Shahar Zaks

Drawing Tool

In this era of technologically-aided art, who is the drawing tool: the machine, or the artist?

Drawing Machines,Introduction to Physical Computing

The drawing tool moves a sheet of paper around in a small area. The user puts their pen down through a small window and the seemingly random motions reveal a drawing, hand-drawn by the user. Who is the author of this drawing?

This project plays on the relationship between art and technology. The old masters used perspective devices and we're OK with that. They also might (or might not) have used optical devices, and we're not as OK with that, for whatever reason. Technology's role in art is ever-increasing, more so in newer fields such as Photography, Graphic Design, and CGI.

This project's purpose is to provoke questions regarding the influence of this type of collaboration on matters of authorship and creativity.

User Scenario
As the user walks around, she notices the machine inside a box with a transparent top. It is moving a piece of paper around in a seemingly random fashion. There is an assortment of pens, markers, pencils sitting around the machine. Through simple inforgraphics of some sort, the user is directed to touch her weapon of choice to the paper through the small window in the tabletop. Much to her surprise, a beautiful drawing begins to emerge below her hand - the machine's doing, or hers?
Every once in a while, a red light blinks and the machine waits a moment for the user to lift her pen (which she should also know how to do thanks to the infographics - but doesn't necessarily have to). Similarly, a green light signifies the machine's will that she put her pen down again. Finally, the machine signs the drawing: "machine."

The Recipe - a draft

- One Arduino (Duemilanove)
- Two H-bridges
- Two NEMA 17 steppers (Sparkfun)
- Four pulleys (sdp-si)
- Two timing belts to match (sdp-si)
- Two limit switches (mini switch with lever from Radio Shack)
- Skateboard or yo-yo bearings (VXB or your local skate shop)
- 1/4" Metal rods
- Lots of cheap pine wood and aluminum angles


this is gonna be too long.

1. You'll be creating double of almost everything - once for the X axis, once for the Y.
2. Use 3 pieces of wood to make an H shape. Using aluminum angles, mount the motor in the middle of one of the side beams, and the pulley at the other end. I used a 1/4" smooth screw to hold the pulley on one side, and the motor's shaft on the other.
3. ??