Welcome to fox_robotics!

This is my personal blog and the future home of all of my projects. This site is very much under construction and is currently lacking content. Sorry about that. I’m in the process of trying to get the visuals and such sorted out after changing platforms and getting articles written for it. I lost a lot of content in the switch-over.

Barring unforeseen events, I will do my best to provide weekly or bi weekly updates on projects and tutorials. I love to learn, I love to make, and I love to teach. This website is a great way to keep up on all of that.

Latest Blog Posts

Bits and bobs from projects, modern events, and whatever strangeness comes from my head.

Upgrading a K40 Laser Cutter, Part 2: Power Limiting and Precision Upgrades

Want to increase the life of your K40's laser tube? How about more precise power control? Start here! While the K40 laser cutter (aka an eBay/Alibaba laser cutter) is branded as a 40 watts, it really isn't. For reasons I won't go into in this article, it is closer to a 30W laser in practice. Unfortunately for us, pushing it to full power will quickly degrade the gas mixture in the tube and shorten the life of the laser tube. If you've got a large number of people using your laser (such as at a makerspace) or if you [...]

Upgrading a K40 Laser Cutter, Part 1: Control Board Upgrade

Get yourself a new laser cutter? Plug it in just to find out that it either doesn't work or do what you thought it should? Let's upgrade it! One of the simplest things you can do to improve the capabilities of your cheap, Chinese laser cutter, sometimes known as a K40, is to upgrade the electronics. The control board it comes with is pretty horrible and not very easy to work with. It is designed to work with proprietary software such as MoshiDraw which is meant namely for raster engraving. This is fine if all you plan on doing [...]

Make An Indicating Fuse Box! 3D Printed Indicating Fuse Box BEHOLD! The indicating fuse box! Gone are the days that you must ask yourself, "Did the Earth stop spinning? Or did I just blow a fuse?!?" For eons, mankind has been stuck with boring fuse connections, BUT NO MORE!!! If a fuse goes out, the light next to it does as well. Easy peasy. Actually, indicating fuse blocks are nothing new. In my day job, I spec and use them frequently in industrial control cabinets at chemical and gas plants. The idea behind them [...]

Hacking a Brother Knitting Machine

I have to say, I love knitting, I love electronics, and I was elated to find that you could combine the two. After a bit of research, I found the AYAB project and dove in. Unfortunately, I struggled to find a lot of documentation when I embarked on this road a few years ago, so I made my own. There are a few tutorials that show you how to do initial setup items like how to cast on the yarn, so I don't cover those here. What I do cover are the softwares you need to get up and [...]

The Horror Laser of Doom

As I mentioned in the previous post, I picked up a "K40" laser cutter off of eBay. I knew when I bought it that it was going to be bad. Well, it arrived and I had the chance to dig through it a bit. In a nutshell, it's bad. Not just bad, but baaaaaaaad. What was remarkable to me is that this machine wouldn't even work out of the box. It took me about four hours just to get it running with the software it came with. This had nothing to do with the software itself, but a list of [...]

K40 Chinese Laser Upgrade Plans

This is a pretty old post at this point. I'm working on getting my upgrades up on this site with better documentation. I stuck with much of this post (it was somewhat of a brain dump at the time) but did change a few things. Check out this (much newer) post to the get you started: http://www.foxrobotics.com/2018/03/19/upgrading-a-k40-laser-cutter-part-1-control-board-upgrade/ I'm working on fixing this particular post. An update to my theme broke pretty much everything.... Intro I did something bad....very very bad....I bought I Cheapo brand 40W Chinese laser off of Ebay. <gasp!> These machines [...]