I just finished the design for the Laser Turret Version Two!
This prototype is far less of an experiment compared to the last one, and hopefully will be pretty close to the final model.
As you can see I have shifted around the mechanics. The tilt stepper motor is now in line with the laser, allowing the entire assembly to be dramatically thinner.
The advantage of this thinner design means I can cover the entire top section in a single "shroud". The advantage of THAT ability, other than aesthetics, is I can move all of the electronics up top. This dramatically simplifies assembly as well as giving me room for a bigger battery.
I also completely changed the way the top plate connects to the bottom base. In the last model I had a single bearing supporting the entire top plate. This worked well enough, but without a second mechanical constraint there was quite a bit of play. I knew that walking into the last design, but didn't want to mess with anything more complicated in the first model.
Instead of a single bearing on the bottom there are now three bearings which press into the side of the "shroud". These bearings are guided on the top and bottom by a set of rims which prevent the shroud from moving up or down. There is a small divot in the top ring which allows for bearings to be installed. I am concerned that this divot will cause problems down the road, so I will most likely have to change the way I install bearings. I might even do this before I print the shroud.
You'll notice I didn't design in space for a set of limit switches this time. That is because I plan to use magnetic hall effect switches, with a small magnet in both the bottom plate and the ring the laser is mounted too.
So far I am pretty happy with how this turret is going. It may not quite be to the standards
I hope to eventually hit, but its getting close. Its definitely one of the better laser turrets on the internet already.
My next step is to print off this model, design and manufacture a circuit, and write a basic library to drive it. After that I will probably only have a few small improvements to the design then I will make a few more of these! I would prefer at least four or five, though I will probably be limited by cost ($100 per laser turret). The more turrets the more notes can be played at one time.
Let me know if you have any suggestions!