Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Yeay, it’s drawing!

In Hardware on Nov 22, 2009 at 00:01

Baby steps in CNC land, but still a milestone for me:


With a pencil, the worst that can happen is a broken tip. I’m not quite ready to put a Dremel on there, turning at 10’s of thousands of RPM, and chewing its way through anything that happens to be near it. Need to get the limit switches and the relay board going first, so it can be turned off under computer control. Besides, it’ll be noisy and get very dusty.

The red-black wire hanging down the “gantry” (yeah, new words every day) is for the limit switches, which have been glued in place but not yet hooked up. The switches have been connected in series, two per axis and using the Normally Closed pins so that the circuit gets broken when a limit switch trips. That way it will also act as stop signal when a wire gets pulled loose.

I’m still exploring, but I think I’ll call the longest axis (towards the camera) the X axis, and the sideways one the Y axis. Let’s just stick with Z for up and down ;)

The drawing is the standard demo built into EMC v2, and I had to move the paper during while drawing because it would have run off the edge otherwise:


Some oddities in there because the pencil is not rigidly attached to the tool holder, but basically it’s doing all the right things. And making funny sounds as the steppers go through curves such as for the “C” and the “S”. Can it draw an accurate rectangle? I hope to find out soon.

So now zee Jee Machine is writing on paper! Onwards!