66% or better

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: [Read more...]

Trashed Hard Drive? Why not an Engraved Clock?

So your hard drive quit working.  Don’t despair, with a “little” work your disk can be repurposed into a clock like the one seen above. I made this clock after several iterations of various success, including the first revision, which was simply the platter with a clock kit from a hobby store screwed into the middle. Still a very neat effect, but if you want to actually tell what time it is, it helps to have the numbers available.

For this, you’ll need some sort of CNC machine (a kit-build router in this case), and some way to generate the Gcode to get everything cut correctly. A guide to how the logo was eventually turned into something a machine could understand is provided here. Of course if you’re not sure what logo would look good on your clock, you can always skip a few steps and engrave the our logo. In this [HAD] article, it’s conveniently provided in .dxf format, which can be converted by a CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) program into code that your machine can understand.

Check out after the break for a video of two “platter clocks” being engraved using these methods: [Read more...]