Archive for the ‘CNC’ Category

Great Servo Basics Video

Just by chance came across this nice Youtube video from Yaskawa America. If you are interested in CNC and Robotics and have 17 minutes to educate yourself, this is a great introduction into the concept of servos. The narrator explains the concepts in very simple and understandable terms, while covering all of the constituent parts of a typical servo control system. Highly recommend this video. Yaskawa has more instructional materials on their site, too

DIY CNC Laser Cutting: what *doesn’t* work

The idea to document a failed project is not mine. When I read this post by Hackaday, I realized that I do have a project that failed which I don’t want to simply trash. Some valuable insights have been gleaned while working on it and I am planning to reuse many of the parts and the software in a different project. I have so many DVD drive parts now that it would be silly not to make another attempt at building a DVD CNC laser cutter, but it will definitely be designed differently, thanks to the lessons learned. So, that’s how this post came about.
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Manually controlling bipolar stepper motor with Arduino and EasyDriver

Stepper motors are great for accurate positioning because they move in discrete steps – a feature that makes them very appropriate for CNC software control. But every once in a while you have an application where you need to press a button and rotate some kind of a jig at a preset angle or move something a preset distance if it’s a stepper-driven linear stage. So, I decided to modify an earlier Arduino sketch I wrote for testing the world’s smallest stepper motor to make it a bit more useful (and clean any bugs in the process). Keep reading to see what came out … Read the rest of this entry »

DVD-CNC. Laser cutter DIY Project. Concept.

DVD CNC. The whole setup with PC, mechanical parts and electronics pictured.

DVD CNC. The whole setup with PC, mechanical parts and electronics pictured.

DVD-CNC is still very much a project in progress. The purpose of this and the future posts in this series is to present project build notes which will, hopefully, help someone building a similar DIY laser cutting device. The project is not complete but some of the biggest issues have already become apparent. So, if you are interested in building your own DVD-CNC device, read these notes at least to avoid making the same mistakes. Besides, despite the project as a whole is still in progress, some parts of it, such as the TTL-controlled laser diode driver for example, are already at a workable stage and can be used in your own projects.

This project came about as a result of my propensity to never throw away parts that were designed to or can be adapted to move electrons. I am also very interested in mechatronics and motor control in general and so it was all but certain that over time I would have accumulated enough of various discarded data storage devices because they are so cleverly combining parts of both mechanics and electronics. We live in world filled with discarded devices that only a few years ago were the stuff of science fiction. I always feel bad about the discarded yesterday’s technology and it gives me an extra kick to have it re-purposed for today’s needs. Read the rest of this entry »

P-38J Lightning – CNC Files For The Laser Cut Miniature Model

Lockheed P-38J Lightning - miniature 1:212 laser cut foam model

Lockheed P-38J Lightning - miniature 1:212 laser cut foam model

{adinserter Internal_left}Here is another model I’ve designed around the size limitations of Groover’s micro laser cutter from discarded DVD drives – 1.5″x1.5″. I wanted this model to be in the same scale as my earlier Supermarine Spitfire model – 1:212 scale after seeing a 1944 photo in Famous Aircraft: The P-38 Lightning (by Gene Gurney) picturing a P-38 (F-5 version on a reconnaissance mission) accompanied by a Spitfire and the caption said: “Two of the fastest aircrafts in the world at the time this photo was taken”. I though it would be nice to see them together again, materialized on a much smaller scale 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

Driving a Bipolar Stepper Motor with Arduino and ULN2803AG

{adinserter Internal_left}While I’m getting ready to rip open some 10+ broken DVD-RW drives coming to me from an eBay seller, I though it would be great to have a testbed for the bipolar stepper motors I will harvest from those.

I have a bunch of ULN2803AG Eight Darlington Transistor Arrays with Common Emitters left from past projects and these can sink (but unfortunately not source) peak loads of 600mA (500mA continuous) and are well suited for power application like driving small motors. However, there is a problem with 4-wire bipolar stepper motors: they don’t have the common points of windings wired to the outside which would be needed for providing the motors with power. See the ULN2003 datasheet for more information about the IC: ULN2801,2802,2803,2804 and 2805 Darlington Array datasheet
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CNC files for Bumblebee – the miniature laser cut rocket

CNC Files for Bumblebee - the miniature laser cut rocket model

CNC Files for Bumblebee - the miniature laser cut rocket model

{adinserter Internal_left}I’m going to build the Groover’s Pocket Laser Engraver at some point in the future but so far not much luck with CD drives I’m disassembling (two so far). Both were very old drives (1996 and 1998) and (shocker!) things were much simpler back then Read the rest of this entry »

CNC files for laser cut miniature airplane model – Supermarine Spitfire

Postal stamp sized model of Supermarine Spitfire MKIIPostal stamp sized model of Supermarine Spitfire MKII

{adinserter Internal_left}

The idea for this model came to me when I was browsing Instructables and came upon this nice project – the Pocket Laser Engraver. Basically, its author, Groover, describes building a laser diode cutter not unlike the one I’m using here but based on parts of discarded DVD-RW drives. In fact, the diode he’s using is also salvaged from one of those drives. I got intrigued by the project due to the fact that I never throw anything electronics away and I have a little stash of CD and DVD drives myself that I would love to put to some fun use.

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G-Code CNC Files for the rocket

Rocket CNC cut from 2mm craft foam. Image Copyright 2010

Rocket CNC cut from 2mm craft foam

{adinserter Internal_right}After a very long delay I have finally posted the SVG drawings and the resulting G-Code files for the Retro Rocket and its pedestal that were described in the first Laser Cutting DIY post. The files are compressed into a zip archive that can be downloaded from the CNC Files page. Below is some additional information about the files Read the rest of this entry »

Laser Cutting DIY

{adinserter Internal_left}I should have said “laser diode cutting” but did not want to spoil a great looking title 🙂 I had this CNC setup for about a year now and and have been tinkering with different setups for the laser diode but only recently have made any progress.

Please make a note that if you are going to do this yourself, you owe it to yourself to buy a pair of nice ($35 or so) color filter safety glasses designed for the particular wavelength of the laser you are going to use. Mine is 650nm – red. I specifically wanted a laser in the visible part of the spectrum – if it’s going to burn my eye I want to at least know about it and give my reflexes a fighting chance to blink and shield my eye(s) from more damage. An infrared might have been more efficient and less picky about colors (with red laser forget about cutting any light colored material) but it requires more safety discipline.

The CNC machine it’s based on is Sable-2015 which I bought in the Summer of 2009 from eBay seller Luke-Chen in China. I have also bought the controller and the 24V DC power supply from Luke-Chen and had it running within hours after the package came in the mail. Read the rest of this entry »


Coming soon ...

Recent Comments
  • Ernest Smith: The best thing to do with a functioning motor with a bad controller(expense wise) is to use ROS and...
  • JiriK: The school (Turku AMK Sepänkatu campus / Finland) is moving to a new site so they are clearing the building. I...
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