HALaser Systems provides integrated software and hardware solutions for the laser marking industry and scientific researchers. Founded as spin-off of the OpenAPC Project Group, the company’s products offer solutions for all kinds of businesses like machine integrators, manufacturers, researchers and 3D printing and scanning providers.
The company’s BeamConstruct laser marking software is an integrated software solution for laser scanner and laser CNC applications. Their software development package, BeamSDK, allows for an interface to the BeamConstruct API, the E1701D modular XY2/100 scanner controller card and the E1701M motor controller – a fully featured, four-axis, realtime-capable motor controller and card system.
In the recently released version 3.5 of BeamConstruct, you’ll find support for 3D SLS printing and a whole host of sophisticated processing options. BeamConstruct is free, but a fully-equipped, laser marking software that can be used in a variety of professional and industrial applications.
“BeamConstruct is software which includes functionalities for SLS-printing and rapid prototyping,” says Jim Hart of HALaser, the makers of BeamConstruct. “Users can import a 3D model in STL or RWX format – with more formats to follow soon – or in CLI layer format. Once a 3D model is imported, it can be sliced into layers using different parameters.”
Hart says flat models for use within a motion stage, or a real 3D slice model can be created when a 3D-capable scanhead is used. In the first case, the motor controller required for importing the data allows for several enhanced parameters which can be applied to the layers. He says it’s possible to have different laser parameters for contour and hatch, to set them for upper and lower layers and even to apply up to five different, interleaving parameters for any intermediate layers as well.
“We’re no newcomers to the market,” Hart says. “The features within BeamConstruct are implemented based on several years of experience in industrial and professional laser applications, and it’s the only free software supporting all major industrial scanner controller cards.”
Hart says HALasers Systems’ E1701D scanner controller card is aimed at reaching the lower price segment, but adds that it’s capable of controlling professional laser systems. It’s available for Windows and Linux, and that they don’t know of any other laser marking software which supports both platforms.
He added that the software really is free, and that any features and functions not available free are explicitly – and non-ambiguously – marked as such. He says the fact that there are no hidden costs, no time-limited functions or any other such limitations means people often ask about the business model that supports such fully-functioned software.
“It’s an important question for customers that focus on industry,” Hart says. “Solutions need to be stable, reliable and available. Our main business model is not selling software licenses, but custom development and services.”
Acoording to Hart HALasers’ software development services are often cheaper than the runtime licenses of competitive solutions.
“This is a very unconventional business model, but it’s proven to be a working one: development of the OpenAPC software package was started in 2008, the first public version was released in 2009 and development is ongoing,” Hart says.
A ‘Pro’ version of the software which includes a large range of additional features, is enabled via a USB-dongle which works with Windows and Linux out of the box, and it retails for a little over $200 plus shipping.
Have you ever used BeamConstruct for 3D printing applications? If you have, let us know about your experience with the sophisticated software package here on the BeamConstruct forum thread on 3DPB.com