Drawing Machine – part 2

Skift Design is making an installation for the Technoport conference in Trondheim, and as a part of that they wanted a drawbot. They contacted Omega Workshop at NTNU, and got in contact with me and Gunnar who was actually making one already!

You can see the Wishing Well they created for Technoport in this movie.

But anyways, let’s continue were we ended in the last post, but first, a movie:

What needs to be done to make a presentable machine?

The creation presented in part 1 wasn’t really non-hacker friendly, with all the gaffer tape and soda bottles. So the machine needed a makeover including:

  • A better pen-holding-head with the ability to adjust different lengths
  • A new backplate
  • A stand
  • Something more suitable than a Soda bottle as weight

The workshop at Engineering Cybernetics at NTNU created the pen-holding-head and the spools, while Skift Design created the backplate and the stand :D

The pen-holding head

Pen-holding head

Servo mount

Pen-holding head exploded

Assembled pen-holding head

The weight

Finished pen holding head


The spools

As shown in the first pictures in the Drawing section below we had some major calibration issues. After some searching we discovered that the spools had 0.6 mm difference in diameter. This resulted in a 1.9 mm difference pr. revolution, something that needed to be fixed.

Difference in the spool diameter


Spool with screw eye

Better reeling performance was obtained with shoulder hooks :

Spool with shoulder hook


The stand

Plate and stand

Plate backside



Mounting the electronics



All of the enhancements in the previous sections are a result of testing and failing. The pictures in this section show some of that process.


Calibration patterns before and after spool diameter correction

The blue pattern is drawn BEFORE the spool diameter was corrected, and  the brown after.


Drawing the standard Luigi calibration image

Calibration inaccuracy

Drawing progress

Paper jam closeup

Finished unsuccessful image


A too dark drawing of Jens Glad Balchen


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