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Mintion Lasercam Hands-on Review: Monitor Your Laser

Mintion Lasercam Hands-on Review: Monitor Your Laser

Mintion Lasercam Hands-on Review: Monitor Your Laser

The Mintion Lasercam is a camera and control system designed for laser cutting and engraving machines.

This article will review the key features, setup process, applications, and pros and cons of this monitoring tool.

ProsCons
Works with LaserGRBL and LightBurnSetup can be time-consuming as it requires careful calibration
Real-time monitoring and control
Allows precise visual positioning
Onboard memory storage for files and time-lapse videos
Offline laser control capability
Supports most laser engraver brands and models
Fire detection
Pros and cons of Mintion Lasercam

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Quick takeaways from our tests.

  • The Mintion Lasercam takes laser engraving to the next level through advanced monitoring and precision capabilities.
  • Lets you see the laser bed from an overhead view for exact design positioning.
  • Allows remote control and monitor engraving via a wireless app with unique offline functionality.
  • While competitors only offer cameras that can monitor job progress, Mintion goes further with complete machine control, timelapse capture, and fire safety detection.
  • You can expect a slight learning curve to harness its full potential.
  • For those seeking to maximize laser precision and functionality, the Mintion Lasercam proves a worthwhile investment.

Mintion Lasercam Hands-on Review

ParameterMintion Lasercam
Video Resolution1080p
Lens TypeWide Angle
Night VisionYes
StorageMicroSD card (32GB card included)
ConnectivityWiFi, Ethernet
Mobile AppBeagleEngrave APP (iOS and Android)
Software SupportLightBurn, LaserGRBL
BeagleEngrave (through browser or app)
XCS (under testing)
Fire detectionYes (Bluetooth module)
Camera size4.6" x 1.5" x 1.2"
Weight5.3 oz
Extra FeaturesTimelapse capture, fire detection, offline control
PriceCheck price on Mintion
Check price on Amazon
A quick overview of Mintion Lasercam

The Mintion Lasercam is designed to be compatible with a wide range of laser engraving machines from major brands like Sculpfun, Atomstack, Xtool, Ortur, etc.

Integration should be seamless if your machine can accept G-code commands via USB.

First, check the list of supported models on the Mintion website to confirm compatibility.

If you don't see your specific laser machine listed, double-check by contacting Mintion's customer support team.

Ensure your machine can communicate through a USB connection using standard laser software such as LightBurn or LaserGRBL.

Unboxing Mintion Lasercam
Unboxing Mintion Lasercam

Right out of the box, the Mintion Lasercam package contains everything you need to get set up.

This includes the camera, necessary cables, a sturdy clamp, paper squares, and a caliper for calibration, including various mounting hardware.

Things inside Mintion Lasercam box
Things inside Mintion Lasercam box

The 1080p camera provides smooth high-definition footage and automatically adapts to ambient lighting conditions by switching between color and night vision modes.

Captured videos and time-lapse files can be stored locally on the 32GB microSD card included with the camera.

SD card installed on Lasercam
SD card installed on Lasercam

Common Use Cases of Mintion Lasercam

Precision Positioning with Software Integration

The first option is mounting the Mintion Lasercam overhead using the included adjustable arm and integrating it with laser engraving software like LightBurn.

Accessing the camera control on LightBurn
Accessing the camera control on LightBurn

This setup allows the camera to provide an aerial view of the laser bed for pinpoint positioning of graphics, images, and text.

While highly accurate, this setup requires careful calibration using the included tools like the brown paper squares and compass caliper.

The camera lens must be dialed into the software's coordinate system through an initial alignment.

This approach also requires keeping the computer and Lasercam constantly connected for live alignment.

Wireless Monitoring and Control

The Mintion Lasercam can also be used for wireless monitoring and control away from the computer.

This flexible setup is convenient for working with lasers with enclosures or away from the laser.

Here, the camera is connected directly to the laser instead of connecting to a computer with the provided USB cable. Power is given through the included AC adapter.

USB port and Wi-Fi antenna on the back side of Lasercam
USB port and Wi-Fi antenna on the back side of Lasercam

Since Lasecam is equipped with Wi-Fi, you can use a smartphone app for wireless control and monitoring.

Hence, the camera serves as an offline controller, directly transferring G-code files.

Documenting Projects with Time-Lapse Videos

Recorded timelapse video in the library of mobile app
Recorded timelapse video in the library of mobile app

Time-lapse videos make it easy to document the engraving process from start to finish.

Condensing multiple hours of jobs down to under a minute of footage lets you relive your greatest hits and most epic laser moments.

You can even use these clips to make promotional videos for your laser business.

Setting up Lasercam with your Laser Machine

Lasercam installed on Ortur Laser Master 3
Lasercam installed on Ortur Laser Master 3

Step 1: Mount the Camera

Once the camera is out of the box, decide where you want the camera positioned for the best view of your laser bed.

The adjustable overhead arm allows flexible placement. If your setup is quite complex, consider using custom rigs.

Adjustable overhead arm used to position Lasercam
Adjustable overhead arm used to position Lasercam

Step 2: Connect Cables

Connect the USB-C end of the provided cable to the camera and the USB-A end directly to an available USB port on your laser machine.

Avoid using extenders as adding more cables can degrade signal and introduce latency to the feed.

To power the camera, use the 5V adapter provided in the box.

Step 3: Test and Calibrate the Camera

Calibrating the Lasercam with Laser engraver using LightBurn
Calibrating the Lasercam with a Laser engraver using LightBurn

Proper calibration is crucial for enabling the full potential of the Mintion Lasercam.

This involves carefully aligning the overhead camera view to match the laser engraver's coordinate system.

The process begins by using the provided brown paper squares as reference points.

Position these in various locations on the laser bed, then adjust the camera zoom and focus until the squares are clearly visible.

Download the BeagleEngrave app for wireless control on your iOS or Android mobile device.

BeagleEngrave app in Google Play
BeagleEngrave app in Google Play

The app will walk you through connecting to the camera's Wi-Fi signal.

Next, use the camera controls in the app to align the squares with the engraving area's boundaries.

For example, position one square precisely at 0,0 (X,Y) to represent the origin. You can verify the dimensions with the included caliper.

Fine-tune the camera alignment within your laser software once the camera alignment is close, as it provides a better view.

For LightBurn, use the calibration wizard to capture overhead images of an alignment test print. Dial in any offset values until the engraving is perfectly centered.

Camer alignment wizard on LightBurn
Camer alignment wizard on LightBurn

Once calibrated, try monitoring, file transfers, camera controls, laser adjustments, and other functions. If everything works as it should, you are good to go.

You must also regularly check calibration to account for accidental bumps or vibrations.

How Lasercam Can be a Great Companion to your Laser

Real-Time Monitoring

The Mintion Lasercam provides real-time monitoring capabilities with its streamlined mobile app.

A low-latency video feed lets you watch the engraving process remotely, ideal for monitoring the laser from a different room or when an enclosure is used.

You can check progress and receive instant alerts for any potential issues. The camera has a small speaker on the back that makes sound alerts.

Precision Positioning

When integrated with software like LightBurn, the overhead camera view enables the exact positioning of graphics and designs on the laser bed.

The ability to visually frame images and text provides accuracy down to the millimeter for intricate jobs.

This preview and positioning technique takes the guesswork out of lining up jobs.

Image Captures and Time-Lapse Video

The built-in time-lapse function packs the entire engraving process into a sped-up video that can be saved locally on the camera or on your smartphone.

This lets you document and share your laser engraving creations with others.

Time-lapse videos can also help identify potential improvements to your workflow.

In addition to video monitoring, the Mintion Lasercam lets you snap still images of the laser bed during active engraving.

This makes it easy to visually log progress or highlight completed sections without interrupting the job.

Fire Detection

Fire detection sensor came with Lasercam
The fire detection sensor came with Lasercam

For safety, the Mintion Lasercam bundle includes a flame sensor that can be mounted on the laser head.

If a fire erupts, it will automatically cut power and move the laser head to a position away from the flames.

This provides peace of mind when operating the laser unattended.

Machine Control and LightBurn Integration

Controlling the laser machine through the app
Controlling the laser machine through the app

The Mintion Lasercam app (BeagleEngrave) allows complete control over essential laser functions like homing, start/stop, laser power adjustment, and settings navigation.

This facilitates remote operation even without a computer. G-code files can also be sent directly to the camera.

The overhead camera view can be integrated directly with LightBurn or other supported laser software for precision design placement.

This enables accurate visual positioning, calibration, and project monitoring.

How Does Mintion Lasercam Compare to The Competition?

Cameras for laser machine
Cameras for laser machine

The Mintion Lasercam, Atomstack AC1, Comgrow camera module, Sculpfun CAM500, and cameras from LightBurn all aim to bring enhanced precision and monitoring capabilities to laser engraving setups.

However, there are some differences between these cameras.

The Mintion Lasercam offers full standalone control through its mobile app, including directly sending G-code files without a PC connection.

This built-in offline control sets it apart from the other cameras that require constant software connectivity.

Regarding video output, the Mintion, Atomstack, and Comgrow cameras provide 1080p (FHD) resolution with low latency, while the Sculpfun CAM500 offers a 720p (HD) video.

The LightBurn cameras go even further with 8MP sensors for the highest fidelity. So, for pure imaging quality, the LightBurn cameras excel.

In terms of software integration, all of these cameras work with LightBurn software, but only Mintion Lasecam is compatible with LaserGRBL, which most beginners use.

The Sculpfun CAM500 matches the Mintion Lasercam's 400x400mm overhead field of view, greater than the LightBurn cameras' ~300x300mm. This allows monitoring larger beds without repositioning.

Regarding physical mounting options, the adjustable overhead arm bundled with the Mintion Lasercam, Atomstack AC1, Sculpfun CAM500, and Comgrow camera provides the most flexible positioning while maintaining stability.

Laser cameras from LightBurn rely on custom rigs, which take a little more effort to set up.

For laser safety, the Mintion Lasercam is the only option covering fire detection with its included sensor. This unique feature alerts you to dangerous job conditions.

So overall, Mintion Lasercam is a better bet, but unlike others, it comes at a premium price.

Final Thoughts

As an active laser user, I can confidently recommend the Mintion Lasercam for its versatile features that will elevate your craft.

However, it does require some diligent setup and care for the best results.

You'll need to pay close attention to proper lighting, regular lens cleaning, careful camera calibration, and stable mounting to achieve optimal laser precision and high-quality video.

The provided documentation and YouTube videos from Mintion cover the setup well.

While phone support is not offered, Mintion's email customer service is responsive if you need troubleshooting advice.

As a creative who shares laser projects on YouTube, I've learned to take full advantage of the time-lapse and still image-capture capabilities.

This makes showcasing the engraving process much easier. The offline control features also enable more flexible monitoring away from the computer.

The capabilities unlocked by the Mintion Lasercam easily justify the investment through significant time savings and reduced frustration, especially for precision design work.

With some care and practice, the Mintion Lasercam can help unlock the full potential of your laser machine.

Sale
Mintion Lasercam for Laser Machine
HD recording with multiple timelapse modes
Compatible with many popular diode laser engraver machines
Has fire detection and offline control

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I recalibrate Lasercam?

You should recalibrate the Mintion Lasercam anytime it's physically moved and, at minimum, every month. Frequent recalibration may be needed if vibration or accidental bumps are common in your workspace. Permanent mounting solutions can help minimize position shifts and reduce recalibration frequency.

What software is required to use the Mintion Lasercam?

The Mintion Lasercam is compatible with laser engraving software that outputs standard G-code, like LightBurn and LaserGRBL. It complies with the GRBL protocol and can work directly with G-code files without additional software. The camera has been tested extensively with programs like LightBurn and LaserGRBL for full engraving functionality. Other engraving software like xTool Creative Space is currently undergoing compatibility testing but is expected to fully support the Lasercam in the future.

What resolution and frame rate is the video from Lasercam?

In normal mode, Lasercam captures 1080p HD resolution at up to 25 fps, but the night vision mode operates at 15 fps.

About John Abraham

Hey I'm John. I write about Manufacturing, Metalworking, CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com

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John Abraham

Hey I'm John. I write about Manufacturing, Metalworking, CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com

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