Instructables

Lego CNC/3D printer/plotter

Hey guys, second instructable here. This time, I decided to have a Lego CNC machine.  I had originally planned this for the makeitreal competition, and I thought the deadline had passed, but apparently not.

Anyway, I'll be updating this instructable as I make more progress on it.  It won't be entirely done by the time the competition ends, but you should at least able to build the machine and control the axis (axii?)

There are 747 pieces total. The only non-Lego part is the drill bit.

Basic requirements:
  • 2 lego NXT sets along with 4 touch sensors
  • Various other lego parts, specifically the gear-track pieces and worm gears, and probably more
  • A computer with LDD, or Lego Digital Designer
  • A drill bit to sacrifice
  • Some green floral foam
  • A little bit of time
When I finally make it, I'll put a video up here. Sorry it's not up now, I'm having a rough time finding the time to record it.

Anyway, on to the first step!
 
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Step 1: Creating the parts from the LDD files

Attached are all of the Lego Digital Design files (models.zip)  Load these into the LDD software program, and create the build guide.  Or, if you don't know how to do that, the HTML files are included as well.  Each of those are in their own html file, so "base html.zip" refers the html build guide of the base part.  Also note, that for some reason it won't upload "base html.zip".  I'll figure it out later.

There are 4 parts total:
  • base
  • Y axis
  • X axis
  • Z axis
I would create them in that order.  While creating the Z axis, the X axis has to slide onto it, and it can't slide on if the Z axis is completed.  There is also a glitch in the LDD software which prevents me from making the Y axis perfectly right.  Please view the pictures as to how each part should look when completed.  The assembly of the parts is also given there.  Please, remember to ask questions if you're lost!

this is great

Mateo JCF3 months ago

Awesome

circuitmage2 years ago
Legos +decrease robotics = awesome

Agreed

graphmastur (author)  circuitmage2 years ago
Haha, I yes. I love the mindstorms because they give you the ability to program your legos. Very awesome indeed.
Stupid word completion. Nix "decrease"!!
Can u just program and post the program files in a comment?
murphybros8 months ago
Is there a way to print or cut a smartworks drawing yet?
matstermind2 years ago
have you found a way to print/cut a file yet?
graphmastur (author)  matstermind2 years ago
I won't be able to work on it for about a month more. I was working on making the software understand gcode when I last messed with it. It's still in one piece, though. One thing I did manage to discover was that I need to find a better way to put the material on the bed. Also, I'm currently building a reprap prusa mendel, and I'll be able to use some parts from that to change this from a cnc to a 3d printer, which was it's original design.
mikeasaurus2 years ago
This is a really neat idea. Can you include any information on installing the programs and running them, along with your results? I'd be interested to see.
graphmastur (author)  mikeasaurus2 years ago
They are not installable. They are the netbeans source files for the test programs I could write before I left. You have to compile them and run them with lejos. The programs are more fore testing it, and the instructable is more about the model. So there are no real results to show, because I don't have a program to show them.
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