Weirdest XY-Plotter ever?

I just finished an XY-Plotter built from scratch.
It works without belt/pulleys or threaded rods, just some Aramid fishing line and springs.


I could add a pen-holder or Laser diode, not sure yet…
Maybe turn it around and make it run a sand table like the Sisyphus?


The design seems like a variant of the axidraw, though I could be wrong:

Although not strictly a “belt”, the cable does serve a similar purpose.
Trying to figure out what the large orange rectangle is (electronics with pin headers? Can’t tell).

Congrats on the finished project!

Maybe turn it around and make it run a sand table like the Sisyphus

Absolutely. If you can find UV paper, and use a UV light, you could make a cool alternative Sisyphus.

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Yup, that’s the (overkill) stepper controller in a 3D printed frame. I had to put it on the beam because one of the stepper wires were pretty short.

I’ve noticed some slip between cable and stepper shaft. Will do some testing why there’s more slip when wrapped around more turns?

It’s ALIVE :scream:

No really, it has a mind off it’s own!
I started drawing a 600+ layers high 3D-vase and every now and then pushed the pencil down to inspect the ‘drift’ of the plotter. (still fighting against slip)
At first the center of the vase moved north-north-east, but later went south-west.

This is what they call ‘happy accidents’
Although I’m not happy with the current accuracy of the cloverleaf drive, I got hooked.
I read more about generated art and the ‘random-factor’. Well, that’s a pretty good excuse to build crappy machines, isn’t it? :smiley:

Nevertheless, I discovered p5.js.
A Java script to visualize processing data. It seems very popular amongst pencil-plotter artists and it’s also a good base to create sand-table templates.
I’m more than happy to have followed this route. You never know, what you’ll find at the end of the rainbow…

Ok, it’s no longer the weirdest plotter ever, because I replaced the cloverleaf drive with GT2 belts and pulleys. I had to borrow them from one of my prototype 3D-printers. :rage:
Now the slip is history.
The dual roller constrain still does a good job and the delrin ball that supports the far end of the X-beam shows no signs of wear.
Now I have to add a Z-axis to lift the pen. Servo or e-magnet, that’s the question?
I’ve converted some .jpgs to vector/gcode files with inkscape and gcodeplot-extension and saw tons of pen-lifts. A servo will slow things down and will quit eventually.
Let’s see if I find a 24V relais to borrow the e-magnet.

OK, I made a morse-plotter from a 12V Relais. Turns out, it works best at ~14V otherwise lifting the pen failed. (lower magnetic force from heating up over time)
Mounting and connecting the relais is a bit MacGyver-style, but it worked for a first test.


2nd try:
Garfield hates mondays!

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Excellent result!

I’m currently working on a ‘revolving’ pen holder for my plotter to have different dot-size/color pens at hand.
Would that be interesting for the AxiDraw, too?

I’ve also found out, that good-old OpenScad is pretty useful for generative art. Time to refresh my memories, it’s been a while since I wrote code in OpenScad. (goodbye browser based java script called p5*js)

RobotShop is not the manufacturer of the AxiDraw, but a variety of built-in colors does certainly seem like an upgrade. Wonder if you could do RGB and mix on paper to get different colors (for example using highlighters).