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 ( https://github.com/grbl/grbl ). 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.