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 - What would you draw?
  8. DrawBot - The Plan!
  9. DrawBot - The Hacks
  10. DrawBot - Giant Unicorn?
  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 Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  16. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part IV
  17. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  18. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
  19. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
  20. DrawBot – Design Considerations
  21. DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  22. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  23. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  24. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  25. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  26. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  27. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  28. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VIII
  29. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  30. DrawBot – Printing!
  31. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  32. DrawBot – Why are you crying?
  33. DrawBot – Calibration
  34. DrawBot – Pen Selection
  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. I think I know what I want to draw next...
  53. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  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. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  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. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  70. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  71. PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots

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