The Green Machine

The Green Machine is a Raspberry Pi / Arduino / GRBL shield powered linear motion machine designed to spray clear florescent safety tubes.

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The Green Machine is linear motion machine that sprays clear florescent safety tubes with an automated HPLV spray gun. My lead engineer, James Lee, designed the metal frame, did all the welding and assembly of The Green Machine. I headed up the software and hardware development, I used open source software.

The Green Machine is a Raspberry Pi powered linear motion machine designed by SlyScience to spray clear florescent safety tubes a specific color for Special FX Lighting, a custom color filter manufacturing company. It took a little over a year of trial and error to get it where it is today. I have done my best to explain the process via video and this description. I have also included a parts list and will be happy to answer any question you may have.

This Project started with an idea from Ben Engel. He guided the build of my first RepRap 3D printer, and is the one who gave me the idea of automating the tube spraying process.

The goal was, from my perspective at the time, a simple one. To create a machine that would spray clear florescent safety tubes with an automated HPLV spray gun. That was one year and one month ago. We had been spraying clear tubes by hand for 10 years. It was tedious, if you got the HPLV gun to close, or moved it up or down in the slightest, you would ruin a tube. As they are made of plastic, cleaning them is not a cost effective option, so if you coated one incorrectly, it was destroyed.

I purchased a Raspberry Pi 2, Arduino Uno, and GRBL shield. I was instantly out of my element, but as luck would have it I found a free online course on computer science called CS50 presented by Harvard and David J. Malan. I purchased a 24VDC Stepper motor and an appropriate power supply then began looking into software that would run the program on the Raspberry Pi ( ). The extruded aluminum slide came from MakerSlide, a Kickstarter based company that manufactures parts for DIY CNC machines. My lead engineer, James Lee, designed the metal frame, did all the welding and assembly of The Green Machine. I headed up the software development and hardware development.

With James by my side, Special FX Lighting providing the space, and Southern Utah Makerspace helping me trouble shoot, I had enough support to finish the project. This was not my creation, this belongs to everyone. My hope is that this project will allow me to give back to the community that has given me so much.

  • Licensing: Grbl is free software, released under the GPLv3 license.

  • 1 × Monster 7 output Surge Protector Power distribution
  • 1 × Heat Shrink Tube Kit Solder hiders
  • 1 × Wireless Keyboard and mouse combo Interface with the RPi
  • 1 × Misc zip ties and misc fasteners hold stuff in place
  • 1 × Monitor with HDMI output To view stuff with

View all 19 components

  • Idea into reality

    SlyScience07/12/2016 at 18:39 0 comments

    The idea was the first step, the team is what made it possible. Without the support of James, Ben, and Southern Utah Makerspace The Green Machine would never have taken off. All of the doubt, frustration, anxiety we all face when we take on a challenge can be dealt with far more effectively when you have a strong team behind you. Surround yourself with good people and you can achieve anything.

  • Emphases on durability testing

    SlyScience07/12/2016 at 18:32 0 comments

    During the production of The Green Machine, we put the hardware and software through numerous torture tests. From running the stepper for days on end, putting added pressure on the v-groove wheels, and drop testing components. I find these test were just as important as purchasing the correct components.

  • Slight Modification

    SlyScience07/12/2016 at 15:52 0 comments

    We had to use an adapter to extend our keyboard and mouse Bluetooth dongle so we could get a better signal. Worked like a charm.

  • Running strong

    SlyScience07/12/2016 at 15:48 0 comments

    Since The Green Machine began operation we have yet to replace any components. Running in a harsh environment with wild temperature swings, nothing to date has failed.

  • SlyScience Business Launch

    SlyScience07/12/2016 at 15:44 0 comments

    After a long winding road, on June 30th, 2016 the city of Hurricane recognized SlyScience as an official business.

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  • 1
    Step 1

    I did my best to create a list and video description that will allow you to create a linear motion machine, I realize the list and video might not contain each and every part or step of The Green Machine. If you need specific details please let me know and I will do my best to hook you up.

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Anool Mahidharia wrote 06/11/2016 at 04:22 point

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SlyScience wrote 06/11/2016 at 04:33 point

Shameless plug, or exactly what I have been looking for??? I bought an Adafruit DC & Stepper Motor HAT to eliminate the Uno and GRBL shield to make a more efficient linear motion machine. I will also buy your alamode and test it out. Thank you. BTW your desktop CNC mill build is awesome! Thanks for posting.

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