Everyone likes to doodle, but few of us can draw well. Straight lines, in particular, can be difficult to master. Technical drawings and designs usually require a ruler and protractor, as well as a set square.
Rather than struggle with these tools – or bother trying to drag a straight line around your monitor with a mouse – why not employ a robot to draw for you? Several DIY robot kits (such as those from Lego and littleBits) offer programmable droids that can wield a pen and draw pre-designed glyphs.
But what if you wanted to build your own, without the expense of a new Lego kit?
DIYer Antonio Mancuso has the answer: an Arduino, some motor components, PCBs, a 3D printed chassis, and a pen.
The result is a home-built, programmable drawing robot that can be constructed relatively simply (certainly easier than a 601-piece kit like the Lego 31313 Mindstorms EV3). While this robot cannot deal with complex (or accurate drawings), it is a great proof of concept that anyone can copy. As Antonio says:
“...the main goal is not to draw but to build and understand how the Drawing Bot works from mechanical, electrical and software point of view.”
Mancuso has thought of everything: he’s even provided a 3D printing STL file to download from GitHub, which not only produces the chassis but the wheels and pen holder.
You’ll find detailed instructions, including a full list of components, detailed photos, and Fritzing diagrams, on Antonio Mancuso’s blog.