Hello there dear reader.

Another 4th has gone, and now it's time for us to turn our attention to more serious matters: buying materials. In this post we'll run down what parts will make up MoNet, talk a bit about pulleys, and share Jack's tip of the week.

Building MoNet

Side note: You can find all the parts mentioned here on our ebay page.

Motors, Controllers, and Power Supplies
To begin, we've selected a Nema 23 CNC stepper motor.

This is a standard motor used in Computer Numeric Control - this (along with several other pieces) is what's going to automate MoNet's painting movements.

Next up is a CNC switching power supply.

Since the motors run on DC power, we're using this to convert AC power into 24 volts of usable juice for the motors, drivers, and controllers. Speaking of which...

We've also purchased an 8 channel Bi-directional Logic Level Shifter.

That's an impressive collection of words.
MoNet's micro controllers (coming up next) use a logic level signal that's 3.3 volts to communicate with the stepper drivers. Great, right? Unfortunately, it needs 5 volts to do so. That's what this does - boosts the signal.

Last on this part of the list are the CNC Router Single 1 Axis Controller Stepper Motor Drivers.

We're using micro controllers in MoNet, and these drivers are used to address an important issue. Since they (the micro controllers) can't provide the power the motors need by themselves, these act as bridges between the power source and the motor.

Besides, they only need 2 wires to control the motor's speed instead of 4. Efficiency!

Belts, Bearings, and Brackets
So let's finish our part list with the utilitarian bits, shall we?

We're using drive belts to transmit physical power throughout MoNet. Simple and clean.

We've also picked up a set of pulleys:

  • Smooth idler pulleys - these are used to route the drive belt and keep tension on it.
  • A toothed pulley - this will be connected to the stepper motor and is used to drive/drive along the belts.

These smaller pulleys will give MoNet more power and precision when painting. It'll take a little longer to produce a painting, but it'll look more like art instead of an accident.

There's a set of ball bearings used to keep the brush head on its rails and, to close out, a set of brackets to hold the motors.

Quite the shopping list. Well, with the parts purchased, now it's time to start construction - but before we go, a parting word from Jack:

"...Apparently cheap as possible windshield wiper fluid is the best for thinning latex paint for spraying."

You heard it here. See you next week!