Picture of How to make a XY-plotter with Makeblock

Last month, I made a XY-plotter by Makeblock and use it to built a Drawing Robot.

This Drawing Robot was built with two Linear Motion Shaft D8x480mm, two Long Beam0824, the timing belt, two stepper motors, two stepper motor driver, and a micro-controller Arduino.  You can send a picture from the phone or you can take a picture by the phone and then send it to the robot by Bluetooth. After that the robot will draw what you send.

The instruction will show you how to build a XY-plotter.

For the program process, please visit the user guide. It contains both the turtorials of how to use Android app to control XY-plotter, and how to use Gcode to control XY-plotter.

If you have any question about it, pleas visit the troubleshooting of XY-plotter to help yourself. Or you can just post your question on the forum, I will give a response in minutes.

Now let's start!
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Step 1: Materials list

Picture of Materials list
Materials List:
4 × Linear Motion Shaft D8x480
6 × Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm
2 × Beam 0824-496
1 × Beam 0824-144
3 × Beam 0824-128
1 × Beam 0824-96
3 × Beam 0824-80
1 × Beam 0808-80
1 × General Bracket
2 × Bracket 3x6
11 × Bracket 3x3
1 × Plate 3×6
2 × Stepper Motor Bracket
4 × Timing Pulley 90T
8 × Timing Pulley Slice 90T
1 × Open-end Timing Belt (3m)
2 × Link Rod
2 × Shaft Connector-4
3 × Threaded Shaft 4x31mm
3 × Shaft Collar 4mm
4 × Flange Bearing 4x8x3mm
8 × Headless Set Screw M3x5
15 × Countersunk Screw M3×8
20 × Plastic Rivet 4120
25 × Plastic Ring 4x7x2mm
5 × Plastic Ring 4x7x1mm
30 × Screw M4×8
55 × Screw M4×14
2 × Screw M4×30
40 × Nylon Lock Nut M4
10 × Nylon Cable Ties

Electronic Modules List:
1 × Arduino
1 × Acrylic Arduino Bracket
1 × Me-BaseShield
1 × Solenoid - 12v
2 × Stepper Motor
2 × Stepper motor driver
1 × Me-Bluetooth modules
2 × Me-Limit Switch
3 × 6P6C RJ11 cable-20cm
2 × 6P6C RJ11 cable-50cm
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Olek41026 days ago

One question couldn't you just just modify a old printer to hold a pencil instead.

TusharP15 months ago

This plotter can write in my handwriting..

philspitler6 months ago

Is there a Processing App that will allow me to send images to to the plotter?

It seems like the Processing sketch is just for gCode and the Android App can send images.

I would love to have Processing send images from my laptop.

Any ideas?



Is it possible to use the adafruit Motor Shield ( instead of the Me-baseboard + stepperdrivers for this project? Thank you!

link-1 year ago

i made the plotter but i have a problem with the rods and the sliders seem to be sticking and not moving well so my image gets messed up. can someone please help?

kavish007 link-8 months ago
Hey, I am planning to make xy plotter . Were you successful in making this .
cyclopedia8 months ago

i was making the x-y plotter with other parts(acrylic etc.). its design is somewhat different. but the stepper motors are the same. will this code work for it?

how much load can I put over the moving car?

sammccants1 year ago

Hello! I managed to get it put together as instructed with a few minor hiccups, but now that it's all assembled I tried to use it with GCode and nothing happened, aside from the me-limit switches blinking. has anyone else had this issue?

jlp6k1 year ago

I just started to assemble the kit and I have an issue on step 10. My assembly looks exactly as in pictures but the Y shafts seems to be too short.

I have double-checked everything... any advice from the community?

partyzan jlp6k1 year ago

I have the exact same issue, the only solution I can think of is moving the brackets forward to compensate but I still don't understand why it is different from the instructable :/

pyrokidd891 year ago
what is the resolution of the plotter?
avtech1 year ago
Any Chance of an iOS app?
indream avtech1 year ago
iphone needs the BLE or Wifi module for communication.this project can only support bluetooth 2.0, Maybe makeblock will be add the BLE module or WIFI module
eumorpurgo1 year ago
i finished to build the xy plotter, now where do i find the source code and the APP to send picture from a Android smart phone?
thank you
eugenia or
alegiaco1 year ago
Hei, I would buy it, but without the software is USELESS. Where is the code? or
Hiram1 year ago
Hello. I'm not a programmer at all and I wonder if I buy the electronic kit + mechanics, accompanying programs are sufficient to operate the robot who paints? I have also a Windows PC? thank you
askjerry1 year ago
I have seen the Makeblock before on other projects...

ROBOT #2 (Walle)

It looks like a very useful building system... it started out this year (Jan 2013) as a kickstarter... glad to see that it got a good start.

It also looks like they have the plotter on sale as a kit for $152 now. CLICK HERE But they also show a second plotter kit... not sure of the difference... perhaps larger. CLICK HERE ($216)

First kit doesnt come with the electronics. The second one does.
orpheus5671 year ago
Nice work...:-)

Is this ship to world wide? because site can't find my country distributors....
Edgar1 year ago
A neat Instructable, and a great idea, Makeblock, very good prices, congratulations, and good luck!
Went to my Blog:
muh19671 year ago
Hi , very interest, can I buy this project project completely ( included H/w and S/W), especially the software must be open source, please. thanks for reply.
scci1 year ago
I wanted to do this with my 3d printer, then I realized i'm turning a 3d printer into a 2d printer with less accuracy, limited colors, limited usability, but with a larger print space. Cool project though
it will be very good materials, i have more ideas for the way of this materials,i really excatted
elabz1 year ago
I thought the commonly accepted name for a "drawing robot" is plotter, no? :)
Seems like this stuff is a modern day version of the old Erector sets. Cool device, but there needs to be a quick and easy way to get it to draw whatever you want. Most people won't want to write code and such, but will want the freedom to make it draw anything, at any time. Same with 3D printers, they're not worth much to the average joe until we can easily get it to make whatever.
pcarew1 year ago
Can you position / align the head with the corner/edge of the papaer?
What is the drawing resolution?
alegiaco1 year ago
very interesting.
Could you post also the source code for the Arduino?
And for the client pc side, what do you use? Processing? something else?
Can you post the source code?
Makerworks (author)  alegiaco1 year ago
We are correcting the source code now, and the picture is sending from a Android smart phone by an APP. We will release them soon.
Where will you release these?
DoctorWoo1 year ago
It looks like the parts may be 3D printed. Do you guys have plans (or already have them up somewhere) to release the STL files for them?
Makerworks (author)  DoctorWoo1 year ago
The 3D printer may be a plan project. And we will release the STL files soon.
Where/what website will you release or make these available on?
Kelticfox1 year ago
What size paper does this go up to?
TDaddy1 year ago
Where's the sketch?
Alabalcho1 year ago
What is the accuracy / repeatability of the setup? Will it be enough to make it into e.g. a laser cutter?
Makerworks (author)  Alabalcho1 year ago
Yes, it can be enough to make it into a laser cutter if you change the pen to a laser head.
EoinM171 year ago
this could probably be modified into a vinyl cutter by putting a cnc vinyl cutter bit like in this instructable
nd a small electric lock or servo to lift the cutter and lower it
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