Center pivot pen plotter

Unique CNC drawing machine: Is this the shape of things to come?

There is no shortage of DIY CNC and 3D printing devices, and although some do stand out from the crowd, they all tend to follow a geometry that is becoming quite familiar. Setting out to change this paradigm, Canadian techno-sculptor David Bynoe conceived of a CNC plotter that is focused around polar coordinates.

The Center Pivot Pen Plotter has only one arm that spins on a base, and moves in and out from a central point.

“It gives you a very large drawing surface with a minimum of moving parts compared to a standard x,y Cartesian plotter.”

Drawing inspiration from the notable dual polar Eggbot and Polargraph examples, David has gone one step further in simplifying the mechanism by using only a single polar coordinate system. This creates special challenges, but the code that drives the Arduino-equipped device has been written to compensate for geometric distortions. As the video after the break shows, he’s done remarkably well…

“The goal was to get it working and then worry about making it pretty, which I will get to eventually.”

There is a thorough worklog on David’s website, where he talks through in detail the mechanical construction of the CNC device as well as some of the programming challenges that he had to overcome. It will be interesting to see how this project develops over time, and also whether others take the single polar approach to DIY machines. Will we see a 3D printer in this format some day?

Drawing Machine via Hack a Day

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