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13. Applications and implications

Propose a final project masterpiece that integrates the range of units covered, answering:

What will it do?

A fully Fabbable machine device that lets you create laser engraving in a simple and safe manner. Through the embedded web control interface you can make your engrave, directly from your smartphone or WiFi connected device.

My project incorporate

  • 2D and 3D design,
  • additive and subtractive fabrication processes,
  • electronics design and production,
  • microcontroller interfacing and programming,
  • system integration
  • packaging

Who’s done what beforehand?

I’ve made this machine for Maker Faire Rome 2018 European Edition, and the project was awarded with the Maker of Merit - Blue Ribbon. Machine was made with commercial boards, such as Arduino UNO, RaspberryPi and It haven’t owner PCB.

What will you design?

I’m redesigning the external case of the machine. But mainly I’m designing an ex-novo PCB for the control system.

During this week I’m designing the board for my final project.

What materials and components will be used? / Where will come from? / How much will they cost?

as follows, I’ve made a grid for components and their costs:

Electronics and microcontrollers

Qt. Description Costs Link
1 Electronic Control Board 10€ Fabbed ATmega328p board
1 Computational Board 15€ RaspberryPi Zero W
1 Step Down LM2596S 1.5€ Voltage Regulator
2 28BYJ-48 Stepper Motor 1.50€ motor + driver
2 ULN2003 Driver Board see prev. see previous.
1 Laser 2500mW 445nm 12V 70€ laser
2 Microswitch EndStop 0.63€ enstop

Cutting materials

Qt. Description Costs Link
1 Plex Filter laser 445nm 305x305 mm (JtechPhotonics) 27€
1 Plex 500x500 mm color 10€
2 Molybdenum reflection mirror lens 25mm x2 25€

3D Printing materials

Qt. Description Costs Link
1 Motor and Laser Support 120gr 5€ Inventory
2 Mirror glass Support 10gr 0.6€ Inventory

What parts and systems will be made?

  1. Main body with laser light about 450/500 nm filter for safety uses.
  2. Supports for mechanisms, motors and mirrors.
  3. Custom PCB.

What processes will be used?

  1. Laser Cutting
  2. 3D Printing
  3. PCB precision milling
  4. Electronic production.

What questions need to be answered?

  • Will the custom PCB parts manage correctly the firmware beforehand written for the commercial board Arduino Uno?
  • Can I replace the raspberrypi with a CPU integrated in the PCB, which can support the MCU in the management of the laser and the movement of the mirrors?

How will it be evaluated?

The evaluation of the project will certainly depend on the success of the various parts that compose it. In fact the system certainly depends on the correct writing of the firmware and the software of the management of the machine, but also on a precise correspondence in the movements of the motors that move the mirrors. There is still a lot of work to do and a lot of effort to reach the goal. Of course I hope to do it!