I have been trying to get my hands on a laser cutter for some time but they always seem out of reach. All the great things that can be done with a real laser cutter tickle the imagination. Now I feel it’s time to share my latest project – a low cost laser engraver, and maybe just have the chance to get my hands on the real thing . The workspace is a bit small but none the less it works and comes so cheap that most will be able to replicate the result. I did take a few shortcuts, as I feel I don’t have the knowledge to do all the electronics I opted for readymade but low cost in favor of trying to make my own (and most likely fail). All parts used are however easy to find.
Pocket laser engraver – [Link]
I have been messing around with a few components and my arduino. I figured out this project last week and just had to share it with all of you. What it is, is a laser beam hitting a photo cell. The arduino reads the photo cell and when it detects the voltage level is below a certain amount, the beam must be broken while sounding an alarm. The alarm stays on until you punch in the code you have set up to the keypad in. Once the correct code is typed in, the arduino turns of the buzzer and gives you 15 seconds ( or what ever you set the delay time to) to reset the laser beam. You are able to change the code if you like. The steps are very easy to follow and i hope everyone makes one!!!
Arduino laser detector with keypad – [Link]
Pete Mills from Ann Arbor, MI, shares his Cigar Box Laser Light Show. [via]
It was spring break last week so I had some spare time to kill. I wanted to do a project that would be done fairly quickly and still have some time to study for classes resuming. I do have several other projects going that I could have worked on but, I figured a laser light show would be appropriate for the occasion, being spring break and all. Actually, I have no idea if spring break party goers are the least bit interested in seeing laser light shows but, I am interested in getting some motors spinning programmatically. And to seal the deal there is a new cat in the mix over here so I have buckets full of laser pointers.
Laser Light Show Fits in a Cigar Box – [Link]
Bart from buildlog.net shares his latest DIY laser cutter design, the 2.X laser. [via]
The second generation open source laser cutter/engraver design from buildlog.net is complete. The new machine is called the Buildlog.net 2.x Laser. The name comes from the fact that this is the second generation machine and it is basically a 2 axis design. The third, vertical axis, is manually controlled with an optional upgrade to digital control. The 2.x Laser takes all the optimizations learned from the first laser and all the other lasers documented on buildlog.net forum.
The usable work envelope is 12” x 20” x 4”. The internal design has been optimized so the overall size of the machine is much smaller than the previous design and can easily fit on a small table. It is designed to work with 40W CO2 lasers sealed gas lasers. The frame is built from inexpensive 20mm aluminum T Slot extrusion and the skin is made from a painted aluminum and HDPE laminate.
Open Source Lasercutter Reaches Version 2 – [Link]
Jean-Baptiste Labrune and his research group at MIT’s Tangible Media Group have been experimenting with using a laser cutter to turn ordinary materials into printed circuit boards (PCBs). [via]
They have a clever process for making the traces. Since it is very difficult to cut metal with a laser, they can’t start with a solid sheet of metal material and burn away the parts that they don’t want. Instead, they put a piece of masking tape over the material that they want to make traces on, then use the laser to burn off the tape in places where they want metal to be. Finally, they use a paintbrush to apply conductive paint into the newly cut grooves, and remove the masking tape mask. They’ve got some more photos of the process in a Flickr set.
Laser cutting circuit boards - [Link]
Joe Grand @ grandideastudio.com is working on “Laser Range Finder” and shares his experience building it on Parallax Forums. He shows how he used a CMUcam to detect the reflected laser beam and calculate range based on triangulation. He writes: [via]
I decided to go with the method of optical triangulation whereas the distance to a targeted object is calculated using triangulation with simple trigonometry between the centroid of laser light, camera, and object. The most compelling example is the Webcam Based DIY Laser Rangefinder (http://sites.google.com/site/todddan…m_laser_ranger) and my design is based, in theory, on this implementation.
Laser Range Finder - [Link]
gallamine @ robotbox.net offers a $200 bounty to the first person that successfully hacks Neato Robotics’s XV-11 floor vacuuming robot’s laser rangefinder and releases open source documentation/drivers for using it on a robot. This type of sensor would be a great asset to small (and large) mobile robots and it’s a steal for the $399 it costs to buy the Neato robot. He want to kickstart the process of documenting how to use it.
The Open Lidar Project – Hack the Neato XV-11 Lidar – [Link]