[GlacialWanderer] has published the first pictures from his CNC machine build. It’s a three axis gantry style machine that he intends to route and engrave wood with. He’s posted a detailed cost breakdown: $1800. He estimates spending 30 hours researching on sites like CNCzone. The build time for the mechanical side was around 50 hours. The electrical system hasn’t been hoooked up yet, so look for that in a future post. It looks like an incredible machine already, so we can’t wait to see what’s next.
SparkFun is rolling out interesting things to play with every week. They’ve added a NanoMuscle actuator that uses a shape memory alloy to lift nearly 70 times its own weight. Their LilyPad collection has expanded to include small momentary switches and a thermistor type temperature sensor. Lastly, they’ve got an FM receiver module. It just needs an antenna and uses I2C or SPI for control.
While we hope you enjoyed our How-To: Etch a printed circuit board, toner transfer certainly isn’t the only way to get the job done. [Garrett] from macetech has recently been playing around with using an Epilog laser to etch PCBs. He started by applying a thin even coat of flat black spray paint to the copper board. The laser is used to remove paint in areas that you want the copper removed. Once that’s done, you proceed with etching as usual. He eventually removed the paint mask using acetone. The result has very fine, sharp traces, but most people that have tried this agree that using spray paint is less than ideal.