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.

Comments

  1. matguy says:

    Next step in the evolution: use all 3 axis and make some cool 3D “renderings” of wireframe skeletons.

  2. Chris Muncy says:

    Shouldn’t that be the X axis swapped with the Z axis?

  3. Andrew says:

    RGB? Full colour light painting.

  4. Hirudinea says:

    Next step is to add a green and blue LED for full colour pictures.

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