[Murray484] submitted his instructable on how to create a stepper motor controller from an old scanner. He removed the motor and controller from an old scanner then harvested the parts. He’s pretty much starting over, taking the ULN2003 chip from the scanner motor controller and putting it on a fresh board. He then wired it all up, installed the software and got it working. Finally, he built a container out of cardboard for it all. Though he could have made it nicer looking and used higher quality building materials, he was trying to make this a “green” project for the epilog laser cutter contest. He’s done a good job recycling, this could be pretty useful.
[Madaeon] pointed us toward this entry for the Instructables Epilog challenge. While this may not be extremely complex, or have as many wires as our typical post, it is a fantastic example of thinking outside the box. How many lemon batteries have we seen? A lot. This one stands out as being more elegantly displayed and functional at the same time. In its final form, you sprinkle lemon juice on it’s petals and it lights up. If you ever find yourself in the position of teaching someone about electronics, remember this project. Sometimes aesthetics can make a dull simple project take on a life of its own.
While we hope you enjoyed our How-To: Etch a printed circuit board, toner transfer certainly isn’t the only way to get the job done. [Garrett] from macetech has recently been playing around with using an Epilog laser to etch PCBs. He started by applying a thin even coat of flat black spray paint to the copper board. The laser is used to remove paint in areas that you want the copper removed. Once that’s done, you proceed with etching as usual. He eventually removed the paint mask using acetone. The result has very fine, sharp traces, but most people that have tried this agree that using spray paint is less than ideal.
The new Epilog Zing is designed to bring laser engraving to the home for personal use. It’s got 25 watts of power, a small enough footprint to fit neatly on your desk, and the video above shows it has a pretty high resolution. But compared to the mini18, the Zing has less Z movement, a lower wattage, a smaller engraving area, and about half the speed. Also, with a price set around $8,000, we don’t think many people will be buying them for personal use just yet. However, if you have a small home business that requires these services, the Zing could be perfect. If you are looking for more information on laser engraving, see [ladyada’s] laser information page.