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 - The Plan!
  9. DrawBot - The Hacks
  10. DrawBot - The Delivery?
  11. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  12. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part III
  13. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  14. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  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 Assembly, Part VIII
  31. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  32. DrawBot – Printing!
  33. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  34. DrawBot – Calibration
  35. DrawBot – Pen Selection
  36. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  37. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  38. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  39. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  40. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  41. TSP FTW!
  42. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  43. Two new DrawBot links! And an update!
  44. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  45. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  46. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  47. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  48. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  49. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  50. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  51. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  52. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  53. The Eagle Has Landed
  54. Every Body Needs a Skull
  55. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  56. Overengineered Spools
  57. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  58. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  59. DrawBot - A Tour!
  60. DrawBot - A Preview
  61. Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
  62. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  63. Unidentified Foam Object
  64. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  65. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  66. A Study of Drawing Robot Pen Holders and Design Considerations
  67. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  68. Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
  69. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  70. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  71. To Maker Faire!!!
  72. Skipping! How could I forget the skipping?!
  73. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  74. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  75. 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 […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *