DIY Optical Disc Duplicator

[matt] wrote me a couple weeks ago wondering how to build a robotic arm that can load and load/unload a CD or DVD from a drive. I told him about one built out of wood that I couldn’t find the link for. Matt wrote back to say he had found the Home built CD changer contraption. The design is pretty simple and uses gravity for downward movement, so you don’t have to worry about a motor slamming the head into the desk.

He also pointed out the one built by Ben out of Legos. He used it to rip his collection of CDs for his Squeezebox. You’ll remember his caller ID project from last week.

14 thoughts on “DIY Optical Disc Duplicator

  1. looks good.. one thing– he says that accessing the parallel port is difficult under windows and thus it’s not possible to use windows to control this thing.. you can actually access the parallel port exactly the same under windows or linux except that under windows you need to install a driver such as this .. there’s nothing really tricky about it

  2. I’m considering taking a design for something like this and making a multi-CD changer, on the order of several hundred DVDs. I haven’t started work on it, but I’m not quite sure how i’d select an individual disk. Anybody got ideas? I’ve thought about putting spacers between them, that would be easier for a machine to grab, but that would involve as many spacers as you have disks. (And I want the design to scale up past 1000 easily)

  3. MaddMatt, the first thing that comes to mind is a vacuum.
    Pros: Gentle, it would work ideally
    Cons: It would only grab the top CD in a stack (is that what you wanted?), the vacuum hole would have to be offset so it doesn’t overlap the hole, and special fabrication for the air system could overcomplicate it to failure.

    The packing industry has used vaccum lifting for years now, proving its practicality

  4. The problem with using the parallel port for stuff like this under windows is that driving stepper motors at a resonable speed has realtime requirements that are hard to meet when you’re far from the hardware. Look at EMC (a CNC program for Linux), for example. It requires RT Linux extensions.

  5. Lol this is perfect for what we need at skl. We are planning on making a prospectus DVD, so need to copy one disc and make about 5000 copies. Unfort all we have are two Intel iMacs with slot loading drives, so it’s either stay behind every night for a month buring or building one these. Hmmmm….

  6. Mad_Matt… you could use a bunch of plastic trays for for the CDs… that’s a common choice for CD changers. The servo could be made to run up and down a tower to select individual tray.
    Ace Von Wildfire

  7. it says they received the Lego Mindstorms as a wedding gift – please read everything carefully – here’s the text:

    “decided to build a robot out of the Lego

  8. My 400 disc CD has a carousel slotted holder and uses gravity to roll out one disc thru the one little slot in the rim. An arm pushes it back up in when done. I don’t have near that many CD’s so I don’t use it. The space-saving keyboard (for titling display) that came with it I am typing on. I should give it to the pirate radio in town (play list stinks) that’s about 2 weeks worth of play. My single CD drawer crapped out so how I fixed it will be my first hack to put here!

    Which is worse, ripping off labels (artists are ripped off mostly) or ripping of clean audio into audio pee for (accordion box)?

    @ craig Save your white goods (apple) have it done pro, or buy a auto duplicator.

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