GrowCab – plant growth cabinets

The GrowCab is designed as a low-cost plant growth cabinet made with ready available materials. The cabinet is created to be used to shorten plant generation times and accelarate the breeding of crops. The cabinet can be flat packed as well. MakerBeamXL was used for the framework of the GrowCab prototype.

The group behind the GrowCab participated in the Thought for Food (TFF) Challenge. In 2020 They won the TFF X Beta.Space Space Colonization Challenge. Their motivation is to not only help plant growth in space. What can be applied in space certainly can be applied in places on Earth.

Their focus on a low-cost growth cabinet is based on their mutual experience of frustration over how difficult it can be to gain access to research facilities. The team is from Mexico, India and Venezuela. Frustration led to action with a smaller, cheaper version of a speed breeding growth room as result. Scientists and breeders from low-income countries often do not have open access to these facilities. Read more about the team behind GrowCab here: Heading to Space? Scale down to Size Up with GrowCab

If you are interested in seeing all the steps in building a GrowCab please check wikifactory.com and learn more.

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The Ant – Compact PCB Maker

The Ant was a successful project. So successful we never got round to make a blog post about it. The project now seems to have run it’s course. Some parts have become obsolete and hard to get a hold of. Why highlight it then now? It is a classic good MakerBeam project where MakerBeam is used to frame items that are (or were) ready available and custom 3D printed items.

The Ant team also made a series of how to build the Ant step by step in a series of videos. The 200mm (b: 100900, c: 100180) and 60mm (b: 100067, c: 100157) MakerBeam (10x10mm), T-slot nuts (101619), right angle brackets (100326), square headed bolts 6mm (100359) and the 200mm linear slide (104162) and self locking nuts (101619) are all needed for the build and they go through all the steps. You can find these here below.

The Ant team obviously is passionate about electronics. Two of them, Matti and Angelo, have gone on to create videos on the channel Due Makers Asociali (Italian language).

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UVTOWER

In 2020 the ArsElectronica program took place all over the world. There were conferences, exhibitions, performances and concerts. These all took place locally but taken together they created a festival on the net to be enjoyed worldwide. One of the art performances was the UVTOWER.

The UVTOWER, pictured above, is a musical instrument. It is made with lasers and mirrors. Adding and removing mirrors changes the beat. Andrea Guidi and Giacomo Lepri use these lasers and mirrors to configure alternative ways for composing music. In doing so they reflect on the notion of growth in an accelerated age. The system collapses and starts anew. Changing the setting of the mirrors speeds up this process or slows it down.

Below is the @ArsElectronica 2020 YouTube video.

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RIG

Vincent Mensink of Studio Mensink is a regular customer. He works on product design and special props and effects. He has to come up with ingenious constructions to make these designs work. He loves MakerBeam (10x10mm), MakerBeamXL (15x15mm) and OpenBeam, especially the profiles anodised in black. Here is an example of how he uses MakerBeam.

Vincent shows a rig that he made and is used in a film. Also the workstation is made using MakerBeamXL, see pictures below.

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Custom computer frames using MakerBeam

Custom PC Hardware is a fan of MakerBeam. So much so he dedicated a video to our beams and how to use these for custom build PC cases.

Before he discovered MakerBeam, both regular 10x10mm and MakerBeamXL (15x15mm), he would look for a case to contain all the parts. Only to find himself searching for another case after he had upgraded or expanded his computer. All the parts of the new design would not fit the initial case.

With MakerBeam he dismantles the existing frame and reassembles it to meet his needs. As each build is a prototype, should the requirements change, the frame is easy to change too.

Custom PC Hardware buys his MakerBeam from Technobotsonline in the UK. On our website you can find a ‘where to buy‘ page with a number of resellers listed.

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New products

We have three new products available for MakerBeamXL: two brackets and a long version of the T-slot nut XL.

Let’s start with the new longer T-slot nut, article number 104555.

This T-slot nut was created to give both more strength to your connection and to make it easier to fasten the brackets. Sometimes only one nut is needed to slide the bracket into the beam, see below.

MakerBeamXL (15x15mm) is sometimes used for projects that require a bit of extra stifness. The triangular corner bracket provides this bit of sturdiness. The triangular corner brackets for MakerBeamXL are packed 12 in a bag, article number 104599.

The triangular corner brackets do have a downside. The brackets take up more of the slot so it is less easy to use the slots for sheets to create a case. It is easier then to use the right angle brackets (article number 101732).

Last but not least we created the straight bracket for MakerBeamXL, article number 104623. The possibilities for the straight brackets are endless so that is why we added this bracket to the MakerBeamXL product range.

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Gurk

Vincent Mensink of Studio Mensink is a regular customer. He works on product design and special props and effects. He has to come up with ingenious constructions to make these designs work. He loves MakerBeam (10x10mm), MakerBeamXL (15x15mm) and OpenBeam, especially the profiles anodised in black. Here is an example of how he uses MakerBeam.

Gurk is a friendly demon that is featured in the series Joardy sitcom, NPO3. Gurk was designed by RFX Propmaking and Studio Mensink provided the mechanics.

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New product: sponge rubber cord

We added a new small product to our product range: sponge rubber rectangular cord 5x5mm for MakerBeam (10x10mm), article number 104454. The rubber cord can be used to create surface protection. Or protection for something else like a tablet, see the tablet stand below.

The cord only barely fits the T-slot of MakerBeam (10x10mm). Part of the rubber will stick out and create a cushioning band.

The sponge rubber can be easily cut into the desired custom lengths. You have to stretch the rubber somewhat to fit the T-slot, see pictures.

The 5x5mm cord will only fit the MakerBeam (10x10mm) like this. We are working to introduce an alternative for MakerBeamXL and OpenBeam shortly.

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Ultimaker dust cover

Vincent Mensink of Studio Mensink is a regular customer. He works on product design and special props and effects. He has to come up with ingenious constructions to make these designs work. He loves MakerBeam (10x10mm), MakerBeamXL (15x15mm) and OpenBeam, especially the profiles anodised in black.

MakerBeam is used a lot in combination with items that are ready available and custom 3D printed items. To create these custom 3D printed parts he has a few Ultimakers lined up.

You will notice the dust covers on these Ultimakers. These covers were especially designed by Vincent to fit the Ultimaker. You can find the special designed brackets and the bill of materials on Thingiverse. You can also find the bill of materials below.

Dust cover designed for the Ultimaker 2+

The Acrylic lasercut plates slide into the MakerBeam frame.
The 3D printed brackets lock the cover into place.

Part list:
MakerBeam (10x10mm)
• 4x 200mm (b: 100090, c: 100180)
• 7x 300mm (b: 100102, c: 100191)
• 8x corner cube (b: 100988, c: 100270)
• 8x T-slot nut (101619)
• 8x M3 6mm bolts (100359)

Laser cut:
• 1x Top-300,56mm x 300,56mm (2mm acrylic)
• 4x Side-200,56mm x 300,56mm (2mm acrylic)

3D print:
• 4x DustCover Bracket (3 walls/100%fill)

Team MakerBeam