A special microscope exists on the market, what has heated bed. It can be used to examine samples from old artifacts before restoration. It specifically used for leather objects in our case, but it can be used for other things also.
The goal is to determine the exact temperature when certain change happen in the material.
This is a time consuming task, the currently used equipment is fairly old, and limited in functionality.
I decided to design and build a new one.
"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."
So, build a 3D Printer!!!
The plan is the following:
- Build a heated platform, controlled from an Arduino Mega, Marlin firmware and use PID control for the bed, using an external MOSFET. Measured with the usual 100K NTC (actually disassembled one from the "anettka" original MK8 head).
- Variable intensity lighting from the bottom (Case lighting from the Marlin)
- Z axis leadscrew with a Nema 17 stepper DRV8825, and endstop(s). A microscope camera mounted on it. The axis controls the focus of the camera
- The camera and the Arduino is hooked onto a PC via usb
I plan to write the following in C#:
- Control the heating through gcode to achieve the required heating curve (PID tuning also involved)
- Record the camera image with timestamp and temperature
- Overlay the parameters (time, temperature) into the recording
- Manually control the Z axis from the PC
Autofocus based on the camera picture, convolution matrix and similar computer vision voodoo
For the video and camera handling I plan to use aforge.net framework, what I already used before.