The Boss

Mr Peters from the International School of Prague made a great robot called The Boss. It is a great little robot with MakerBeam, arduino and 3d printed parts combined. Here is a little video to introduce the little guy.


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MakerBeam Comes of Age by Evil Mad Scientist

Back in 2009 when Sam Atman launched his Kickstarter campaign for the classic MakerBeam, Evil Mad Scientist helped support this launch. We are pleased we could show an improved version of the classic MakerBeam.  And guess what, they loved it!

Here is a link to the MakerBeam article on the website of Evil Mad Scientist.


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Warwick Mobile Robotics and the RoboCup Rescue competition

The Warwick Mobile Robotics entry at work at the Robcup Rescue German Open 2014

It's definitely looking like a robot now! Update: Friday March 28, 2014

Warwick Mobile Robotics is a research project carried out by a team of fourth year undergraduate students at the University of Warwick in the UK. The project involves the creation of a search and rescue robot designed to locate survivors in hazardous environments, such as earthquake disaster zones; removing emergency service personnel from danger.

The project has been running for the last seven years. Each team has made alterations to develop the previous robot design. This year, we are designing, manufacturing and programming a whole new, smaller, lighter robot capable of navigating moderate terrain in a smaller environment.

The aim is to develop a modular structure which will allow the robotic platform to be easily modified by future teams. The design will be focused towards achieving a low cost model with key features such as reliability, maintainability and modularity. It must have a maximum turning radius of 0.5 metres and a maximum weight of 25kg which makes it deployable by one person. The long term aim of the project is for the prototype to be further developed by future teams into a commercially viable design.

In order to achieve these design aims we have opted to use MakerBeam and OpenBeam for the chassis and arm structures. The off-shelf beams and fittings provide the perfect solution to our design requirements. The beams themselves have the required structural integrity, are lightweight and can easily be cut to length. Assembly times will be short due to the design of the beams and future years will be able to modify the size of the structure with ease. This suits the modularity of the design.

The team are testing the robot’s capabilities at the RoboCup Rescue competition held in Germany in Magdeburg during the Easter break (April 3-5). The RoboCup Rescue is a competition that tests the robots search and rescue abilities in a simulated disaster environment. The team has decided to enter this competition as it provides an exciting engineering challenge beyond the scope of our undergraduate project requirements and a socially significant real world application for mobile robotics. The team won “Best in Mobility” from 2009-2012, “Best in Manoeuvrability” in 2012 and won the competition in 2010. Last year, the team entered the World RoboCup competition for the first time and placed 10th in the world. Our aim for this year is to enter two robots into the European competition for the first time.

The team is really grateful for the support of MakerBeam in the creation of our robot and we are excited to assemble all of the parts which are currently being manufactured!

Lauren Rutter (Sponsorship and Publicity Coordinator and Chassis Designer)

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Bracket design

In november 2013 a guy called Aleksandr sent us an email asking our input for a design problem.  He sent us an email with some Sketchup pictures laying down the problem. He also made some sketches of possible solutions.
The brackets he proposes will not be taken into production, but the sketches are great to discuss here.  They clearly demonstrate a design problem we often encounter with MakerBeam. In working on our stepper motor brackets for example we encountered the same problem. The problem in short: MakerBeam is definitely small in size!

First the problem Aleksandr had. Aleksander wanted to connect beams crosswise, see below.

Beams to connect crosswise.

He also made pictures of possible brackets that will solve this problem. He was thinking of what looks like a combination of the 90 degree bracket and the corner bracket. We could see his problem. We could also see that this problem could be easily solved by our right angle bracket. Back then we just had received some samples. This helped to explain Aleksandr we were working on a solution. You can see his drawings below and a picture of our solution at the far right.

The brackets suggested by Aleksander make clear it is not easy to create brackets for MakerBeam. Here is an overview of his suggestions.

Suggested corner style brackets

What is not immediately obvious from these drawing is the problem of space. The corner style brackets leave no room a nut driver. Or, since you do need a nut driver, it is better said they leave no room for the bracket itself.
Let’s do the math. The diameter of the nut driver is 8mm (nut outside dimension: 5,5mm). The width of the beam is 10mm. This leaves for ony 1mm of space on both sides for the material. This is too thin for metal to make a strong corner connection.
The diameter of the screw by the way is 2,8mm (M3).

The right angle bracket is a much simpler solution. It is now available in our shop. Here is a link.

Leaving room for a hex nut driver is something that is overlooked in a number of bracket designs we received. We love to hear ideas regarding brackets and are always looking forward to receive new ideas for brackets.  Or for other products suited for MakerBeam (and OpenBeam) for that matter. If you think of designs remember MakerBeam is a wonderful small and lightweight product with the emphasis on small!

Team MakerBeam

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Right angle bracket

A new product is available! It is the right angle bracket pictured below. To see the product in our webshop click here or on the picture.

Right angle bracket (b90p12ra) for MakerBeam and OpenBeam

The introduction of a new bracket is a good start for the new year we thought.  This right angle bracket is very similar to the 90 degree bracket. It’s right angle shape however gives the opportunity to connect the beams crosswise. And with beams we mean both OpenBeam and MakerBeam beams! This fastener is suited for both. Below are a few more pictures.

Left: right angle bracket. Right: 90 degree brackets

A cross connection of the beams is possible.

A cross connection can be made with both OpenBeam and MakerBeam

The right angle bracket is suited for both OpenBeam and MakerBeam.

There also is a pdf with a drawing and some measurements available. You can find this pdf here: pdf drawing right angle bracket makerbeam

Team MakerBeam

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OpenBeam is available on!

OpenBeam stock arrived at the MakerBeam warehouse, all items have been added to the makerbeam website, pricing is in place …… we are ready to sell OpenBeam!

Precut kit OpenBeam, black anodised

OpenBeamUSA and joined forces. We are happy to tell is now lead importer of OpenBeam in Europe!
It is great to have this addition to our product range. More information about OpenBeam and MakerBeam you’ll find in the blog we published: and

From today on OpenBeam can be ordered in our webshop www.

Our current OpenBeam product range is as follows:
> Precut kits:
black and clear anodised. Lengths in kit in mm: 300, 270, 210, 150, 120, 90, 60, 45, 30. In the kit we also sell L-brackets, T-brackets, OB feet, hexagon head screws, button head socket screws, hex nut driver, hex key driver and nuts.
> Beams:
- Precut extrusions, black and clear anodised in different lengths in mm: 1000, 300, 270, 210, 150, 120, 90, 60, 45, 30. Only the 1000mm length beams we sell as a single item. All other lenghts are sold in packs of 4.
- Precut extrusions for Mendel, black anodised (in mm: 390, 300, 450, 240).
- Precut extrusions for MiniKossel, black anodised (in mm: 600, 240).
> Brackets:
L-brackets, T-brackets, Hitec Servo mount, NEMA 17 Stepper Motor, Shaft clamp kit, 608 Bearing to NEMA 17 adapter
> Nuts & bolts:
Screw button head socket cap M3 6mm, Hexagon Head bolts M3 6mm, M3 nuts
> Accessories:
OB feet, M3 hex nut driver, M3 hex key driver, M3 allen key

Soon we will have Kossel en Mendel kits available as well.

Both MakerBeam and OpenBeam are anodised aluminum extrusions with a diameter of under 20mm available in black or clear. Great for desktop projects.

Picture made by

OpenBeam does not need special screws which is an advantage. The screws are a bit small in comparision to the size of the profile though. The surface area of the cross-section of OpenBeam is more than double this surface area of MakerBeam.
Size makes OpenBeam more suited for bigger projects and MakerBeam for smaller projects. The stainless brackets of MakerBeam seem to be more robust than the plastic ones of OpenBeam at first glance. The OpenBeam brackets are injection molded out of EMS Grivory GVX, a high-performance, high glass fiber reinforced polyamide copolymer that is engineered for metal replacement applications.

Why choose the one over the other? Your choice will depend on personal preferences and on what you plan to build. What do you think your project needs?

OpenBeam MakerBeam
Diameter 15x15mm 10x10mm
Surface With edges Smooth
Bracket material Polyamide copolymer Stainless steel
Bolts and nuts size M3, standard M3, custom made
Bolts and nuts material Stainless steel Stainless steel

The two profiles are different, but comparable and in the near future there will be more and more compatible products. For now enjoy our new product range. We as a team are looking forward to see what projects you make with OpenBeam, MakerBeam or a combination of both!


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Square headed bolt with hex hole

Here it is!! Our square headed bolt with hex hole.

We had already introduced the square headed bolts before. They provide a secure tight grip. Adding a hex hole is just a great finish we thought. For some purposes like the servo brackets a hex hole already is very convenient. The head of this new bolt is also a bit wider. Providing an even better grip.

The square headed bolts with hex hole is available in 6mm and 12 mm. From now on our starter kit includes a bag of 6mm bolts with hex hole.


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MakerBeam, Meccano, Fisher Technik and Merkur

End of May 2013 Rob sent us this great picture and we had it on our homepage for a while. We love it too much to just let it dissappear into our archive. There must be a number of customers who grew up with Meccano, or something very similar, but want to throw in some modern day electronics as well. They will love MakerBeam.

There was another customer who hinted us about a Meccano-clone manufacturer that might be still of interest for MakerBeam customers.

In his words:
Perhaps it is a good idea to put  a link on the makerbeam-site to the following internet-store :
It is the website of a well-known Meccano-clone manufacturer that makes meccano that uses a 10 x 10 mm grid and M 3,5 nuts and bolts. In the 80′s it was sold in the Netherlands under the name of “Tecc” but its real name is “Merkur“.  It seems to me it is a great source for brackets , strips and angle girders that can be combined with Makerbeam and Openbeam.

Fischer Technik is another building system that is compatible with MakerBeam. Hopefully we will soon have some pictures to show you.


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This summer we will start the sale of OpenBeam. We expect stock coming in a few weeks from now. Because of this we started the preparation for the arrival of stock. In our office we are working on freeing storage space, see picture below.

Secondly we started to enter the OpenBeam products that will be available in our shop system. That is why when you search for OpenBeam you can find the products.  Please do not order OpenBeam. We will not take backorders. The best we can do is register your email and send you a message once we have stock available. WE DO NOT SELL OPENBEAM YET!!!

Last but not least a big step was made recently. The website now refers to In time we will welcome you to and


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Drumroll please! We have some very exciting news to tell.

MakerBeam and OpenBeam are working together to get OpenBeam available in Europe. Open Source Hardware is good. United Open Source Hardware is better.

What happened? As some of you might know OpenBeam had some serious production problems. Here is a blog post from OpenBeam published in March 2013. It was around that time we were ordering from OpenBeam feeling this Open Source Hardware should be available here in Europe. One thing led to another and now we are working with on the new extrusion supplier, and we have reached a joint agreement to produce these extrusions.
Under this arrangement, both MakerBeam.EU and will be using the same extruder to manufacture the extrusions, and both companies committed to placing regularly timed orders together.  OpenBeam is setting up MakerBeam.EU to become the de-facto lead importer of OpenBeam to the European Union region while keeping prices reasonable.  So, for European OpenBeam friends, you will soon be able to buy OpenBeam at very reasonable prices.

Picture made by

MakerBeam is smaller than OpenBeam. The diameter of the OpenBeam profile is 15mmx15mm. As you can see there are more differences between the profiles. It is the similarities though that made us want to start selling OpenBeam as well. Both profiles are under 20mm in size and Open Source Hardware. Companies that sell aluminum profiles usually draw the line at 20mm. In taking OpenBeam on board we also made the decision to specialize in smaller sized aluminum extrusion profiles. Great for desktop size projects!

We are also happy that MakerBeam reseller Technobots has also started carrying the entire range of OpenBeam products.

Picture made by

The picture shows MakerBeam brackets on OpenBeam beams. This is an exciting image. We are curious to see where the addition of OpenBeam to our product range will lead MakerBeam. Projects customers make never cease to amaze us but this will undoubtedly trigger combinations in designs we never thought of.  Also we feel there is room to think about additions to our product range that are designed for compatibility. We are growing and maturing as a comany and that is awesome!

If you are interested in becoming a European reseller of OpenBeam, you can contact us directly.  Shipping is something that benefits from economies of scale and by concentrating the orders this way we can amortize the freight across a much bigger shipment and get better pricing from our vendors due to the higher volumes.

From the new extrusion supplier we received samples of OpenBeam. We were pleased with the quality and so was OpenBeam. This meant we could proceed with our plans. We both placed orders. It will take some time for the beams to arrive. This will probably be end of July 2013. We will keep you updated by message on our homepage. Stay tuned!


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