K40 Laser Info

Friends have been asking about our K40 Chinese laser cutter.  Here’s some quick info about our setup.

This is our current setup.  The machine currently goes for $418 or less on Ebay.  I don’t recommend buying the absolute cheapest one, and look for one with reviews.  Shipping is generally free.  It includes an highly inadequate exhaust fan, and a minimal water cooling pump and hoses.  Out of the box, it works ok and requires installing the included, pirated copy of Corel Draw on a Windows machine.  We used VirtualBox to “firewall” the software.  Below the table is a bucket filled with distilled water and the aquarium pump, which pushes cooling water through the laser tube.

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Laser Spirograph

This laser spirograph is constructed from a 5v red laser module, 2 DC motors salvaged from printers, mirrors cut from hard driver platters, 3d printed mounts, and an Arduino Pro Mini which varies the speed of the two motors using PWM and random sinusoidal waveforms.  The case is laser cut from 1/8″ birch plywood.

Aurora Borealis Light Boxes

These LED light boxes were developed as an experiment in product design and development.  I have designed two variants.  One works with 3x AA batteries, the other uses a 5v 2A plug-in power supply.  The objective was to design a product from start to finish in a way that could be manufactured at home on a small scale, and sold in craft and art venues.

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Creating an animated LED light wall with Raspberry Pi, Python, and APA102

This project was another large window installation for the Urban Art project in Great Falls, Montana.  I wanted to create something with LEDs that would have visual impact similar to the 1 meter POV displays, but with no moving parts. Continue reading Creating an animated LED light wall with Raspberry Pi, Python, and APA102

MicroPython on Wemos D1 Mini

Wemos D1 Mini clone

I’ve been experimenting with MicroPython 1.9.3 on some Wemos D1 Mini boards I have.  I suspect they’re clones, but seem to work fine.  My project is to port a MQTT data logging temperature and light sensor that I created in Arduino a while back.  I’ve encountered a few details that might be helpful to others. Continue reading MicroPython on Wemos D1 Mini

Shapeoko 2 Customizations

Artwork Gallery

CNC Christmas Gifts 2015

Creating a 1 meter RGB POV display with Raspberry Pi and LPD8806 LED strips

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First attempt to display a PNG image.

I set out to create a large POV display for a local quarterly art installation called The Urban Art Project, in Great Falls, Montana.  The space is 8 feet wide, 5′ 8″ tall, and around 17 inches deep.  Two 1 meter rotors fit nicely in the space. Continue reading Creating a 1 meter RGB POV display with Raspberry Pi and LPD8806 LED strips

LED Light Suit

This LED light suit was created for Halloween, 2014, and was developed over a period of 2 weeks.  6x 5 meter waterproof white LED strips were used, along with an Arduino Pro Mini, piezo microphone and amplifier, all running from a LiPo battery.  The strips were sewn onto track pants and jacket, and worn with snowboard boots, gloves, and goggles.

Custom Arduino firmware offered several modes of operation, including sound activated, pulse, steady on, and off.  A remote in the sleeve allowed control of mode, brightness, and sound sensitivity.  The firmware was created in the Arduino IDE.

A custom PCB housed the Arduino Pro Mini and 6 Mosfet transistors to drive each of 6 PWM channels at up to 2 amps.  A custom case was 3d printed for the electronics which fit into the front pocket.