Taiwanese company aims to make laser engraving tools available to the masses with a low-cost device. Francis Maguire reports.
It may seem like science-fiction... But a Taiwanese company wants to make this laser-engraving tool available to all. Cubiio resembles a small Bluetooth speaker... It can load images from a memory card and engrave them onto objects with a laser. Its inventor says a future update of the app will allow users to send photos and graphics directly via smartphone. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) INVENTOR OF CUBIIO AND ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT TAIWAN NATIONAL CHIAO TUNG UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, HUNG SHAO-KANG, SAYING: "All makers, designers, handicraftsmen or hobbyists can own one of our products and create stylized artworks. If they buy bigger and more expensive devices on the market, that would be much too costly as normally only companies can afford those." The engraver has a laser source whose beam is reflected off two electrically controlled mirrors. The mirrors then manipulate the direction and movement of the laser while it engraves images onto objects. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) INVENTOR OF CUBIIO AND ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT TAIWAN NATIONAL CHIAO TUNG UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, HUNG SHAO-KANG, SAYING: "The sample should be placed 150 to 160 millimetres from the laser source. No matter if it's objects with an even surface or a slightly convex or concave surface, all can be handled by this engraver. We've engraved objects like the back of a chair or a baseball bat and it can also operate on round objects." An in-built accelerometer stops Cubiio engraving if it detects any sudden shocks. Customers are advised to use safety goggles or protective casing to avoid eye damage. The firm says its laser engraver will be easily affordable when launched next March... Meaning sights like this could one day be a common feature in our homes.