Negative laser etching

[James] has been refining a method of negatively etching metal with a laser. He had been using a product called Thermark which is designed for this process, but it’s quite expensive. He found that paint designed for wood stoves works just as well. To prepare the surface he bead blasted it and then cleaned of the residue and finger prints off with acetone. The board was preheated in an oven before covering it with the spray paint. He ran the laser at 98/100 power and 90/400 speed at a step size of 0.1mm to achieve the results above. This should immediately make you think about making circuit boards. We’d love to ditch the toner transfer and we’re always looking for one more reason to get a laser cutter.

Graffiti machine sprays for you

[Ben’s] father was a metalworker and the combination of being around metal fabrication for most of his life and getting a couple of art degrees brought together a satisfying combination of hacking skills. Above you can see a Graffiti Machine that he built, which we’ll look at in-depth after the break.. This isn’t the first CNC machine he’s worked on. [Ben] became interested in rapid prototyping but was put off by the cost of commercial cutters, which led him to build his own CNC plasma cutter.

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PIC controlled spray paint


Most people make LEDs light up for their first microcontroller project. [Alex] built a “large scale dot matrix printer.” This beast is a PIC controlled ground graffiti machine. As it rolls across the ground it deposits strategically located bits of spray paint. Rather than use actual spray paint, he opted for a set of solenoid controlled nozzles that shoot the paint downward.