Robots and Ink

IMG_2037-1000I’ve been making business cards out of record covers from LP vinyl (and many other things). They come out pretty unusual (good) but it’s a fair amount of work to stamp information on them (bad).

So I am now using a CNC machine to operate the stamp. For this I manually wrote the g-code (see below) using NCPlot. I must say, NCPlot really speeds things up.

Here you can see the CNC acting as a robot to stamp my cards. So I’m able to make plenty of cards quickly.

I also considered writing on them with a pen using a robot. To test this I attempted a portrait. I brought a photo into GIMP, cropped it, increased contrast and shrunk it down a bit. I then brought it into Inkscape and did an image trace on it. From there I used a laser plugin to convert the curves to g-code. I came across this technique by reading this DIY laser from hardboard and this one that uses an old blueray. I tested and verified the g-code using NCPlot, then finally loaded the g-code into Mach3 to run it on a CNC machine. I used a glue gun to stick a pen to the CNC machine.

 

 

The g-code came out like this:

(initialize machine to absolute,  inches, XY plane)
G90
G20
G17

(dip in ink)
G00 Z1.5000
G00 X14.5000 Y1.0000
G00 Z0.30000
G00 Z1.5000

(stamp in place)
G00 X1.75000 Y1.0000
G00 Z0.00000
G00 Z1.5000

(and so forth…)

I alternated back and forth between the ink and stamp sections. On the stamp sections I just in the coordinates of all the locations I wanted stamped. Worked like a charm.

I can see this standing in for a while to keep my business cards coming.

What to do to improve next?

 

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Published on: Jan 4, 2016 @ 16:44

 

 

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