About this project
Mr Beam II - The Desktop Laser Cutter and Engraver
May we introduce our newest family member: Mr Beam II, the affordable desktop laser cutter and engraver for everyone. Now with an integrated camera! Simply connect your PC, Mac or tablet by WiFi, choose your own design and cut or engrave a wide variety of materials with Mr Beam II.
Mr Beam II can cut …
… your architectural or airplane models with very high precision from balsa, plywood, kraftplex or cardboard. It’s the perfect tool for makers, architects, model builders and artisans.
Mr Beam II can engrave ...
… almost anything. Wood, leather, fabric and even mirrors or anodized aluminum are no problem at all. The integrated software allows for pictures to be engraved directly onto your material.
What materials can I cut and engrave?
You can cut a wide variety of materials ranging from plywood over kraftplex to basalt. There are even more materials that can be engraved for example mirror, wood, or leather.
The table below lists a small preview of materials we thoroughly tested:
How to use Mr Beam in 4 easy steps:
1. Place your item: Place the item you want to cut or engrave into the working area and close the safety lid.
2. Choose a picture: Upload a picture from your phone, tablet or computer.
3. Resize and position your picture: Position your design or photo over the item and simply adjust it’s size per drag-and-drop. Precise positioning is very easy thanks to the live camera view on your tablet or computer.
4. Press Start and enjoy: Pick one of our default settings for most materials. Of course you can switch to cutting mode or adjust more settings for the specific type of material.
Why is Mr Beam II so easy to use?
While developing Mr Beam II we constantly focused on optimizing user experience and safety. Therefore, Mr Beam II comes with a built-in camera which allows you to position your designs precisely onto your working material. Mr Beam II is wireless and connects easily to your computer, tablet and smartphone. The beautifully designed machine is fully functional, safe and ready to use.
- Live camera view supported placement of your design onto the raw material.
- Connect Mr Beam II to your network per WiFi or Ethernet cable.
- Works with your favorite browser on your PC, Mac, Android and iOS device.
- No special software or driver installation required.
- Over-the-air software updates are performed automatically.
- Spacious working area (500x400mm / 20x16") takes large objects.
- Powerful laser source cuts up to 4mm (5/32”) plywood.
- The safety housing and lid ensure Class 1 laser certification.
- Due to the clean, yet square-edge design: it’s an uncluttered, solid workhorse.
More detailed software and hardware specs can be found further below.
As much love as we have for laser technology, we treat it with the same amount of respect. Your safety is always our highest priority. Mr Beam II will be certified as a Class 1 laser machine and is going to implement the following safety mechanisms:
Closed safety housing with safety lid: The working area is fully closed and absolutely no laser light can get out. (No safety glasses required)
Key-switch: To make sure no unauthorised person uses the laser in your absence, use the key-switch to turn Mr Beam II off.
Interlock switches: If the lid happens to be opened during a laser job, the laser shuts down immediately
Integrated fume extractor: Fumes are extracted with the integrated simple fume extraction. We recommend to absorb them with our custom Mr Beam Air Filter System, more details below
Password protected access control: Your Mr Beam II will be password protected thanks to our software authentication mechanism. Multi-user environment possible.
Mr Beam Air Filter System
Due to the nature of laser cutting and engraving being a thermal process, fumes may emerge depending on your working material. While the smell of engraving wood might just remind you of campfire other materials like PVC emit highly toxic fumes. The cheapest and best solution to always stay safe is our customized Mr Beam Air Filter System.
Mr Beam II includes a simple fume extraction system which can be used to vent the unfiltered fumes for example through a window. If you don’t have the possibility or simply don’t want to move unfiltered fumes to the outside, we recommend you to use our custom Mr Beam Air Filter System. It fits perfectly under your desk (25x25x40cm | 10”x10”x16”) and comes with a hose. All fumes, particles and smells are safely filtered for indoor usage.
What do I get for the money?
About our Software
Mr Beam II comes with a customized version of the fabulous 3D-printer software OctoPrint, adjusted to the specific needs of a laser cutter and engraver. It runs on a Raspberry Pi 3 inside Mr Beam II - the best thing about this: You don’t need to install anything on your computer, tablet or phone.
Mr Beam II’s software is based on it’s predecessor version which is currently used worldwide by the users of our first Mr Beam Kits. Over the years we have advanced and stabilized the software and added support for Mr Beam II’s new functionality.
These are Mr Beam II’s planned software features:
- Web Interface running on Mr Beam II, simply point your browser on your PC, Mac, Android or iOS device to Mr Beam II’s address. No installation required.
- Network: Mr Beam II connects to your home or office network per WiFi or ethernet cable. If there’s no existing network available it creates it’s own personal WiFi.
- Upload your image files via drag and drop. Supported file formats are: SVG, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, PCX and more.
- Easily resize and position your image in the live camera view to cut or engrave exactly where you want.
- Pick a design from an integrated online library. Mr Beam II has built-in cloud support
- Settings: Simply use our material specific pre-settings for cutting or engraving or tweak the settings as you want with our advanced options.
- Automatic software update over-the-air.
- Plug-in architecture for your own software modifications.
- Mr Beam II software is open source for your personal hacking pleasure.
In future we want to extend the functionality with more cloud based features such as support for three dimensional objects and special color correction modes for difficult to engrave materials. Even though it benefits from cloud services, Mr Beam II will always run without an internet connection at all.
- Working area: 500x400mm / 20x16"
- Maximum object height: 38mm / 1 1/2"
- Powerful 5W high efficiency shortwave laser
- High precision: 0.2mm cutting kerf, 0.1mm positioning precision
- Full metal safety housing closed with safety glass lid
- Laser Class 1 certified
- Footprint: 710x480x175mm / 28x19x7”
- Fume extraction with optional attachable filter system
- Camera assisted design placement
- Fully assembled and ready to use
500.000€ : Support for 3D // reached
After passing a funding sum of 500.000€ we will extend our software with the ability to create three dimensional objects. The software will be able to automatically extrude 2D shapes and generate the required wall pieces for assembling. Additionally it will support slicing 3D models into slotted layers, which can be plugged together afterwards.
700.000€ : Quick Text Feature // reached
This will allow to add a custom text to any existing design directly within the webinterface. It was a suggestion in the comments and we think it is a really nice usecase, especially for making gifts.
800.000€ : Blink Blink // reached
The LEDs in the corners of the safety housing don't need to be ordinary LEDs. When reaching this stretch goal, we will replace them with individually controllable RGB-LEDs as you may know from Adafruit's neopixel products.
This is nice to display the machine status or the progress of a running job.
Where are we right now?
We have a working prototype and most of the software is done. We figured out a complete, mostly local, supply chain, ready for production. With your help, we will pass certification processes and ramp up the production numbers to be able to deliver Mr Beam II to your desk till the end of the year!
What do we do with your money?
We need your funding to buy in bulk from our suppliers to get better prices, to be able to give those discounts directly back to you. This applies especially to the safety housing and the electronics. In addition we need to get Mr Beam II certified as a Class 1 laser product with all the necessary paperwork and governmental approvals. Last but not least we need it for the set-up costs of the production run.
The Team behind Mr Beam II
Since our first Kickstarter campaign we have grown the company to a size of nine team members. All of which share the same big passion of bringing laser cutting to enthusiasts like you and us.
Although laser cutting and engraving is such a fascinating and superior technology, we were frustrated with existing solutions. Almost all available machines were industrial style ones, heavy and large and way too expensive for us.
Furthermore the existing software solutions were outdated, complicated and more error prone than user friendly. We thought there had to be a solution for both problems and started developing Mr Beam II, an affordable laser cutter for your desktop with easy to use software, platform independent and mobile ready.
Risks and challenges
We’ve done a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, where we managed to deliver all rewards with a short delay of only two months. This time we expect to do even better due to our experience. We included some buffer-time for complications, we are in good contact with our suppliers from abroad and we manufacture much more locally to minimize shipping delays.
Furthermore we outsourced the whole production line, which was one lesson learned from our campaign.
Additionally there are still some minor improvements and features we really want to implement before going into mass production, just to make sure we deliver the best Mr Beam II possible to you.
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