I became interested in creating a lithophane after seeing some of the great work on line. I am an electrical engineer by trade and have never worked as a machinist so my learning curve was almost vertical. Thanks to web sites such as this I was able to learn the required skills needed to create works of art.
I started with the C-Beam kit. Very well packaged and easy to follow videos. After a few adjustments and some experimenting to learn how things work I added the electronics. I built the controller using and Arduino Uno dedicated to running grbl, an Arduino pro-mini to initialize the stepper drivers, and AMIS30543 stepper motor drivers. The intent of these drivers was to allow for the higher current capability of the NEMA 23 motors. However; the carrier board these are built on does not have enough thermal capacity to run more the 1.8A, and no room to add a heat sink to the active area.
Next I added a SuperPID speed controller to the router. I removed all of the electronics in the router and left only the on/off switch. Adding the speed pick up then became a trivial task with all the extra room at the top of the router. After a few miss starts and more experimentation I was able to control the router from 5000 to 30000 rpm with ease. I also made a few modifications to the speed controller adding a warning light that flashed when an external signal could start the router and an indication that the an external speed set point was selected.
Removing the electronics from the router also disabled the internal leds so I added a NeoPixel led ring and small microcontroller. This is connected to a smart outlet so that whenever the router starts the led rings comes on and the shop-vac.
Reguarding the people at Openbuilds I was shock at their customer service. I had purchased the 24V power supply from them when I purchased the C-Beam. I had not issues that I was aware of with this supply. I soon received an email telling me that they were sending me an updated power supply due to issues with the one I purchased. I was not aware of any problems with the original supply and found this surprising. I contacted Openbuilds and they explained that a defect in the original supply was causing some to have problems with current fall off. It is refreshing and surprising to find pro-active customer service in todays market. My hat goes off to the Openbuilds team and may they keep that attitude.
If anyone would like more details please let me know. Pictures are included here.
C-Beam for lithophanes
First venture into cnc machining I decided on the C-Beam .
- Build License:
- CC - Attribution NonCommercial - Share Alike - CC BY NC SA
Reason for this BuildAfter seeing lithophanes on the web I wanted a machine to create my own.