When speaking of vocational education in the municipality of Utrecht, one cannot ignore Het Perron in Veenendaal. This educational institution embodies vocational education in all its facets, from landscaping to technology and healthcare. The goal? To prepare its students for an independent place in society. Since the beginning of 2020, a new addition to their arsenal has emerged: the BRM 90130, a laser machine that adds a new dimension to the learning process.

Walking through the halls towards the Building, Living, and Interior (BWI) department, you are overwhelmed by a variety of projects. From chairs to cityscapes, from wine crates to maps; one thing is clear – the laser machine is extensively used here. Het Perron strives for innovative education with modern technologies, and therefore they are always open to progress. Kaj Wassink, a BWI teacher, discovered the potential of the laser machine during a Platform BWI meeting. His enthusiasm was immediately sparked. “I didn’t actually know what a laser machine was until I saw the BRM Laser. When I saw what it could do, I knew immediately that this would be a valuable addition to our education.” The acquisition of the laser machine has also piqued the interest of other schools and institutions. “Some schools have already gathered information and come to see the machine,” says Kaj.

Handcraft vs. Laser Machine

In the past, students produced their products by hand, a craftsmanship process that took a lot of time and resulted in longer lead times. “Students drew their designs on sheet material and sawed them by hand,” explains Kaj. “With the laser machine, this process has become much easier and faster. Students now create their designs in Google SketchUp and load them directly into the laser machine. This saves a considerable amount of time.” Kaj emphasizes the importance of maintaining manual skills but also sees the benefits of time-saving. “Every student can work with the machine during a lesson, which excites them, especially when they can use recognizable logos or personalize their products.” Another important advantage that Kaj mentions is the precision of the machine. “Hand sawing often results in material loss and the risk of skewed lines. With the laser machine, that is a thing of the past. It provides precise results, even with complex shapes.”

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Side view of a BRM Pro 1300.
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Pro 1300

  • Work area 1300 x 900 x 200 mm
  • Laser power 100 or 150 W
  • Highest level of safety: laser class 1
"Our students are extremely enthusiastic about the machine, especially when they can work with recognizable logos or brands."


It is a fact that there are different drawing programs; some use Adobe Illustrator, others AutoCAD. However, at Het Perron, students are taught Google SketchUp. With this software, they can see their designs immediately, simplifying the connection with the laser machine. Teachers partly create the assignments themselves. “This year, we are intensively using Google SketchUp for the first time,” explains a teacher. “As a result, our assignments are still in development, but they always include a part where we can use the laser machine.”

Although there are many machines in vocational education, there was no doubt about the laser machine. “We looked at other options, such as a CNC milling machine, but they were too large. We already had 3D printers, but the laser machine offered many more possibilities, especially since it is computer-controlled and allows for detailed adjustments.”

Collaborations within and outside the school

The laser machine is not only used within BWI but also in other departments. “We recently made 300 keychains for the Service and Products course. Additionally, students built an escape room that is now in use!”

Since the arrival of the laser machine, the end products not only find their way within the school but also to external companies. “We recently helped a foundation by engraving 50 birdhouses. This not only offers new experiences for the students but also for us.”

In short, the laser machine has revolutionized vocational education. Het Perron demonstrates how modern technologies elevate education to new heights, and the BRM laser machine is a perfect example of that. Whether it is in education or in the business world, the laser machine offers a solution for every application.

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