Irreproducible, Accumulative Hacks | Hackaday

Previous weekend, I manufactured an incredibly accurate CNC pen-plotter bot in just 20 minutes, for a whole expenditure of $. How did I pull this off? Hacks accumulate.

In individual, the major substances ended up a CNC router, some 3D-printed mounts that I’d intended and crafted for it, and a sweet applied linear rail that I picked up on eBay as portion of a set a couple many years back simply because it was just too good of a offer. If you had to replicate this make precisely, it would likely acquire a month or two of labor and price tag perhaps $2,000 on top of that. Heck, just tuning up the Chinese 6040 CNC equipment on your own took me 4 good weekends and concerned replacing the stepper motors.

Pen-plotter CNC router conversion
Oh yeah, dowels as finish stops for lifting the pen

On Sunday night, I experienced all this stuff on hand, so for me it was free, quick, and the path of least resistance. But it is an objectively terrible plan. The linear rail is holding a pen, while it is created to maintain hundreds of newtons of side-drive. Therefore, it weighs a whole lot. You wouldn’t be in a position to strap it to your 3D printer chassis, which is generally a amazing way to make a pen plotter. But I did not require to, and the CNC can swing pounds like that around all day devoid of even complaining.

The customized mounts? I created it a pair several years ago to keep the vacuum hose for the dust shoe. But due to the fact the CNC tends to make these kinds of a handy platform for all forms of hacks, I printed out 5 of them. So significantly, I have place on a laser head, a vinyl cutter, and now a pen plotter.

The entire work in creating the pen plotter consisted of drilling holes in a piece of skinny scrap plywood and screwing issues collectively. But although I was accomplishing so, I was laughing simply because of how greatly overkill it all was. Way too significant, far too rigid, much too noisy, and if I didn’t currently have it all lying all over, also costly. It produced me contemplate regardless of whether documenting some jobs is only worthless, due to the fact they’re fundamentally irreproducible.

But below we are, and I’m demonstrating you the project. Why? Since I’m hoping it will encourage you to make a pen plotter with regardless of what you have received on hand. Even just taping a pen to the incredibly hot conclusion of a 3D printer would make an quick start off, but you will promptly operate into two challenges that the linear rail solved for me: keeping the pen rigid in all instructions besides one particular, alongside which it floats freely with a minor excess weight to maintain the pen on the paper. I’m confident you can fix them, but I cannot tell you how, since I never know what you’ve got lying around. I do not know what your stockpile of past hacks looks like. In that feeling, we’re all on our individual with some hacks.

Of training course there are STL data files out there for a pen head that will match your correct 3D printer product, so if that is the way you want to go, you are set. And I enjoy reproducible hacks. But I assume there is anything to find out from the irreproducible, accumulative, idiosyncratic hacks as perfectly. What do you assume?

Luis Robinson

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