You may not know it, but your old computer CD ROM drive is a treasure chest of useful components. Inside you’ll find stepper motors, rare earth magnets, bearings, and coils. It’s enough futuristic-looking greeblies to construct your own Star Wars prop, or maybe even your own portable CNC drawbot.
To prove the point of what can be done with a few repurposed CD ROM drives, Norbert Heinz popped open a pair, stacked them perpendicularly, wired up their stepper motors to a pair of H-bridge driver boards, and controlled his new creation with a Raspberry Pi.
The result is a CNC Pen Plotter that can move on an X/Y axis. To take it further and add the ability to have the pen automatically lifted from the surface (on the Z axis), Norbert added a simple servo to lift or drop the lightweight metal arm that attaches the pen to the unit.
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