The next figures show how the device looks.
The top view of the equipment
The left view of the equipment
On the 3DCanvas, the movement of the sphere
tool is represented by a sphere (show in the next figure), this
tool has the functions: deform the surface and paint the
The next two figures show the sphere tool.
The CAD model of the sphere tool (in ProE).
The sphere tool after rapid prototyping.
The device contains 3 axis (x, y, z), driven by 3 stepper
motors, 3 stepper controllers (EP 0090), each motor is
controlled by two bits (step, wise) on parallel port. To access
the parallel port from Java, it's used a free library (link)
available for Linux and Windows platforms.
Because the sleep method in Java (without a
real-time extension) can't be accurate for very short times
(like 1ms) (useful to control the stepper motors), I use a
microcontroller to perform the steps. The microcontroller is
connected between SphereDevice and computer on parallel cable
(see the next figure).