Last weekend, with my girlfriend we spent some time thinking about the Christmas gift we will offer to our relatives, which ended up in a small online business. Because it is Christmas, in this article I detail each steps and give you all the source code for free 😇.
If you just want to buy a toothbrush : https://bimboo.now.sh
Why a toothbrush ? We were looking for a eco-friendly, useful and personalised gift. The toothbrush idea came up because it’s a consumer good used everyday by everyone on a recurring short lifetime. The idea was to upgrade this product as a premium’s one, while customising it with caricatures or name.
Once the idea fixed we had to make the toothbrush ! I had a CNC 2418 with a 500mW laser (~100e) but you can go a free fablab, they all have a laser machine.
The first thing to do was to fix the tooth brush on the machine, I just used simple scotch in order to avoid the toothbrush to move during the engraving because of motors vibrations.
After a lot of research on google, I didn’t find a proper tool to transform text into gcode, so I decided to develop one myself based on a text2svg converter of hershey script font I extracted from schmarty’s website.
I made some modifications to add french ponctuation to the lib.
I then upgraded the lib with an home made svg2gcode converter. Actually, I didn’t need to do it as I could directly convert decoded chars in gcode… but thanks to it I learned Regex :)
=> Source code: https://github.com/maxencedouet/bimboo-printer
I had to find the right parameter regarding my wood, laserpower, font rendering I wanted. Some advices:
- Play with translateZ in order to adjust the laser width (try to find the best position to get the smaller width)
- Smaller toolingSpeed will make a more constant path (//acceleration delta on curves)
- Don’t put power to much otherwise it will drool
Simply type “yarn start” on bimboo printer root. Type your text on the electron window, it will realtime update tmp/output.gcode that you can import on grbl controller to transfer it to the CNC. I didn’t have the time to do it, but I would have love to implement the feature allowing the app to directly send the gcode to the machine by serial :)
I wanted to be able to sell it online for free (shopify is about 30€/month …) so I decided to develop a simple page with a launchpage and order page in vue.js thanks to the stripe secured paiement solution (website).
Source code => https://github.com/maxencedouet/bimboo-website
You can personalise it and launch it with your domain for free in only one command line thanks to the free IaaS https://zeit.co/now.