CNC Light Painting

Light painting is a technique where a shape is drawn with a light source while a camera is taking a very long exposure shot of it. To do this well by hand would take a lot of skill, so I naturally decided to make my “light art” with a CNC router.

Using this technique, the LED light is treated just like an engraving bit would be under normal circumstances. The difference is that the Y axis is swapped with the Z axis allowing for easy movement in the plane that you see displayed in the picture above. This allows the old Y axis to switch the light on and off in the same way that an engraving bit is lifted to stop engraving and lowered to start (explained here). Instead of a bit though, it’s a switch.

Be sure to check out the video of the router in action (with the lights on) after the break:

If you’re curious about the router used, check out this [HAD] post. Also we have the [HAD] logo available in DXF format here if you’d like to use it in your own project. You may need to delete some layers depending on your use.

9 thoughts on “CNC Light Painting

    1. No doubt! I’m actually using a two color LED for this sequence, but I haven’t really figured out how to control everything correctly, so the other color isn’t used yet! Guess that’s what hacking is all about!

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