Thing a Month September - NPC Mini Head


So it's more than half past October and I never got around to posting this. I don't know that this counts as a real thing, it was more of an experiment, but it was fun. Please forgive my ineptitude with stepper motors, I'm much better with them now. And sorry for the pictures, I was on the road.

For the Milwaukee Maker Faire, Wade made Jarad a sweet CRT head, all decked out with LEDs and everything. We started talking about how it would be funny to make a tiny head and possible put it on a robot.

A couple of weeks later I found myself needing to learn a little bit about OnShape and stepper motors. I have some Autodesk experience, and very little stepper motor experience, so I thought making a tiny head could be fun.

There's not a lot too it. After some tooling around in OnShape, I made a CRT-ish 3D model that fit on the back of an RCA LCD I bought to work with the RCA board and Library. Eventually I got the back printed all I had was glow in the dark, I need to re-print it black .

I picked up a Sainsmart stepper driver from Microcenter and a generic Nema 17 motor. I was able to get it working pretty quickly using full steps - one of the reason't the movement is so bad. I was in a rush, but I'll make the next revision much smoother, maybe even use a TMC2100 for silent operation.

Code uses the TVout library and some macros for stepper movement. I stole some of Jarad's graphics from the internet, then used photoshop to turn them into bitmaps and Pic2LCD to turn it into code for the TVOut library.

So it still needs a lot of work, but it was a fun way to get squinted with some new tech. Now I need to get started on October!