DrawBot – The Hacks

Sandy Noble's modifications to Adafruit's Motor Shield

Sandy Noble's modifications to Adafruit's Motor Shield

Chatting with Sandy Noble over at the Polargraph website has been extremely helpful1  It looks like he’s added three changes to the Adafruit Motor Shield:

  • Heatsink added23
  • Breakout boards to connect the terminals to the clips for the motor leads.  However, it looks like there’s a small little component of a circular purple variety also on that board.
  • Extra pins for hooking up a cooling fan.  Sandy says he doesn’t use them any more, but it really wouldn’t be a bad idea given that it would take hours for even a simple print.
Posts in the DrawBot Adventure Series
  1. Wanna make a DrawBot?
  2. DrawBot Resources and Links
  3. DrawBot, the Adventure Begins
  4. DrawBots for the slow learner
  5. DrawBot - Parts Ordered!!!
  6. DrawBot - The Breakdown
  7. DrawBot - Parts Shipped!!!
  8. DrawBot - What would you draw?
  9. DrawBot - The Plan!
  10. DrawBot - The Hacks
  11. DrawBot - The Delivery?
  12. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  13. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part III
  14. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  15. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part IV
  16. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  17. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
  18. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
  19. DrawBot – Design Considerations
  20. DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  21. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  22. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  23. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  24. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  25. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  26. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  27. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  28. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  29. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  30. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  31. DrawBot – Printing!
  32. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  33. DrawBot – Why are you crying?
  34. DrawBot – Calibration
  35. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  36. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  37. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  38. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  39. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  40. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  41. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  42. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  43. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  44. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  45. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  46. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  47. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  48. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  49. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  50. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  51. The Eagle Has Landed
  52. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  53. Overengineered Spools
  54. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  55. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  56. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  57. DrawBot - A Tour!
  58. DrawBot - A Preview
  59. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  60. Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
  61. Unidentified Foam Object
  62. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  63. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  64. A Study of Drawing Robot Pen Holders and Design Considerations
  65. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  66. Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
  67. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  68. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  69. To Maker Faire!!!
  70. Skipping! How could I forget the skipping?!
  71. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  72. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  73. PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots
  1. The photo is from Sandy Noble’s photo stream.  It says All Rights Reserved and I will happily take it down if he asks and says this is not a fair use.  Given that all of his stuff has been very open source, I’m guessing this was just a default setting. []
  2. To the H-Bridges? []
  3. Also…  Where does one get a heatsink?  How do you attach it? []

7 Responses to “DrawBot – The Hacks”

  1. kongorilla says:

    I live near Jameco, so you’ll find 2 of these on my motor shield:


    You’re supposed to use heat sink adhesive (google it) to attach them. I believe I used super glue, though. I assume the thermal dissipation isn’t as good, but I’ve been fine (so far).

    I should mention that since I’m using low voltage motors that suck up current like crazy, I also piggybacked L293Ds, so my shield has four of them (2 pairs, that is, one heat-sink per pair). “Piggybacking” is described on this page:


  2. cyrozap says:

    Look for “ram chip heat sinks” like this (http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-Heatsinks-HANA-Southbridge-Chips/dp/B003WGLSNW) that have the sticky thermal pad attached.

  3. MakerBlock says:

    @Cyrozap: Awesome! Thank you for the link!

  4. MakerBlock says:

    @kongorilla: Sooo… you seriously just drop another H-bridge on top of another H-bridge and solder them together?? Could you post a picture of what yours looks like?

  5. Cameron says:

    I’m pretty sure the “small little component of a circular purple variety” is just a jumper wire, since the screw terminals don’t have the same spacing as the header pins.

  6. MakerBlock says:

    @Cameron: Ha! I think you’re right!

  7. […] Optional:  Hack the Adafruit Motor Shield […]

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