Drawbot (Polargraph Drawing Machine)

I found this very cool instructable and decided to build it over the weekend.

Was a challenge for me as I haven’t really mucked around much with Arduino’s; but wow I am super impressed with them.



Was a HUUUGE relief when I finally got the motor shield soldered up and running correctly. Lot’s of small parts to this that I had never messed with before, so troubleshooting galore.

Quick lessons:

  • Soldering is easy if you do it right. Just make small volcanoes by touching the solder to the pin and the iron’s tip to the pin (i.e. don’t touch the tip and the solder to each other). Once the pin is hot it will melt the solder and you are good to go. If the pin isn’t hot in <1s… your iron isn’t ready.
  • Arduino is really, really cool.
  • Buy a breadboard.
  • My beaded cord which I use has irregular steppers which cause slip every 11 beads. Big performance issue, but a $9 fix… just bought a new cord.
  • Used tea bags with coins in them for counter weights. Hope to switch to fishing weights once I’m ready to move this to a frame.
  • Robotics (and everything?) is just way more fun when you have something practical you want to do it for.
  • Looking to buy a 3-4″ thick cork board or hollow frame for this now that I have it working well.
  • My wife actually loves the robot which is cool. We have a loft so lots of white space and using this to draw cool stuff for the house is something she is on board with. Happy wife, happy life.


Update (4/11): spent some more time jiggering around with the config and I really like the output of the file. Overall – very happy =). Next up will be remounting everything on a canvas/wall hanger from the goodwill to make this more like functional furniture.



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