Tag Archives: CNC

Home-made CNC laser engraver

via Raspberry Pi

Before you go any further, please take a minute to consider your eyes. You only have two of them, and they’re not replaceable. You need both for certain applications. Lasers are dangerous, and they can burn flesh: please be careful around them.

And with that out of the way…

I found this project on our forums, and it knocked my socks off. Daniel Chai has made something incredible with a Pi and parts salvaged from a pair of optical drives: a very low-priced, fine-resolution laser engraver. This differs from Arduino-driven engravers we’ve seen before: Daniel only uses a Pi, and he’s written his own control system, where his Python interprets G code and drives the stepper motors on both axes at the same time.

Engraving in progress

Final output

Daniel says:

The reason why I choose Raspberry Pi is: it is a much more powerful device than Arduino; it has a complete OS; the GPIO pins can be controlled by python, a more intuitive and simpler language than C (the disadvantage of python would be the slow speed); I don’t have to buy a separate controller for this project–I can use a single Raspberry Pi to do a lot of different things without reloading firmware. Most importantly, I have a Raspberry Pi but don’t have an Arduino right now!

The most expensive parts of this project, namely the stepper motors and laser diodes, were salvaged from two old DVD writable drives which had been abandoned as e-waste. (DVD drives are much preferable to CD drives, which can be ultra-dangerous because their laser is an infra-red laser, invisible to the naked eye – don’t go poking around the innards of those if you value your eyesight.) Other parts of those drives are also used to make a tray to hold the item being engraved: this is a thrifty project.

Daniel has made everything you’ll need, from a parts list, instructions on liberating the bits you’ll need from the DVD drives, all the relevant code, wiring diagrams and tips on construction, on his website. This is an advanced project with lots of different stages to it, but it’s inexpensive and yields extraordinarily professional (and expensive-looking) results. We’d love to hear from you if you attempt your own build.

Using Arduino in a semi-automatic production line for casting polyurethane foam

via Arduino Blog

decor_casting

Alexander Kozusyev wrote us from Kiev to share how he introduced Arduino in his semi-auto production line creating decor by casting polyurethane foam.

Production line has two independent CNC 3-axis manipulator. The first spraying of release agent. Second automatic pouring polyurethane into the mold. Before spraying or pouring read RFID unique code for the mold, and then loads the G-CODE from the database server based MySQL. After pouring, the mould is moved to the waiting area.

He used Arduino Mega to read RFID codes and to  control some components, an Arduino Uno with firmware GRBL version 0.9 to control the CNC. Take a look at the video:

Arduino DUE, gShield and TinyG enhance desktop CNC performance

via Arduino Blog

TinyG with ShapeOko

TinyG2 is a cross-platform ARM Port of the TinyG motion control system that runs on the Arduino Due. It can be used with the gShield to build a high performance 3 axis motion control system.

G2 has a number of advanced features, including

  • 6 axis motion control – XYXABC axes
  • Can control up to 6 motors (3 are on the gShield)
  • Jerk controlled acceleration planning – S curves using 3rd order motion planning
  • RESTful interface using JSON – talks directly to Javascript, Python and other languages over USB

During World Maker Faire in NYC we met Alden Hart. He is part of Synthetos where they built TinyG and the grblshield and experiment on other cool stuff for the hacker/maker community:

We chose the Due as the platform for the TinyG ARM port because it’s powerful enough to really run the application well, but it’s still simple and accessible so people can extend the application and experiment with new functionality.

Alden Hart - TinyG

You can learn more about TinyG on their open wiki maintained by Synthetos team, it serves as a user and programmer manual, and documents progress on the project: anyone can post wiki-type stuff.

 

 

My open-source, do-it-yourself cellphone (built with Arduino).

via Arduino Blog

DIY cellphone (in hand)

For a little over a year, I’ve been working on an open-source, DIY cellphone as part of my PhD research at the MIT Media Lab. The current version of the phone is based on the Arduino GSM shield and Arduino GSM library. It sports a deliberately low-resolution screen (8 characters, each a 5×7 matrix of LEDs), a laser-cut wooden enclosure, flexure (living hinge) buttons, and a ~1000-line Arduino program that powers the user interface. The phone can make and receive phone calls and text messages, includes a phone book and caller id, and keeps the time. Everything you’d expect from a 20-year old Nokia! (Except snake.) I’ve been using various iterations of the project as my primary cellphone for the past six months or so.

DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)

The phone is open-source and the design files are available on GitHub (hardware, software). Assembly instructions are on my website, although I wouldn’t recommend making your own unless you have experience with soldering surface mount components.

Second DIY cellphone workshop

Of course, it’s not just me that’s been building these phones. I’ve run two workshops in which other people have made them for themselves. A few people have been building them on their own, including someone who posted his result on Twitter.

Ben Peters' Phone.Dena's purpleheart phoneNadya and Jeff making cellphones

Here you can see some the variations on the enclosure that my friends have made. On the left is a 3d-printed case by Ben Peters, the middle is a CNC-milled purpleheart wood case by Dena Molnar, and on the right is a hand-cut cardboard case by Jeffrey Warren.

DIY Cellphone Prototypes

The phone has undergone numerous revisions as I’ve tried to get it into a robust, useable form. Here you can see some of those variations. I started with an LCD screen like those found on old Nokia phones, but it would break after a month or so in my pocket, so I switched to the more-robust LED matrix. The enclosure has had a few tweaks as well, primarily to find a good design for the flexure buttons.

DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the current incarnation. It seems to be relatively robust, simple enough to assemble by hand, and functional enough to use everyday (although a long way from a smart phone). That’s my DIY cellphone.

Othermill on Kickstarter: a robust, personal CNC machine for milling circuit boards and more

via Arduino Blog

My friend Jonathan Ward and the rest of the team at Otherfab have posted their new CNC milling machine, the Othermill, to KickStarter. This is a robust, low-cost machine for milling circuit boards, wax molds, wood, aluminum and more. The machine is made from high density polyethylene with an ingenious snap-fit mechanism that’s strong, reversible, and easy-to-assemble (although the machines will come fully assembled). There are lots of other clever features to ensure good alignment, minimal / non-existent slop, and quiet / robust performance. The working area is 5.5 x 4.5 x 1.4″ and the machine itself is only 10 inches cubed.

This is a great tool for milling your own circuit boards, something that’s done a lot in How to Make (Almost) Anything and at the MIT Media Lab and Center for Bits and Atoms generally. It handles relatively fine-pitched components (down to 1/64″ or even 0.010″ between traces) and is great for doing arbitrary shapes and cut outs. Here are some examples from the Othermill KickStarter page.

Jonathan has a long history of making milling machines, and I’m excited to see them get out into the world.

Find out more or support the project on KickStarter.

First to File? Nah, First to Blog!

via MAKE » Tag: open source hardware

Zach "Hoeken" SmithLike most people out there, I sometimes have more ideas than time to implement them. So instead of keeping those ideas locked in a notebook somewhere unaccessible and not serving a purpose, I’m going to release them into the world as public domain in the hope that they might inspire, or at a very minimum keep an idea from being patented. You can do whatever you like with these, except for attempting to patent them yourself. It is my sincere hope that by releasing these ideas, more awesomeness and excellence will be brought into being.

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