Working with Handwriting

One of my obsessions in developing PlottyBot has been handwriting. Even with Mandalagaba I care very much that the penstrokes originate from one’s hand and avoid tools which “do the drawing for you”. This is where your personality transpires on paper beyond your ability to draw. I thought it’d be neat to have a pen plotter able to write in one’s handwriting.

This idea came up a long time ago, and I researched many ways to achieve it. The unfortunate but predictable conclusion was that I would need to write my own font format to get there.

Introducing Flexible Font. PlottyBot comes with the ability to capture your handwriting. The Flexible Font format is monoline based, holds metadata on your pen strokes to define where ligatures may occur, it also allows for character variations. It’s tailored just for plotters :).

The video bellow shows several ways to use PlottyBot with handwriting. The first is a simple live replay of pen strokes from, the next ones use Flexible Font.


PlottyBot is born

Years in the making, many prototypes, and I hope a software stack which brings novelty and ease of use to the world of pen plotting. It’s been a marathon building the final version and documenting the process carefully. I’m too pooped to say anything more about it for now.

Instructions here

The Plot Thickens

Covid and 3D printer mishaps have seriously hindered my ability to iterate on the plotter design which I was hoping would be behind me last March :\. Oh well, I’m getting close to finally being able to release it into the world.