CNC Plotter based on Raspberry Pi Allow a computer to draw efficiently
The MagPi Magazine, do all the hard work and research to find out the creators out there that are developing advanced and Hi-tech products for the people to innovate them. This time they interviewed a creator, who developed a CNC plotter based on Raspberry Pi that is getting so much attention from the tech-people. Stratos Botsaris, a software engineer from Athens, has an interest in the DIY projects that made him develop a CNC plotter. He said in the interview with the MagPi Magazine, “I had seen people on the internet creating and using CNC plotters and always wondered how these machines work,” he explains. “I was mainly interested in the way the CNC machine translates the G-code instructions into movement that drives the stepper motors. I wanted to find out the internal workings of this.”
What is CNC?
People who do not have the idea about the CNC then we are here to provide you with some basic information about it. You can google it to understand it in detail. CNC or Computerized Numerical Control is the automated control of the machine tools. A lot of industries are using it in which you just need to install a program into the machine via a computer that would provide the instructions as per the user.
Innovation, and Development!!!
Stratos Botsaris, a die-hard fan of DIY projects, has seen so many CNC Plotters but wants to develop his own. He did some research in the market and understood the basic concept of the product that he used in his CNC plotter that helped him to finally build his own project. “It is controlled by Raspberry Pi and can draw an image on a surface the size of a piece of A4 paper,” he tells us. “I have designed and built both the hardware and the software myself. I have assembled its hardware by using recycled parts from an old scanner and a printer.”
He also wrote the Python software which runs on Raspberry Pi. “It is an interpreter which reads and executes the G-code from a text file and drives the stepper motors.”
Significance of Raspberry Pi
Stratos always has the preference for Arduino for his project that made him interested in the Raspberry Pi DIY projects. This time he wanted to try something different to have some fun while creating something important for him, so he used Raspberry Pi. In the interview he revealed that“ I started experimenting with one stepper motor with a Raspberry Pi,” he says. “Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have salvaged one stepper motor from an old printer and another one from an old scanner. In the beginning I had to find out how stepper motors work and how to connect one to Raspberry Pi. Then I tried to drive the stepper motor by writing a small program in Python and running it on Raspberry Pi. Once I managed to make this work, I got very excited and this gave me the push to continue with controlling two stepper motors at the same time. This was the most tricky part because I had to find a way to move the two stepper motors in parallel if I ever wanted the CNC plotter to draw a diagonal line. I had been trying several algorithms in Python for a long time, but eventually the simplest one worked how I wanted.”
Recycling and Upcycling
Strato understood the need of recycling and he did some hard work to develop the project with recycling. Creators like him do not only develop an advanced device but also take care of the environment. It is so much easier for a creator to take the step from the beginning to create something hi-tech with the enhancement of the health of the environment. “I wanted to minimize the cost of the project as much as possible in order to find out how cheap it can be,” he says. “That is the reason that I reused parts from an old scanner and a printer for the hardware part. Also, I used L293D chips instead of the [more expensive] L298D motor driver board, so the only cost was actually a Raspberry Pi and its accessories, which I owned anyway.
“Moreover, I implemented the software program myself because I wanted to find out the internal working of a CNC plotter. “So I would say the only thing that it cost me mainly was my time, which I enjoyed spending while doing this project!”
Design and Development
It is sometimes overwhelming to see projects like these that perform the task efficiently and also save the environment. If you have any designs and projects like this you can comment down below. It is amazing to build an idea out of nowhere that might have the potential to change the world. Kindly comment down below if you have seen some amazing projects.