Instructables

The first time I saw a CNC router, my mind started racing with all the possibilities of things you could do with it. Putting a pen plotter onto a CNC machine is nothing new, but I wanted to make one that was compatible with the ShopBot at TechShop.

With a Sharpie plotter like this, you can draw on many different types of surfaces--paper, cardboard, fabric, acrylic, wood, and metal. I'd like to make another one that supports a whiteboard marker next! That way, you can put a whiteboard down on your machine, draw something incredible, and hang it back up on the wall!

I made this at TechShop.

 
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Step 1: Build Process

For this project, I just needed about 8" of 1" round aluminum.

All of the work is done on the metal lathe. First, I turned it just to make sure it was perfectly round. Then I came in with the tailstock to bore out the inside. Using center drills, start a hole. Then, make your way progressively up to a half inch. Make it at least 4" deep. This will be wide and long enough for the marker to fit.

Now, replace the chuck in your tailstock with a live center. Bring it in to support the piece for the next operations.

At the same end, turn the material down to exactly 3/4" for about 1/2" from the end.

At the other end closest to the head stock, turn the material down to exactly 1/2". Use calipers to check your diameter. This is what will fit into the collet on your machine, so it must be nice and snug.

Optionally, you can add knurling. Because I went with a friction fit between the two pieces, I wanted something that I could grip to make it easier to put on or take off.

The second piece is just a cap that fits onto it to hold the Sharpie in place. Because a Sharpie has a little lip, the trick is to make the diameter of the hole inside the cap, slightly smaller (7/16"). Once that's drilled all the way through, come in with a 3/4" bit and only go half way through. The top piece will friction fit into it and will stay secured, holding the marker from falling out.

Enkiduu4 months ago

Great, tidy little holder! What feedrate do you use for sharpies? I imagine there is a maximum feedrate that they can still lay down a good line.

jsbrsb4 months ago

Nice work.

Is the setup somehow spring loaded? If not, how hard was it to calibrate the Z so that it would drawn the entire picture without wearing out he tip of the sharpie?

RAULRO4 months ago

IS POSSIBLE YOU CAN SELL ONE OF THIS GOOD IDEA, LOOKS VERY STABLE

IF YOU DO THIS ON KICKSTARTER OR INDIEGOGO, I WILL SUPPORT YOU.

THANKS TO SHARE.