Desktop device brings laser-cutting home

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Unlike its predecessor, Mr. Beam II will come fully assembled(Credit: Mr. Beam)

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There was a time when the only 3D-printed items that most of us ever saw were created at places like universities or industrial design houses – now, thanks to the plethora of consumer 3D printers out there, that's no longer the case. Well, the German designers of Mr. Beam II are hoping that their new device will likewise democratize the world of laser cutting and engraving.

As its name implies, there was an original Mr. Beam. While it was sold as a kit, however, Mr. Beam II will come fully assembled and ready to go.

To use it, you start by simply placing the material to be cut/engraved inside the machine's working area, and shutting the protective lid. Using an app on your PC, Mac or tablet, you then upload an image of your choice via Wi-Fi, and resize/move it so that it's lined up with the material properly – a camera inside Mr. Beam II lets you see the target material on your app.

From there, you just set the machine going, and let the 5-watt shortwave laser do the work.

It can cut through materials such as thin plywood, cardboard, acrylic, felt, leather and latex. This makes it particularly useful in the construction of parts for things like architectural models or model airplanes.

The device can engrave a much wider variety of materials, including aluminum, glass and wood.

Should you be interested, Mr. Beam II is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where it's already surpassed its funding goal. A pledge of €1,399 (about US$1,595) will get you one, if everything works out. The planned retail price is about €2,398 ($2,735).

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