Browsing Posts in Projects

Emergency Stop ButtonI’m continuing to work on the 3rd installment of the EMC2 and Servo tutorial, but I realized that I hadn’t seen any great treatments out there for simple e-stop implementations with EMC2 or otherwise in the hobby CNC realms. This is the solution I’ll be using as part of the tutorial apparatus.

Safety systems aren’t sexy and so from what I’ve seen in the community those who know what they’re doing quietly implement them on their own systems but then the rest of the hobbyists and newbies may not even be aware of the need for such things and in the rush to get a machine running and doing the sexy stuff leave themselves open to more risk than is strictly necessary.

Click to continue reading “An Emergency Stop Circuit with EMC2″

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="320" caption="Printer Carcass Ready For Use"]Stripped Inkjet Printer[/caption]

So you’d like to play with servo motor control would you? Well hopefully you’ve come to the right place and we’ll actually be able to learn you a thing or two. In this next segment we’re going to learn about some of the internals of an old inkjet printer and how to recycle it to serve our purposes. This is obviously part 2 of the series, where you’ll strip down the printer and prepare it for integration with EMC2.

Click to continue reading “Tutorial: Use an Old Inkjet Printer to Learn Servo Motor Control With EMC2 – Part 2″

Galvin over at On Shoulders has started his new season with OpenSCAD for 3D printing.  While historically I’m a SolidWorks user myself, I look forward to this offering and trying it for myself.

So again I wanted to work on putting together the next piece in the EMC2 Servo lab series tonight only to thwart myself.  I shot a bunch of pictures last night with my newly rehabilitated camera. When I sat down today my iPhoto library was kinda corrupted so I decided to rebuild it.  Well right there I lost about 3 hours of access to my pics so I decided to play around a bit with iMovie instead as I know I’ll want to include some video later on, so here’s a quick demo of my apparatus cycling.

[youtube id="kpGAjKVLZgA" w="240" h="190"]
[caption id="attachment_318" align="alignright" width="168" caption="Assembled Kit (screw hardware not included)"]Solarbotics Compact L298 Motor Driver[/caption]

Based on the venerable L298 Dual H-Bridge , Solarbotics has put together a really nice little kit for low-mid voltage level motor control applications.

You trade a little sweat equity for the few bucks you save over other offerings by fully assembling the kit yourself.

One of the nice bits about this kit is that it includes a 5V regulator to supply the logic portion of the L298 natively instead of relying on a 2nd supply voltage to the board.  This helps to make it very easy to drive either 2 DC motors or a single stepper motor from a microcontroller or other control device. 

Click to continue reading “Review: Solarbotics Compact L298 Motor Driver”

Well I’d planned on spending the evening snapping pics and scratching out the next part in the inkjet and servo lab series, but when I pulled my trusty Olympus SP-350 out of the backpack, I discovered it made some odd grinding noises, extended and retracted the lens a couple times eventually displaying “Zoom Error” on the screen. ARGH!!!

Click to continue reading “Because caucasians are too damn tall…”

EMC2 is a popular choice among hobbyists, academics and a growing group of professionals for CNC and robotic machine control. Most commonly it seems to be used to drive machines using stepper motors for reasons related to low cost and complexity. In actuality EMC2 drives servo mechanisms equally well, but in doing my research in preparation for my own projects I found that there was a need for a simple tutorial laying out basic procedures for integrating servo control under EMC2. As always, the very best way to learn is to do so I ended up playing with a small servo “lab” so I could visit as many concepts and parameters as I could before applying them to a larger machine.

Click to continue reading “Tutorial: Use an Old Inkjet Printer to Learn Servo Motor Control With EMC2 – Part 1″

Another concept for 3D printing on a re-purposed inkjet printer.

[youtube id="2nbtZOolSIY" w="240" h="190"]

 

More Links:

Servo and PID tutorials from Galil Motion Control Inc.

Servo Tuning Tutorial (PDF)  from PMC Corp.

[caption id="attachment_260" align="alignright" width="210" caption="Pololu A4983 with a nickle for scale"]Pololu A4983[/caption]

One of the things I need to do while working towards motion control projects is to practice some of the fundamentals.  I’ve worked with many of the concepts and mechanisms professionally, but more from the support end.  I haven’t touched the stuff for a few years now, and want to learn things at a more fundamental level.  In order to do this my plan is to pull motors and mechanisms from recycled equipment (printers, scanners, etc.) and set up a few labs for myself along the way.  Perhaps I’ll try to salvage some of the electronics as well with some good old-fashioned circuit bending.  I should be able to at least reuse motor drivers that are found, but for now I’m going to rely on inexpensive motor driver kits to allow myself more freedom to experiment.

Click to continue reading “Review: Pololu A4983 Micro Stepping Driver Carrier”

Some links that have turned up while doing research:

Musings on the usefulness of inkjet printers for a variety of applications.  So ok, I’m not the only one who’s been thinking about this, but here I hope to actually do something about it!

Anders is playing with EMC2 and RepRap functionality as well.  I’ve experimented with some of his temperature control ideas already, but need to work at the PID tuning a lot more.

PyroElectro has a bunch of tutorials for all kinds of fun stuff like this basic DIY servo/encoder setup.

 

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