3D Printer into 2D Plotter

<h5>Arturo Gala, an intern at the lab, is making a portable plotter from scratch. It is based on an Ultimaker printers’ X and Y axes and powered by an Arduino. Most of the parts are of bespoke design, and 3D printed or laser cut in the lab.</h5>

A few months ago I started working on a personal project, an element attached to my 3D printer that could hold any kind of pen or marker. You can find my initial designs for this project on Thingiverse:



A problem I encountered with transforming a 3D printer into a plotter was it’s portability – as I could only make drawings on sheets of paper placed directly on the build-plate of my printer. I started to think about how could I make a more portable and versatile prototype that would bring the opportunity of drawing anywhere.

This summer, I started my internship at Fab Lab London, and thanks to their many machines, I started to work on a new design.

The project is similar to an Ultimaker 2, except the Z Axis is replaced by a 9g servo, used for lifting and travelling the pen, producing very clean drawings. It is powered by an Arduino UNO that reads gcode and sends the moves required to 2 stepper motors and the servo. The idea being that I can put any kind of pen or marker on the plotter, place the machine on any surface, horizontal or vertical, and the pen will draw.

This project is only at its beginnings, but hopefully it will be finished by the end of the month, meanwhile, keep an eye on Fab Lab London’s social network for more updates on this project!

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