Mindstorms Plotter

Robin built a very cool Lego Mindstorms based plotter. I’ve seen him run into issues similar to what I ran into, and solve them. I’ll sometimes attach a monetary prize to some of his Mindstorms projects. Once he’s scratched the itch and wants to move on, but I know a lot of challenges occur not just making a robot work, but making it work well.

For a while there was $5 on making a drawing machine that drew something beyond a basic shape, it didn’t have to be much, just had to be something that proved the machine’s worth. And he’s earned it with this:

He didn’t write the software that turns text into lines, but there were plenty of mechanical challenges to getting the machine consistent enough to make this. Overall I’m blown away by the quality of today’s Mindstorms. Seeing him build his machine reminded me I had this set growing up:

Might have planted some seeds.

In the meantime I’m testing a 10′ deployment, a drawing machine so big one needs a ladder to get to the top. I haven’t ran it yet, but I know there will be new issues arising from the scale. Even just setting the paper is challenging.

3050 2×2 bricks

I stacked them to optimize space utilization which let us do some quick math to estimate the magnitude of the problem. It weights 44lb.