Automating a chop saw with Arduino
August 15th, 2019—
YouTuber “Absorber Of Light” needed to cut thousands of tiny aluminum pieces with a chop saw, and after paying someone to do this for him, decided to instead automate the process.
His system is controlled by an Arduino Uno, and moves strips of aluminum under the saw using stepper motor and threaded rod assembly—a sort of very simple CNC. Once in position, a second stepper activates a linear actuator via a physical H-bridge relay setup with cams and microswitches. This actuator pushes the saw into the aluminum strip, cutting it to an impressive ±.002 in, or ~.05 mm tolerance.
You can see it in action in the video below and find the project’s code in the description.
Cutting thousands of these small pieces of aluminum with the help of an Arduino and a couple of stepper motors. They will eventually become brackets to fasten computer monitors to metal enclosures.
The brackets measure .750″ x .547″ x .125″, tolerance is quite decent at + or – .002″ I tried to keep the code as simple as possible because I’m not much of a programmer and didn’t want to spend too much time on it. The loop is triggered by the Arduino reset button. The linear actuator is controlled by an H-bridge with 4 simple switches activated by one of the steppers.