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That blog photo

Posted by Mark Evans 
That blog photo
July 16, 2016 02:36AM
I know I can read too much into things at times but Brian, tell us, are you working on a laser head? (The color of that hood would say yes.) And is there anything you can tell us about the latest crawler that we can't glean from the photo? I love the long Y rod, that should be giving spot on results for however long it is.

Edit: And what can you share about that jig beside the table saw?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/16/2016 02:40AM by Mark Evans.
Re: That blog photo
July 18, 2016 01:03PM
Oops! As I was leaving for the Make48 event that weekend in DC, all of our spare handibots had been sent off to shows around the country...so I decided to bring my own "secret black handibot" to work with (and test) in the shop we were setting up at the smithsonian. It's a good thing too...because all power was GFI and I was never able to get the desktop powered on. Someone at the event took a photo of me and posted it on twitter, so I figured I'd go ahead and put it in a blog (without calling tooooo much attention to it!)

So...red top: good guessing! I've been working with another company to bring an FDA compliant laser to the handibot. What has stopped us from releasing before were safety concern and regulatory challenges. The laser unit that I'm using is already nearly compliant and will require some creative design on the handibot to implement the other safeguards required by the FDA for a class IV laser. Here's a video of a test run from a few months ago: [www.youtube.com] My new design incorporates extra shielding and a mechanical beam attenuator, along with fume extraction. I'm pushing very hard on the software side to get the controls built in to run the laser properly. Until I figure out how G2 is going to run the PWM signal for the laser it will be hard to project when this will be done. G2 questions rely on a whole network of engineers around the country putting their heads together to solve problems.

The long handibot--has a reach of about 40". I'm using a new kind of motor that has the drive nut inside the rotor--so the motor moves back and forth and the shaft is stationary. It is designed to either be manually indexed or "crawled"--the long y axis cuts down on the number of tiles needed by a factor of 4 or more.
The new handibot was always designed to allow easy swapping of the motor for something like this. I'm getting unacceptable amounts of backlash with this new motor design though--so I am working with vendors to see if that can be done better.
I've also found that the long y axis beam flexes under the weight of the handibot. I will probably try to create something a bit shorter at first--maybe a 24" handibot before going for the long tool. The idea of a 4' x 8' portable gantry tool is very exciting to me.
This tool has a number of new or custom parts from vendors that have painfully long lead times. I've only been working on this intermittently as parts have trickled in. So it may be a while before I can get everything made the way I want it and supplied reliably.

That jig next to the saw...I have no idea what that is--it does look kind of handibot-ish though doesn't it?
Re: That blog photo
July 24, 2016 12:30PM
Thanx so much for all the good info, keeps me pumped almost as much as my projects do.

Can you tell use the wattage and type of laser you've been experimenting with?
Re: That blog photo
July 27, 2016 12:30PM
The laser that I'm working with is a 3.8W laser--So far I've been able to cut through cardboard, paper, 3/16 Lauan, an english muffin and some pepperoni.
Re: That blog photo
April 19, 2017 09:15PM
As excited as I am for the extended Y axis to come out, I am very curious to know if there has been any progress on an official laser etching/cutter attachment for the Handibot. Have you been able to work on it, or has the extended axis been using all of your spare time?
Re: That blog photo
April 20, 2017 05:50PM
I was kinda pushing both of those along late last year. A couple of things made me decide to focus my energy on the extended Y. First, it seems to get the most interest here on the forum and from people I interacted with at Maker Faires. Second, the laser will require the implementation of PWM control in FabMo. That is on the list to develop but has not been added yet. So I thought I'd knock out the one people seemed most excited about while I waited for the PWM feature in FabMo.
Re: That blog photo
April 20, 2017 09:52PM
Sounds good. Thanks for the update!
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