One of my favorite DIY experiences has always been making something that makes something else. This project is a perfect example of a cheap way to do exactly that. A $20 pen plotter is not only a fantastic learning experience, once you're done it, can make other things, in this case, drawings.
All of the components laid out. (Source: Plotterbot.com)
This project comes from Plotterbot.com, which makes a few different plotter bots generally of higher quality than this one. This little project, however, is so thoroughly documented, it serves as a great lesson in design. That, and it's just really cute and simple.
The Tiny CNC is mostly 3D printed, though admittedly at first glance I thought it was scavenged from a CD-ROM tray. There aren't many parts, but it's also only two axis currently. This means that the pen does not lift. However, the z-axis addition is pretty high on the list of immediate improvements, according to the website.
It seems like Plotterbot.com occasionally has sets of the plastic parts available, so if you don't have access to a 3D printer, all hope is not lost. Plotterbot would probably love to see how other people implement the pen lift mechanism.
Thanks for the post! One of the cool things about this little robot is that it could be used as a CNC platform for more than just drawing. One person who made their own has plans to turn it into a phage/bacteria printer. http://www.thingiverse.com/make:54409
Once I get a penlift/Z axis done, it will become significantly more useful. :)
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.