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Old 01-30-2017, 01:23 PM
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ShadowCory ShadowCory is offline
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Home-made Plotter/Cutter

I took a little time off from making the paper models to experiment with an Arduino card, stepper motors and some old printers and drives I had collected.
I made a little prototype plotter from online tutorials using the dvd rom motors and frames. It actually worked really well, albeit small.

My next step has been to modify an old deskjet to be a plotter. This is working well, I just have to get the software scaling corrected. I don't think I have it 1/1 scaling from drawing to plot. My next step will be to replace the pen with either a swivel knife or a dremel type tool with a very small tool to act as a router with the card stock.

I know you can purchase working cutters pretty cheap nowadays, but I am having fun and learning new things. In the very least, a plotter using 50 cent ink pens will trump a printer that uses 30 dollar ink cartridges. At least for my models, which are usually not colored to begin with.

If I do get it to work decently, I'll post some video. I may end up tiring of the whole idea and returning to modeling, but I'll probably give it a couple more weekends and see what happens

Also, does anyone else have experience with Arduino's and coding? I may need to pick your brain

Here is a picture of my mini plotter.

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Home-made Plotter/Cutter-miniplotter.jpg  
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Old 01-30-2017, 01:29 PM
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dragoon dragoon is offline
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Looks very cool!
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:19 PM
pjabraham pjabraham is offline
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What dragoon said. Sounds like a Kickstarter project in the making. Keep up the good work.

Phil
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:43 PM
Burning Beard Burning Beard is offline
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There are regular plotter knives available that are inexpensive. They have small swivel heads which you can easily rig a holder for. Check Roland cutter blades on ebay.

Beard
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:49 PM
dirtbilly1 dirtbilly1 is offline
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Absolutely brilliant.
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Old 01-30-2017, 07:03 PM
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sgoti sgoti is offline
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Ha- Love the repurposed optical drive case!

Enjoy, and keep us posted, please.
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:36 PM
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ShadowCory ShadowCory is offline
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Thanks everyone, but this little plotter is definitely not my idea. There are literally hundreds of tutorials online showing how to build this. I am pretty proud of being able to make it, though. I hardly know anything at all about electronics or coding. So it's still a decent accomplishment for me

I have almost have the software squared away on the bigger version. I am currently plotting out a test pattern, measuring, adjusting the code, then repeating until I get it as close as possible.

Here is the swivel blade I am going to try first:
Swivel Knife with 2-Refill Blades | Hobby Lobby | 430819

Here's a picture of the bigger plotter, and a sample plot from the mini plotter...
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Home-made Plotter/Cutter-win_20170130_21_05_31_pro.jpg   Home-made Plotter/Cutter-win_20170130_21_11_12_pro.jpg  
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:18 AM
rmks2000 rmks2000 is offline
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Congratulations on building the plotter. It is quite an accomplishment. I thought of doing the same with an old printer a four or five years but never got the time to do it and eventually junked the printer.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:53 AM
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Kugelfang Kugelfang is offline
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Very cool! Re-purposing obsolete printers never even crossed my mind. Hmmm...

--jeff
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:26 AM
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mbauer mbauer is offline
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Very, very cool!

Mike
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