DrawBot – Pen Selection

I just tried several pens.  Here’s what I’ve found:

  • “Fine point” Sharpie, black.  This is the kind you typically use.  It makes a huge, stinky, black line that leaks all over.  Not recommended.
  • “Ultra fine point” Sharpie, black.  This also leaked right through the paper, made a super thick line, and made such a mess I stopped the drawing.  Not recommended.
  • Pilot Precise Roling Ball V7, Fine, red.  I really like this style of pen for writing.  These gel pens feed ink easily, the ball point rarely gets messed up, and it’s just all-around easy to use.  Unfortunately, as you can see from some of the drawings, it didn’t like drawing at a nearly horizontal angle.  Even though I can see through the side that the pen has sufficient ink and that it is reaching the pen tip, it just wasn’t working very well.
  • Piolot G-2 10, black.  While excellent for writing, this pen was miserable for use in a DrawBot.
  • Uni-ball Deluxe Micro, blue.  So far, this pen is AWESOME.  It seems to write amazingly well on a nearly horizontal surface, no bleeding, and it draws a very fine line of blue.  I fully intend to buy several different colors of this pen.  I believe it comes in all kinds of colors – black, blue, green, and red.  If the drawing I’m having the robot work on now turns out, you’ll get to see just how awesome this pen really is.

As an FYI, Sandy recommends:

Very smooth paper (like Bristol board) with hard-tipped fineliner pens.  In the UK he uses ZIG Millennium pens.  He suggests that Pigma MICRON pens may be a good choice for those in the states.  I’ve used Pigma Micron pens for years and really like them for pen-and-ink drawing.  They’re great on regular photocopy paper as well as serious art paper.  I would have tried a Pigma pen, but I couldn’t find any around the house.  I know I’ve got a stack of them – I just can’t find ’em.  If and when I do, I’ll update this post.

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 – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  19. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  20. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  21. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  22. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  23. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  24. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  25. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  26. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  27. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  28. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  29. DrawBot – Printing!
  30. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  31. DrawBot – Why are you crying?
  32. DrawBot – Calibration
  33. DrawBot – Pen Selection
  34. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  35. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  36. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  37. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  38. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  39. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  40. TSP FTW!
  41. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  42. Two new DrawBot links! And an update!
  43. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  44. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  45. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  46. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  47. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  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. I think I know what I want to draw next...
  53. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  54. Overengineered Spools
  55. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  56. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  57. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  58. DrawBot - A Tour!
  59. DrawBot - A Preview
  60. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  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. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  74. PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots

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