Overview specifications MakerBeam, MakerBeamXL, OpenBeam

We made an overview for you with the specifications of our three beams put together. We believe this will be helpful in your choice what beam to use for your project.

Below is the picture and here is a link to a PDF-file.

20161130-overview-specifications-mb-mbxl-ob-with-pictures

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On our bargain rack – buy four packs with 25% discount

We still have some old beams and these are now on sale for a bargain price. Already at 50% discount now there is an added 25% volume discount when you buy four while stock lasts.

Here is a link to our webshop SALE-page.

01bakitreg 4 - closeup bolt nut and black anodised makerbeamThese old beams are not hollow core and are not threaded. Otherwise these beams are the same: measurements (10x10mm) and anodised in both black and clear.

This volume discount also applies to screws with a serrated head. In our quest for the perfect screw for MakerBeam we also made screws with a head that has a serrated bottom. We ultimately chose to go with the square headed screws we still sell nowadays. Here is a link to an old blog post: MakerBeam’s test of the bolts

serrated bottom head2
Serrated bottom, M3, 6mm

And last but not least we also have 900mm MakerBeam lengths in clear for sale. The thread tapping of this batch of 900mm beams was done in such a way that we cannot guarantee good quality. Therefore we offer these 900mm lengths at a discount.
02mbc cross section
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New blog and Facebook

We changed to a new webshop. The blog featured on our website will have all the latest news. This blog will be updated with customer projects and other news items.

For all the updates please visit our website and look under ‘Blog & News‘ or check our Facebook account. You can also find us on Twitter @makerbeam.

Looking forward to keep you updated and communicate with you through these channels.

Team MakerBeam

p.s. This blog was edited on August 12th, 2016. We expected we could no longer make use of it after we stopped using our old website. No updates were posted. Since it is still circulating we reconsidered and started updating again.

Possible solution for Storage Box

We found a possible “candidate” for the new storage box. It tested good. According to our experience it’s a really good quality plastic box with lots of useful features: e.g.: click-on lid locking system, 2 levels for storing… Ideal for storing and separating the smaller pieces, and has spacious place for even the 300 mm beams. Here are some photos to give a little hint how it looks and how the MakerBeam / OpenBeam items fit in it. We still search a bit further, but maybe you will meet with this one in our product range.

Team MakerBeam

MakerBeam Storage Box – sold out

Because of the terminated production the MakerBeam Storage Box is not available at the moment. We are searching for new solutions/sources, that we can offer instead, and we let you know if the new box is available.

The more possible sources we have, the more suitable solution we can find. So, if anyone has an idea or contact for sources of plastic box that is ideal storage place for different sized beams, nuts, bolts brickets and other accessories, please share it with us.  Thanks in advance!

 

Business and pleasure: Hannover MakerFaire

For us the MakerFaire started with this picture online, see below.

We were preparing a family visit to the Hannover MakerFaire.

MakerBeam was represented at the MakerFaire in Hannover by Chartup.
Thank you Anton!!

Saturday July 5th Johan travelled to Hannover to visit the Hannover MakerFaire. Since MakerFaires are fun for the whole family I followed later with our boys.
On Saturday he would focus on business. Sunday was scheduled for the pleasure part.

Preparing the business part.

Some impressions of the pleasure part.

Chartup with MakerBeam and OpenBeam in Hannover.

Elsie was a big attraction!

We had a great trip and wonderful days. Loved it!

Author:
Marlies de Stigter
Team MakerBeam

Review – Corner Cubes

Introduction
Everyone of you who already used MakerBeam knows how difficult or rather time consuming it is to construct a corner out of three beams. Beside that, it costs a lot. You need up to three L-Shaped brackets, 12 bolts and 12 nuts. A new product solves this issue. It is a so called ‘Corner Cube’: a single piece of aluminum and three screws.

The biggest advantage of this new product might be that you can finally construct cubic corners. With the old method, using the L-Shaped brackets, you could not construct a cube as one beam was always “sinked” into the other. The new Corner Cubes connect the beams at their faces and therefore it becomes possible to create cubes as shown in this picture below.

Stability
Let’s start with the most obvious factor, stability. So far, we have all been used to the flat brackets which are screwed onto the beams with two screws per beam. The resulting joint provides a very stiff connection, see left picture below. It is obvious that the Corner Cubes will not provide the same joint strength due to their different design. However, our tests showed that this will not be of any issue for most applications. If required, the connections can be reinforced using the 90° corner brackets as shown below to the right.

 


Precision

This point is probably not that obvious at first, but after some thinking it becomes clear that the precision of the cubes themselves and especially the tolerances across different cubes matter a lot.
We have taken some measurements and the results were quite satisfying. From 12 cubes, we’ve found none that had difference from side to side larger than 0.1mm. A comparison between the dimensions of the 12 cubes lead to the same result: they are all equal to each another within a tolerance of 0.1mm.

Compatibility
The Corner Cubes only work on the new MakerBeams which have a threaded hole at each end. Therefore they can not be used with your current set of MakerBeams unless you have the tools to make a hole and wire tap the ends yourself.

This is also a limiting fact when it comes to custom sized beams. As the threaded center hole at the end of each side is not continuous, you also have to bore a new center hole and cut a thread yourself. However, only few people might have the tools and the knowledge to do this. Good thing that you can still use the old method!

Costs
Finally, let’s take a more detailed look at the costs. As mentioned earlier, you need quite a lot more pieces to build the traditional corner.

COST COMPARISON CORNER BUILD
Corner Cubes 90º L-brackets
Piece Price Quantity Total Piece Price Quantity Total
Cube 1,06 1 1,06 L-Bracket 0,65 3 1,95
Bolts Included Bolt 0,06 12 0,72
Nuts Not needed Nut 0,03 12 0,36
TOTAL 1,06 TOTAL 3,03

A traditional corner costs you €3,03. Compared to the €1,06 you have to pay for a ‘Corner Cube’ corner, that is quite a lot! Note: You can use just two 90° brackets to create a corner but then not each beam will be connected to both others.

Conclusion
The Corner Cubes do not only make it possible to create cubic corners, they are also about three times cheaper. Should you already own the new MakerBeam with the threaded hole at the ends, the Corner Cubes only drawback are the lower stability compared to the traditional method. However, it is possible to use the 90° corner brackets to reinforce the construction.

Author: Joel Bodenmann of B-Electronics

MakerBeam Corner Cubes – micrometers matter

The corner cubes arrived yesterday (May 15), late in the afternoon. While I was excited, made a few packages and started emailing customers, Johan tested some cubes and was not entirely pleased. What he discovered is that micrometers matter.

Notice the difference? Cube on the right shows a bit more shadow round the countersunk bolt as it should.

It looked like the special countersunk bolts did not sink as deep in the cube as should. First there was a sense of disbelief. The corner cubes are from the same manufacturer where we ordered our first batch from. Only for this batch we opted to have the cubes anodised.
Then we thought it maybe was a flawed screw. The particular screw used in that instance had an extra rim as Johan noticed. Other screws in the pack looked fine and tested fine, or did they?

Using a hex key driver and some force they looked okay. At that point we did not know whether it was this flawed screw or whether these cubes are different. Ever so slightly different and with the naked eye hard to identify. Especially in a hurry since I wanted to ship out backorders!
Later that evening we did some more testing and found that this batch of corner cubes is indeed different. The bolts do need sink in as deep. We are talking micrometers here. Here is a picture below.

Bolt on the right did not sink properly making it even more difficult for the bolt on the left to sink in.

We contacted the manufacturer. They are not to blame here. The difference is within their tolerance. There is a little room left. We made new drawings and are working on producing a new batch. Meanwhile we are thinking of reworking these corner cubes, 4000 pieces!

Johan did some testing on that as well. Here is picture with a reworked cube.

Bolt right and centre show the space that is needed for the bolts to properly sink in.

So for now it is back to the drawing board. Hope to have new, excellent, cubes here as soon as possible!!

p.s. The corner cubes were reworked and are back in stock.
We also worked on resolving the problem in the next batch. (20140613)

Author:
Marlies de Stigter
Team MakerBeam

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