Affordable Laser Engraver

cubiio3D printers are all the rage these days, and that’s great if you want to build things.  Sometimes, artistically inclined people don’t want to build things as they want to decorate things.

That’s OK, too.  We like attractive things, and one great way to make anything more attractive is to engrave some sort of design on that.  Traditionally, that has been a difficult and expensive thing to do, but a new device called the Cubiio is likely to make it much easier and faster to do this.

Cubiio is a small cube, measuring 50mm on a side, that contains a laser and a small motor.  It also has a USB plug and a Bluetooth interface.  You can design your images using any software that can produce G-Code; the company recommends that you use Inkscape, as it’s free.

You can mount Cubiio to any camera stand, and connect to it by Bluetooth, USB or by inserting an SD card.  Then you put on your safety goggles (included), test it in preview mode, and then let it go.

It can engrave names, numbers, elaborate designs and more on a wide variety of materials – paper, plastic, wood, cardboard, fabric, felt, leather and non-transparent acrylic.  About the only thing Cubiio cannot engrave is metal.

cubiioCubiio even has a “batch mode” that you can use if you want to do more than one identical engraving at once, as you might if you were mass-producing something.

Safety is always a consideration when you’re using anything that has a laser, and Cubiio has that in mind.  Goggles are included, and the device has a password protection feature so that only authorized people can use it.

Motion detection will automatically shut Cubiio if anyone moves in front of it while it is working.  It also has built-in thermal protection to shut it down in the event of overheating.

The amazing thing about Cubiio is how such a functional device was able to be put into such a small form factor.  It’s small enough to fit in a purse or briefcase, meaning you can take it just about anywhere.

cubiio exampleDemand for Cubiio must be strong.  The device was introduced on Kickstarter recently with a $25,000 funding goal.  At present, with 32 days left to go in the campaign, more than $600,000 has been pledged.  That would suggest that the product will actually go into production.  Estimated date for shipping is November.

The things you can do with Cubiio are pretty unlimited, but the video on the Kickstarter site gives some great ideas – cutting elaborate designs out of paper, engraving personal items, engraving designs on furniture, engraving designs on leather clothes or accessories.

In all likelihood, people who use Cubiio will come up with more ideas for it and post them online, so in time, you’ll find even more use for this clever device.  At present, prices for the Cubiio start at $379, with additional options including the Cubiio Shield, which is a vented workspace for those who need to use it on a regular basis.

You can read more about Cubiio at Kickstarter.

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