CNC Laser Pointer

Introduction: CNC Laser Pointer

About a year ago I needed a project... With a lack of any actual good ideas I decided to make a CNC laser pointer. As you do.

The final product is almost completely useless, but it was a fairly entertaining process. I don't believe anyone else will actually ever want to build one of these but hopefully some parts of it might give people some ideas on other interesting things they might be doing.

I should probably also say that I'm not a great details kind of guy, rough enough is usually good enough. So if you're going to look closely your going to see some pretty ugly stuff going on, its all part of the character...

What is it i exactly? It's two stepper motors controlling a laser pointer. By telling the software the distance to the wall, the motors will rotate to sketch out an outline on the wall. Clear as mud? Maybe watch the video, hopefully all will be explained....

I'm not really sure what's polite on Instructables but I'm planning to publish my 'instructions' (actually just my ramblings) then add steps and info when I get time. Hopefully that's all good.

Step 1: What's Required?

  • Raspberry Pi - I used a raspberry pi as the controller. Mainly because I wanted to learn a bit of python.
  • 2 x stepper motors. I'm pretty sure I used 2 x NEMA 17 stepper motors that were bought from Ebay. They were 12V versions. The main thing was checking that they weren't going to draw too much current for the Pololu stepper motor drivers that I used,
  • 2 x Pololu stepper motor drivers. Check out the Pololu website, they do a whole variety of drivers for different currents etc. These drivers are pretty sweet though, they make getting from the Raspberry Pi to the stepper motor a piece of cake.
  • 2 x limit switches. Nothing fancy. These are used to set the laser to a datum before each run.
  • Laser diode. Just a cheap job from Ebay.
  • Some 3D printed brackets. I'll try to put my files on here but I'm sure the design could be improved on.
  • Raspberry Pi protection circuit. Not sure how crucial this is but I used one to try and protect my raspberry pi from any accidents. I made one very similar to this but I see that you can buy a break out board now which I would do instead :)
  • A power supply. I just stole one out of an old PC. It's really good, I think it does 3.3 V, 5V, 12V and 24V and enough amps for everyone. I have no idea how safe this is so you may want to do your own homework into that.
  • A whole heap of wires and all the stuff that you need to talk to get your Raspberry Pi talking to you.
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Make it Glow Contest 2016

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Make it Glow Contest 2016

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CNC Contest 2016

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    3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing :) If you would like to break down the steps into written instructions and add some progress/step photos so that others can replicate your projects then it will receive more attention from the community and be possible to be featured on the site.