Friday, October 22, 2010

So then I decided to buid a CNC machine...

I don't know what gets into me sometimes, but I just get the urge to just BUILD something.
This happens from time to time, and mostly... I never quite completely finish what I start.

I was doing my ELE1502 assignment the other day, drawing up the schematic in Eagle. Just for kicks, I exported the schematic to the PCB editor - within a few minutes, I had a PCB layout on the screen. Nice. "I wished I had an easy way to actually make the board...", I thought to myself.
"...and a computer controlled drill setup to drill it out.", the other half of my brain replied.
A quick google around and... next thing I know, I'm looking at how-tos and youtube videos of building your own CNC machine, and harvesting lasers powerful enough to burn stuff from DVD writers. Yep, that's cool. I want. But I don't want to spend anything to do it. Typical me.

So, let's look at what's lying around the garage:
  • about 6 metres of 25mm square section aluminium left over from the projector screen project. It's got a 3mm lip about 16mm down one side.  The material stacks and slides nicely on each other, and the lip positioned in the right spot stops it moving sideways... hmm, this might just work.
  • A few 2 and 3 way plastic corner joiners for the aluminium. Nice and easy. Hopefully strong enough.
  • about a metre of 50mm x 25mm L section aluminium. Note sure where this will be used yet.
  • a length of 10mm threaded rod.
  • a Deskjet 400 inkjet printer. Now disassembled, and the stepper motor recovered from it. I'm not sure this is going to be strong enough, but might be OK to use to see if some ideas are practical before acquiring larger ones.
  • various nuts, bolts, junked electronic stuff, plumbing fittings.
So now it's thinking time. Got to work out how this is all going to fit together.

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