reference system. Unlike the common "rotator"-type lasers, which use a motor to spin a laser dot to generate the impression of a level plane, the Cornerstone's optics have no moving parts, enabling much more compact and robust packaging, and longer battery life. OriginTM Laser Tools has built upon these qualities to create an optical instrument that does the work of three rotators, positioned at 90° to each other, yet is packed into a rugged, holster-able tool.

Made in America, precision CNC-machined from 7075-T6 aircraft aluminum, 440A hardened surgical stainless steel and 360 brass, the self-leveling CornerstoneTM is an investment-grade tool, built for long- term, reliable accuracy. Powered by rechargeable Li-ion batteries, the Cornerstone's diamond-turned aspheric optics project crisp, accurate laser lines at distances to over 100 feet.

OriginTM Laser Tools' founder and inventor of the Cornerstone, Tim Litvin says, "The CornerstoneTM is a versatile, everyday tool that can help the builder to complete jobs accurately, on time, and on budget, improving efficiency at every stage of the building process".

The CornerstoneTM can be mounted on a tripod as a central layout measurement reference. From a fixed position, it can be used simply as a level (like a rotator), or for its additional reference laser planes as well. At only 2.4 lbs., a CornerstoneTM can easily be carried on a tool belt for on-demand personal use around the jobsite. Conveniently holstered, it can then quickly be put to use as a precision level, chalk- line, square, and plumb bob, wherever needed. Useful for foundations, framing, drywall, plumbing, tile, masonry, and cabinetry.

Read More in: Levels | Measuring & Marking

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at March 14, 2011 5:45 AM
Recent Comments

Interesting article. Thanks!

Posted by: Harry Hilders at March 14, 2011 11:36 AM

Is that... zebra wood? What an odd choice to put on a tool, especially a %5000 tool. I hope this thing comes with a self destruct mode. It's obviously from the future - and if it fell into the wrong hands...

Posted by: paul at March 14, 2011 10:37 AM
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