Candy the Robot

So for this week’s assignment we were asked to play around with the laser cutter. For me, it was the perfect opportunity to create a prototype for my PComp final – Artificial Unintelligence.

Having absolutely zero knowledge of illustrator, I decided to play it safe by working with open source files to cut the parts for a mechanical arm. However, Ben had advised to become a little familiar with the software so I decided to play around with the original files to add a spot for the Arduino Uno which would be controlling the arm.

The Beginning

So as always, I decided to test out this machine with some MDF to understand how it likes to work.

Acrylic is beautiful and delicate (melts easily), and expensive. MDF seemed like a sturdier choice to begin with.

The Middle

While my first experience with the laser cutter (50W) was nothing less than a fascinating dream (I’ll try and not fall in love with it Ben. I’ll try my hardest), I seem to have picked the wrong material. I spent all of Friday and Sunday trying to get this piece of 3mm MDF to cut.

Since my MDF had a white cover-coat of some kind on one side, it seemed to not go through. Even after bringing the speed to a considerably low value and increasing the power to maximum. Either way, learning lesson and good experience.

The Real Deal

After the horrors with MDF, I got in a piece of 3mm Acrylic to cut on the 75W machine.

I kid you not, it was like butter.

The above pieces were out in 30 minutes or less.

In the excitement and hurry of it all, I didn’t take any pictures of myself assembling it but since this isn’t the last – there will DEFINITELY be more.

Just for informational purposes – I used about 10 M3 Nuts along with varying screws – M3 X 6,8,10,12, and 20.

Now I’ll spend the day calibrating the Motors and Coding the movements 🙂

Next Steps

LETS MAKE A BIGGER ARM! Going to mess around with these files so I can create a bigger prototype of the same.

LETS ALSO WORK WITH STRONGER ACRYLIC! So this was 3mm. I’d like to now move to 5.5mm to make the arm a little sturdy.

One thought on “Candy the Robot

  1. Good work. MDF etches beautifully, but will never cut out on the laser. I would avoid this material in the future for projects like this.

    Scaling up a project isn’t always as straight forward as getting thicker material. The whole assembly will be heavier and most likely require servos with higher torque. And those servos will most likely be bigger than the ones you are using. The Illustrator files will probably change dramatically from what you are using now.

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