Cutting MakerBeamXS to size

  • Posted on
  • By Daniel Simu - Acrobotics
  • Posted in MakerBeamXS
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Cutting MakerBeamXS to size

Many projects can be build using the standard lengths, but in case you need specific dimensions, it is currently not possible to order custom lengths for MakerBeamXS.

Luckily, it is very easy to cut the 5mm x 5mm MakerBeamXS to size in your own workshop. Aluminium is a relatively soft material and can be easily cut with any metal cutting blade.

It is possible to make clean cuts with a small hack saw and a miter box. Depending on the quality of your saw and your technique, a cut can take under 30 seconds to complete. However, because most miter boxes are designed for large wooden beams rather than tiny metal profiles, it may be difficult to make the cuts accurately. Additionally, hand sawing can become rather tedious when making a large number of cuts.


We recommend to cut the tiny extrusion profile with a mini chop saw.


The main benefit of the chop saw is that it is very fast and effortless. It slices through the extrusion like butter in under a second.


Unfortunately, these small devices typically lack an end stop or other tools for setting up the length of your offcut. It is probably possible to build something like this yourself, but I was able to set the the workpiece at the right position in the small vice simply by comparing it with a piece of the correct length pressed against the cutting blade. By aligning the workpiece and the reference piece with my finger nail I achieved cuts accurate to about ± 0.1mm.


In this picture the black extrusion is being cut to the length of the blue reference piece.


Also it should be noted that the cuts of the machine we used weren’t exactly square. If this is an issue for your application, you may want to sand it down a bit after cutting. This is done most easily and accurately on a benchtop disc sander.


The blue extrusion is cut in the factory, the black is cut by the chop saw.


As you can see in the picture, the cut leaves behind some burrs which can be removed with a finger nail.


The chop saw we have been using is the VEVOR Mini Miter Cut-off Chop Saw, but this same machine is probably sold under various brand names. We paid about €50 for it, a worthwhile expense for the time and effort it saves.


We don't provide these cuts for customers due to our accuracy standards, but for your projects, a mini chop saw could be the ideal solution.


Do you want to know more about this kind of Chop Saw? Adam Savage from Mythbusters did an hour long tear-down and rebuild of his saws, which looks to be the same make as ours. [Have a look over here on YouTube].


Daniel Simu - Acrobotics




  1. Marlies de Stigter Marlies de Stigter

    I am sorry to hear this and thank you for letting us know. We receive the beams cut to length from the factory. We will make this a point when we order a new batch.


  2. Paul Paul

    Interesting article. Accuracy of the cuts seems to be a challenge with XS. The set I received had several pieces – especially the short ones – with the cut not being square or even flat. Unfit for (my) use.

    What is the cause: the piece moving, or the blade moving, or the coarseness of the blade?

    When I cut aluminium, I clamp the material both sides of the cut
    Maybe it would be possible to build a rig that holds the piece in place, both sides of the cut. Basically, two parallel XS rails, 5mm apart.

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