Wanna make a DrawBot?

So, I wanna make a drawbot.  While there are any number of draw-bots and art-bots out there, the kind I would really like to make is the kind that suspends a pen or a pen in a carriage on a wall by two wires or cords that are reeled in and out in order to allow the pen to draw across a large sheet of paper hung on a wall.  The Der Kritzler, in the video below, is an example of the most recently updated of such projects:

Another great reason to point out the Der Kritzler is that it links to so many other similar resources.  The other links below are for similar well documented projects.

The last one is just a graffiti/painter robot that paints on far off walls by shooting a paintball gun at the surface.  It’s really quite awesome.  Since several of these people have already actually built drawbots, I’m thinking there must be a reason for not using simpler/cheaper methods for construction.

When I conceive of such a device, I think that the kind I would want would not even need a pen lift, since it would draw in a TSP / traveling salesman problem single-line-art format.  The basic common setup is to have two stepper motor, one controlling each string or, as in the case of the Der Kritzler, two toothed belts.  However, why wouldn’t someone just use a reel of fishing line, nylon cord, or whatever that is reeled in and out on a spool that is directly connected to the stepper?

Anyhow, it would seem that the project would require an Arduino, two stepper controllers, two stepper motors, a servo motor if pen lifts are required, string, and a bunch of parts that could be printed such as pulleys, gears, carriages, mounts, etc.  Now the only thing I have to overcome is my total and complete ignorance when it comes to connecting an Arduino to anything and then, you know, programming it.  :)

Sooo…  Is this a project that interests you?  Or is this a project that holds no interest for you, but the idea of helping with a project interests you?  Where should I begin?  (I’m guessing buying an Arduino…)

13 Responses to “Wanna make a DrawBot?”

  1. Owen says:

    There is a drawbot on Thingiverse that I think John Abella (could have name wrong) did. He made a printed version of someone else’s design. That and an Arduino might be a good beginning point.

  2. MakerBlock says:

    @Owen: I think you’re totally right! John Abella aka JohnA on Thingiverse put together a printable gondola here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12557

  3. […] I placed an order with Adafruit and MakerBot for all the parts I’ll need to build a DrawBot.  The MakerBot order shipped that same day and I just got a confirmation that the Adafruit order […]

  4. matt venn says:

    check out my polargraph here
    http://www.mattvenn.net/2011/09/19/polargraph-energy-monitoring/

    no instructions yet but will post an instructable soon.

  5. […] Beaded cord, belts, and filament, oh my! […]

  6. […] Posts in the DrawBot Adventure Series ← Wanna make a DrawBot?DrawBot, the Adventure Begins […]

  7. […] such as the Drawbot and the Polargraph. I got even more interested earlier this year following MakerBlock’s Drawbot adventures. I was busier at the time tinkering with my Makerbot, but I was also worried about another aspect: […]

  8. Ellison says:

    Why do it on a wall? Why not a drawing robot that draws on a large piece of paper on the ground? I think you’ll get better results from that.

  9. […] commenter named Ellison left a deceptively simple question on my first post in this DrawBot series.1 Ellison:  Why do it on a wall? Why not a drawing robot that draws on a large piece of paper on […]

  10. […] After you’re done, you may want to check out some of the posts in the series in the links below!  I’d suggest starting here. […]

  11. Rich Maynard says:

    Have you seen this one?
    http://makezine.com/projects/trs-drawbot/

  12. MakerBlock says:

    @Rich: Fantastic! I’ll add that to the list!! Thank you!

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