First let me go into the cutting. Our beams come precut from the factory. In order to cut the beams smoothly and with a high precision in length you need professional/industrial quality equipment. We do not have this equipment.
For non-commercial purposes the beams can also be cut with low tech equipment. We had a blog post about this 'Selfmade custom lengths'.
Here is a link to this post on our WordPress blog: http://blog.makerbeam.eu/?p=1402
We get the question for custom cut lengths more often, but it is still not commercially viable to offer the service. We sometimes use the service of a company that can offer high quality cutting. The startup costs are high: €150,-. After this it is 10cents per cut. We also have to ship it to another facility so additional shipping cost have to be calculated as well. We thought this is too much to advertise on our website.
On of our resellers in Germany does offer custom cut lengths. Chartup.com (see our list of resellers) charges €2,- per cut. The threaded ends of MakerBeam only run 8mm deep. The rest is a clean, smooth hollow core. Therefore he also offers to add threaded ends. Price tag: €2,- per added threaded end.
For additional information like shipping cost you should contact Chartup. Here is a link to his website.
In Utrecht (and other cities in The Netherlands) we have fablabs or Hacker Spaces where you can rent machines for only a few hours. Maybe there is such an organisation in your area? A high-speed saw works the best (3000 rounds minimum).
On the homepage of our webshop we have a blog titled: 'BLOG&NEWS'. Tagged 'technical details' you will find posts with technical details, technical drawings and specifications.
One of the blog posts will lead you to a drive filled with technical drawings. We continuously add to this library of technical drawings. It will take time to fill this with all our products.
Here is the link to our drive directly: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8h5C_ek_fmKUzFid0FhT1I1OFU&usp=sharing
MakerBeam is a 10mm x 10mm profile. MakerBeamXL measures 15mmx15mm in diameter as does OpenBeam. We do not sell any bigger profiles.
The difference mostly is dimensions. MakerBeam for example is best used in small scale projects (robotics, plotters) or still projects (no movement). Great display cases are made with MakerBeam's longest length on offer: 1500mm.
With MakerBeamXL and OpenBeam you can go a bit bigger. These 15mmx15mm profiles are also used in 3D printers for instance. We sell lengths for Kossel printers (240mm and 600mm or 360mm and 750mm). We will have the Kossel lengths of 360mm and 750mm available for MakerBeamXL in 2017.
- Both MakerBeam, MakerBeam and MakerBeamXL are hollow core, made of aluminum and are available anodised in black or clear.
- MakerBeam and MakerBeamXL have tapped ends, OpenBeam not. You have to tap wire yourself if you want threaded ends, but with the hollow core this is easy to do.We sell thread forming screws to make this easier.
MakerBeamXL also has four extra non-threaded holes. These holes are shaped in such way that these are easier to thread yourself. These holes are not exactly round. A little bit more space on four sides of these holes make sure that surplus material finds it's way out when you are creating threaded ends yourself. The extra space makes the holes look square.
In the future we will add brackets that will make use of this holes. We can see these being used for extra grip. You can already use these holes to guide wire through the beams for example.
- Both MakerBeam, MakerBeamXL and OpenBeam will fit boards with a 3mm thickness. You can slot these right in. We sell polystyrene sheets 3mm thick. MakerBeamXL slots are 3mm wide. This makes for a tight fit for bolts and sheets.
- MakerBeam requires special MakerBeam bolts and standard M3 nuts. The size of the beams and M3 are balanced.
MakerBeamXL will fit both standard M3 size bolts and nuts as will OpenBeam. You can slide in either a M3 nut or a hex head bolt (m3). M3 is a bit small for the size of the beams.
- The surface of MakerBeam and MakerBeamXL are smooth whereas OpenBeam is not. OpenBeam has nooks and edges.
- Fun fact: MakerBeamXL and OpenBeam are Fischer Technik compatible.
On the homepage of our webshop we have a blog 'Blog&News'. Tagged 'technical details' you will find posts that lead you to more information on MakerBeam, OpenBeam and MakerBeamXL. Here is a direct link to our blog post: Specifications MakerBeam, MakerBeamXL and OpenBeam.
On our shop blog and on our Worpress blog: MakerBeam - Think Build Enjoy (since 2011) you can find multiple projects of customer with either MakerBeam or OpenBeam.
Since we have only recently introduced MakerBeamXL (november 2016) we do not have any MakerBeamXL examples yet. Please feel free to send us your XL-projects!
On Pinterest we have also gathered some nice project portfolio. Here is the link to our Pinterest: https://nl.pinterest.com/makerbeam/
It comes down to what you prefer and what your project needs. I hope this information helps.
Think, Build, Enjoy!