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mr_beam_kit_instructions

Overview

To get the Mr Beam Kit up and running, you basically need to do these 3 steps.

  1. Assemble the physical parts
  2. Install the software
  3. Configure the software

Read through the following description carefully to complete these steps and finally get to use your Mr Beam for the first time.

Assembly Instructions

We compiled a PDF with the assembly instructions for the Mr Beam Kit. It covers both the Junior and the Senior assembly, differences are noted if there are any:

Mr Beam Kit Documentation and Laser Housing Assembly Documentation

(If you want to leave a note or a hint for others, please use the comments section at the bottom of the page)

Installing the Software

After assembling the kit successfully, and before plugging your device in for the first time, you need get and install the software. The software is split into two different parts:

  1. Arduino Firmware grbl which controls the laser and the motors
  2. Raspberry Pi image for the web interface and conversion of vector graphics files

The following subsections will tell you how to install both. Let's start with the grbl.

Flashing grbl onto the Arduino

We don't have to say much here ourselves, please just take a look at the (excellent & detailed) instructions over at the grbl project page github.com/grbl but use our fork of grbl source, junior binary, senior binary (download it with right click → save as)

Now the firmware should work. If you run into troubles with the next steps, you can manually test grbl with UniversalGcodeSender

Flashing the SD-Card for the Raspberry

For access to Mr Beam's features through an easy web interface, you'll need to flash the SD Card that came with the Kit with the following image and then plug it into the Raspberry Pi (RPi) SD Card slot.

  1. Download the latest SD Card Image first: Mr Beam Software Releases
  2. Unzip the image file
  3. Flash it to the SD Card (Instructions from RPi Documentation) for
  1. Plug the SD card into the RPi mounted to Mr Beam's control board
  2. Plug the 12V power supply into the Mr Beam Shield power jack and wait for the device to start (check the display!)

Set the display contrast

If you can't see anything on the display after a few minutes, even though the LCD lights up, the contrast settings are probably wrong. To change the contrast, turn Mr Beam around so you can see the back side of the control panel. Look at the display. Right where the flat cable that connects it to the Rpi is plugged to the display, close to pin 1, you can see a small potentiometer that controls the contrast.

It is very tiny and you'll need a very tiny philip's head screwdriver. Try turning it to the left or to the right and check if you can see changes on the display.

Configuring the Software

First you need to establish your Mr Beam with your Wifi or cable network.

Connecting to the Mr Beam

Using a cable

  • If you want to connect Mr Beam with an ethernet cable, just plug in into the RPi's ethernet port and connect it to your router or switch.

Using Wifi

  • Use your computer, tablet or phone and connect it to the MrBeamAP (password: MrBeam!!) Wifi Network (you might have to wait for a minute or two, the Raspberry Pi can sometimes be a little slow!)

Open your browser and enter http://mrbeam.local into the address bar and press enter. After a few seconds, the Mr Beam Webinterface should load. A dialog will greet you and ask you if you want to configure access control. For now, we're going to disable it. Hit the red button to continue. If you are using a cable, go to the next section. If using Wifi, follow these steps to make Mr Beam join you existing Wifi network:

  • Click 'Settings' in the top right
  • In the dialog that opens, click “Network connection” on the left
  • You'll now see a list of Wifi networks you can connect to. Select the one you want to connect to
  • Enter the password of the network (twice!) and hit connect.

Now, Mr Beam tries to join your Wifi. Give it a minute or two. Do the same with the device that runs your web browser and try to connect to http://mrbeam.local again, now in your own wifi network. If that should not work, try to enter the IP address shown on the display.

When the web interface loads again, you're done!

Using Mr Beam - First Steps

Now that you've got the Web Interface up and running, it's time to try it out. Download the logo (right-click, save as):

Mr Beam Logo as an SVG file here.

In the Mr Beam Web Interface, try the big blue “Upload” button and select the logo file you just downloaded.

After uploading, you'll see the file appear in the 'Files' section. Next to it, there are two buttons, one to delete and one with a flame on it. Hit that one. This will show a dialog that helps you convert the SVG into a machine-readable gcode-Format.

In the dialog, enter 100 for intensity and 200 for speed, keep the filename. Hit the 'convert' button. After a few seconds, you'll have a new file in the list, with the .gcode file extension.

If you hit the flame button next to this file, Mr Beam will start layering. So make sure you wear your safety glasses and have placed your material that you want to work on.

Good luck!

Comments

If you have any comments or improvements concerning the instructions, please post it here.

Page 43 - The length of timing belt Y should read 116cm in the picture for the Junior. fixed, thank you for mentioning! Philipp

The order of pages in the PDF is partially messed up. The pages #frame-assembly pages are 1 2 3 4 6 7 5 9 8 10 11. mstolt

It seems there is no “# panel assembly 4” page. axel

On “# panel assembly 8” page for the first time I would have appreciated labelling the colors of the cables since I was working off a b/w print. On the same page, the angle of picture 3 makes it difficult to see whether the connector goes into LDmod or the one next to it, TECmod. The labelling on the shield is really, really small and may be difficult for some to read. Refer to the “Mr Beam Shield - Instructions” document title page to read the labels. axel

On “# panel assembly 9” page, the ordering of the Control buttons by cable length is opposite for “Senior” due to different mechanical layout. For “Senior”, the button with the longest cable needs to be next to the Key Switch. axel

On page y-axis belts 1 the cutting length of 85cm X is a bit short. In my build I could not wrap the end as expected on page x-axis belt 1. mstolt

On page x-cable chain 2 is the 3way Du Pont connector for the fan wire. On my fan it is a 2way Du Pont connector, but I could use the 3way connector for the other side of the fan wire on the shield connector. There is enough space to use the 3way connector on the shield side.

During the calibration, i had the problem that the x-axis endstop was not closing correctly. The laser housing was scrubbing against the wodden frame. I had to glue a piece of wood on the side of the x-axis. This gave enough clearance to let the homing procedure succeed. (See the attached photo).


Four things (as of now):

One, I would DEFINITELY recommend to change the order of todos to 1) Install the software 2) Assemble the physical parts 3) Configure the software because after assembling everything. you might not be able to plug in the required USB cable to the Arduino (the one stepper motor is in your way, if you do not happen to an extra 90° USB-cable at hand).

Two, please recreate/“reprint” the assembly PDF again to reduce its size (40M ⇒ 20M). Maybe use PDFCreator for that (free). Plus, zooming the PDF on an iPad does not always work.

Three, please supply a drawn top-view of the boards, because the photos in the manual are not always THAT clear on where to put jumpers and connect the cables.

Four, maybe colorcode the pages just being used for the Senior (background/“paper”colour, or a big fat color stripe)?

Five, my y-cable chain prevents the sled to move freely/gets in the way/under of the laser. Is it supposed to be that way? (pages 53/55 “y cable chain 3/5” are are suggesting that, but I guess must have missed/misinterpreted something, as there is no “this is how it looks like fully assembled”-pic).

Otherwise: Thanks, and keep up the great work! hamster123

mr_beam_kit_instructions.txt · Last modified: 2015/05/27 11:16 by muccaneer