We will discuss Drawing Machines (Pen Plotters). And we will check in on our progress on the XY Plotters.
Bot of the Week
Bot of the Week In Action
What is a robot?
What’s your definition?
X, Y, Z axes
We will be working within the Cartesian Coordinate System (3 axes). Our XYZ Bots can be called Cartesian Robots or Gantry Robots.
X Axis: Left and Right
Y Axis: Front and Back
Z Axis: Up and Down
Typically, the distance traveled in the Z axis is much smaller than the X and Y.
Anatomy of our machines
Gantry – The gantry spans the X axis (left to right) and travels forward and back along the Y axis rails.
Carriage – The carriage travel left to right on the gantry and houses the Z axis
Head (Spindle) – The head is where the work is done. It typically moves up and down along the Z axis.
Table (Wasteboard) – The table is the work zone. Items and materials can be fastened to the table. Those items and materials (even the table) can be manipulated by the head.
Gantry Robot Advantages:
- 3+ axis of movement of almost any length
- Gearbox and motor can be sized according to range of motion and speeds
- Suitable for light to heavy / hanging loads
- Flexible and efficient due to linear axes scalability
Gantry Robot Disadvantages:
- Cannot vary reach into or around obstructions
- Linear slides belts rails are not easily sealed against the environment
- Not freestanding: stand or frame or other mounting required
Usually the first project with XYZ gantry designs. One of the most straight forward operations and arguably one of the easiest to perform. But there are many types of drawing machines out there.
Does it need to be a pen?
Using a pen or pencil can be the right choice, but there can be issues:
- the correct pressure
- pen type — ball point, felt, fountain pen
- paper friction
There are other ways to draw. Consider the following:
More than one
Paint Spray/Air Brush
We will take the rest of class to work on our plotters. Let’s all download the software and make sure we can get it running on PC laptops.
Download mDraw here:
Our XY Plotters are due next week. You will have them running/drawing and present them in class.