Successful Failure

That’s what this blog should be called.

So, I got it up and running…for a while anyway.

Riding along the 3/8″ threaded rod and 1/16″ steel bar is the laser carrier. Made of good ol’ 1 1/2″ birch with a hole drilled through it and a 3/8″ nut inside, it has room for improvement. When cutting a piece of electrical tape, it wobbles quite noticeably, resulting in a kind of zigzag cut. I think I need to go to the hardware store this weekend and get another 1/16″  metal bar to stick on there, taking advantage of the stability of a triangle.

The Y-axis on the other hand, moves straight as an arrow…that is, when the bearings don’t fall of the tracks and the motor shaft doesn’t slide around in the rubber-hose-motor-coupler. zip-ties don’t seem to do the trick for that one.

Running the show is the Arduino Diecemila hooked up to two EasyDriver version 4.4 stepper motor drivers from Spark Fun Electronics. As reported by other users, the A3967 get’s considerably hot, so I screwed on a heat-sink from a…stereo, I think. There’s a computer fan sitting on top of it now.

The wiring is like so:

…except I’m using 8.4V instead of 12. It seems to work fine.

I can’t remember where I got this image, but it’s not mine. If it’s yours just let me know and I’ll give you credit. Since you’re using open-source hardware, I get this eerie feeling that you don’t care, but I’m in no position to make assumptions…In any case it’s a very nice image. Good job.

If you plan on getting some of those motors from All Electronics, the wire configuration is:

A1: Red

A2: Yellow

B3: Blue

B4: Orange

I got some basic code to work and the motors move fine. I still have a TON of software stuff to work out. I need something that will interpret GCode into Arduino and make it do everything it’s suppose to. I also need something to convert images into GCode.

Image==>GCode==>Arduino. That’s how this needs to work.

Anyway, all that would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that my current regulator quit on me, consequently burning out my laser diode. Quite depressing. I also need to get a new multimeter (not from Wally-World this time) because it seems to think 12V is around 43V. I thought it was the power supply for a while, and then I tested another 12V supply. It also read 43V. Verdict: cheap and shitty multimeter is cheap and shitty.

Ugh…doing some shopping this weekend.


About teslasmoustache

I am an artist currently pursuing a degree in Fine Arts at a college in the Midwestern United States. My art is heavily influenced by technology and tech-culture. my (future) laser cutter is a work of art as well as a tool that will help me make more art in the future.

2 responses to “Successful Failure”

  1. Steve says :

    I’m working on a similar project and I came across one of the stepper motors (Minebea # 23KM-K217-P2V) that you are using and was trying to do a quick search on how much torque they have. I was planning on using an EasyDriver for each axis with one of those motors. I saw you were looking for an Arduino G-code interpreter. I’ve come across a couple sites that might interest you.

    • p0laro1dh3ad says :

      Thanks a ton. I think those will both be really useful. Sorry it took so long to reply to that, though.

      As for the torque, I’m sorry to say that I have no idea. If you can’t find some place with the stats, it may be possible to test it with a torque wrench. The motors seem pretty solid, but I would be very careful. In fact, it’s probably just a bad idea.

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