Week 3: Assembled Kits


We will present our fully assembled, fully functional kits.  And we’ll discuss different ways to hold a pen.


Bot(s) of the Week

aeroMorph – The project investigates how to make origami structure with inflatables with various materials. We introduce a universal bending mechanism that creates programmable shape-changing behaviors with paper, plastics and fabrics. We developed a software tool that generates this bending mechanism for a given geometry, simulates its transformation, and exports the compound geometry as digital fabrication files. A custom heat-sealing head that can be mounted on usual 3-axis CNC machines to precisely fabricate the designed transforming material is presented. We envision this technology could be used for designing interactive wearables, toys, and packaging industry.



Bot of the Week In Action

Silhouette Cameo Vinyl Cutter – The carriage moves along the X axis.  The Y axis is “infinite” since it rolls the material to the cutter.  And the Z axis travels a short distance.  I believe the X is controlled with timing belts and pulleys.


Present Makeblock Plotters

Let’s see the XY Plotters in action.  What have we learned?  What can be improved?


Holding the Pen

The Makeblock design for holding a pencil leaves much to be desired.

Plotter Pencil Holder

The tension is not strong.  You can’t use a long pencil.  You can’t quickly change out one writing implement for another.



Pen Holding Detail

Take a look at some of the ways existing robots are holding pens and brushes.

Line-Us is a small internet connected robot drawing arm – it mimics your motion with a pen and recreates whatever you draw on screen. Draw with your finger, mouse, stylus or Apple Pencil and follow it in real time as it copies your movements. Save and share your drawing to start communicating with other Line-us machines!


Water Color Bot, art robot that moves a paint brush to paint your digital artwork onto paper.


Bryan Cera CNC Pen Holder


Modified Makeblock Pen holder



Things to think about

Attaching the “Pen”

The “right” amount of pressure

The “right” pen

The “right” writing surface

Attaching the “paper”

What to draw


In Class – Pick your Pen

The XY Plotter design leaves a lot to be desired.

Plotter Pencil Holder

You will design a new holder for a new writing implement.

For the rest of the class you will prototype and build a Better Pen Holder for the Makeblock XY Plotter.



Related Reading/Viewing

Build a CNC Drawing Machine

Transform a CNC Machine into a Pick and Place Robot that Solves Puzzles

Penn Plotter Art and Algorithms (Part 2)