Introduction: How to Make a XY-plotter With Makeblock

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Introduction

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.


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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.

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Step 1: 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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Step 2: Tools

Tools
1.5mm Hexagonal Screwdriver
3mm Hexagonal Screwdriver
Cross Screwdriver
Slotted Screwdriver
Pliers
Nylon CableTies

Step 3: Make the Holder

Materials List:
2 × Beam 0824-496
1 × Beam 0824-96
3 × Beam 0824-80
7 × Screw M4×14

Procedure:
1. Install the first Beam 0824-80 on Beam 0824-496 by using 2 Screw M4×14.
2. Install the second Beam 0824-80 on Beam 0824-496 with 2 Screw M4×14.
3. Install the third Beam 0824-80 on another Beam 0824-496 with 2 Screw M4×14.
4. Install the Beam 0824-96 on Beam 0824-496 with 1 Screw M4×14.

Step 4: Build the Frame

Materials List:
2 × Linear Motion Shaft D8x480
4 × Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm
4 × Screw M4×14

Procedure:
1. Install the 2 Linear Motion Shaft D8x480s on Beam 0824-496 by using 2 Screw M4×14.
2. Install 2 Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm on each Linear Motion Shaft D8x480.
3. Install the 2 Linear Motion Shaft D8x480s on another Beam 0824-496 with 2 Screw M4×14.

Step 5: Add Stepper Motor Driver Holder

Materials List:
2 × Bracket 3x3
4 × Screw M4×14
3 × Nylon Lock Nut M4

Procedure:
1. Install the first Bracket 3x3 to Beam 0824-96 on Beam 0824-496 by using 2 Screw M4×14 and a Nylon Lock Nut M4.
2. Install the second Bracket 3x3 to Beam 0824-96 on Beam 0824-496 by using 2 Screw M4×14 and 2 Nylon Lock Nut M4.

Step 6: Add Stepper Motor

Materials List:
1 × Bracket 3x6
1 × Stepper Motor Bracket
4 × Countersunk Screw M3×8
2 × Screw M4×8
3 × Screw M4×14
3 × Nylon Lock Nut M4
1 × Stepper Motor

Procedure:
1. Install the Stepper Motor Bracket on Beam 0824-496 by using 2 Screw M4×14 and 2 Nylon Lock Nut M4.
2. Install the Stepper Motor to Stepper Motor Bracket with 4 Countersunk Screw M3×8.
3. Install the Bracket 3x6 on Beam 0824-496 by using 2 Screw M4×8, 1 Screw M4×14 and 1 Nylon Lock Nut M4.

Step 7: Make Timing Pulley

Materials List:
4 × Timing Pulley 90T
8 × Timing Pulley Slice 90T
2 × Threaded Shaft 4x31mm
2 × Shaft Collar 4mm
2 × Headless Set Screw M3x5
4 × Flange Bearing 4x8x3mm
16 × Plastic Rivet 4120

Procedure:
1. Insert 4 Plastic Rivet R4120 into the holes on the Timing Pulley Slice 90T.
2. Put a Timing Pulley 90T on the Timing Pulley Slice 90T.
3. Put another Timing Pulley Slice 90T on the Timing Pulley 90T and Press the Plastic Rivet R4120 to make them together.
4. Do the same as step1 to 3 discribe to make another Timing Pulley.
5. Insert the Threaded Shaft 4×31mm into the Flange Bearing 4×8×3mm.
6. Insert the Threaded Shaft 4×31mm with the Flange Bearing 4×8×3mm into the Timing Pulley 90T.
7. Insert the other Flange Bearing 4×8×3mm into the Timing Pulley 90T.
8. Put the Shaft Collar 4mm on the Threaded Shaft 4×31mm and insert a Headless Screw M3×5 into the Shaft Collar 4mm.
9. Do the same as step 1 to 8 discribe to make another two Timing Pulley.

Step 8: Add Timing Pulley

Materials List:
1 × Shaft Connector-4
1 × Headless Set Screw M3x5
2 × Screw M4×14
1 × Nylon Lock Nut M4

Procedure:
1. Install the Driven Pulley to tht Bracket 3x6 with a Nylon Lock Nut M4.
2. Insert a Headless Screw M3×5 into the Shaft Connector-4 and install the Shaft Connector-4 to the Stepper Motor.
3. Install the Driving Pulley on the Shaft Connector-4 with 2 Screw M4×14.

Step 9: Add Y-axis

Materials List:
3 × Beam 0824-128
6 × Bracket 3x3
10 × Screw M4×8
14 × Screw M4×14
10 × Nylon Lock Nut M4

Procedure:
1. Install the first Bracket 3x3 on a Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm with 2 Screw M4×8.
2. Install the second  Bracket 3x3 on another Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm at the same side with 2 Screw M4×8.
3. Install the first Beam 0824-128 on the two Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm with Bracket 3x3 by using 4 Screw M4×14.
4. Install the second Beam 0824-128 on the  Bracket 3x3 by using 4 Screw M4×14 and 4 Nylon Lock Nut M4.
5. Install the third Bracket 3x3 on the first Beam 0824-128 with 2 Screw M4×8.
6. Install the fourth Bracket 3x3 on the first Beam 0824-128 with 2 Screw M4×8 and 2 Nylon Lock Nut M4.
7. Install the fifth and the sixth Bracket 3x3 on 2 Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm with 4  Screw M4×8.
8. Install the third Beam 0824-128 on the fifth and sixth  Bracket 3x3 by using 4 Screw M4×14 and 4 Nylon Lock Nut M4.

Step 10: Add Linear Motion Shaft

Materials List:
2 × Linear Motion Shaft D8x480
2 × Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm
4 × Screw M4×14

Procedure:
1. Install the first Linear Motion Shaft D8x480 on Beam 0824-128 with 1 Screw M4×14.
2. Install the second Linear Motion Shaft D8x480 on the same Beam 0824-128 with 1 Screw M4×14.
3. Install 2 Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm on each Linear Motion Shaft D8x480.
4. Install the Linear Motion Shaft D8x480s to Beam 0824-128 on the other side with 2 Screw M4×14.

Step 11: Add Stepper Motor

Materials List:
1 × Bracket 3x6
1 × Stepper Motor Bracket
1 × Stepper Motor
4 × Countersunk Screw M3×8
4 × Screw M4×14
4 × Nylon Lock Nut M4

Procedure:
1. Install the Stepper Motor Bracket on Beam 0824-496 by using 2 Screw M4×14 and 2 Nylon Lock Nut M4.
2. Install the Stepper Motor to Stepper Motor Bracket with 4 Countersunk Screw M3×8.
3. Install the Bracket 3x6 on Beam 0824-496 by using 2 Screw M4×8, 1 Screw M4×14 and 1 Nylon Lock Nut M4.

Step 12: Add Timing Pulley

Materials List:
1 × Shaft Connector-4
1 × Headless Set Screw M3x5
2 × Screw M4×14
1 × Nylon Lock Nut M4

Procedure:
1. Install the Driven Pulley to tht Bracket 3x6 with a Nylon Lock Nut M4.
2. Insert a Headless Screw M3×5 into the Shaft Connector-4 and install the Shaft Connector-4 to the Stepper Motor.
3. Install the Driving Pulley on the Shaft Connector-4 with 2 Screw M4×14.

Step 13: Add Drawing Mechanism Holder

Materials List:
1 × Beam 0824-144
1 × Bracket 3×3
2 × Screw M4×8
4 × Screw M4×14

Procedure:
1. Install the Beam 0824-144 on the 2 Linear Motion Slide Unit 8mm with 4 Screw M4×14.
2. Install the Bracket 3×3 on the Beam 0824-128 with 2 Screw M4×8.

Step 14: Add Timing Belt

Materials List:
1 × Open-end Timing Belt (3m)
1 × Link Rod
4 × Screw M4×8
4 × Nylon Lock Nut M4

Procedure:
1. Cut the Link Rod and the Timing Belt.
2. Install the Timing Belt on the Bracket 3×3 by the Link Rod and a Screw M4×8.
3. Install anotherTiming Belt.

Step 15: Build the Drawing Mechanism

Materials List:
1 × Solenoid - 12v
1 × Beam 0808-80
1 × General Bracket
2 × Bracket 3x3
1 × Plate 3×6
1 × Threaded Shaft 4x31mm
1 × Shaft Collar 4mm
1 × Headless Set Screw M3x5
2 × Countersunk Screw M3×8
2 × Plastic Ring 4x7x2mm
2 × Plastic Ring 4x7x1mm
3 × Screw M4×8
2 × Screw M4×14
4 × Nylon Lock Nut M4
1 × Nylon Cable Ties

Procedure:
1. Install the Solenoid - 12v on the first Bracket 3x3 with a Countersunk Screw M3×8, a Plastic Ring 4x7x2mm and a Plastic Ring 4x7x1mm.
2. Install the Plate 3×6 on the first Bracket 3x3 and the Solenoid - 12v with a Countersunk Screw M3×8 and a Plastic Ring 4x7x1mm.
3. Install the first Bracket 3x3 on the Plate 3×6 with a Screw M4×8 and a Nylon Lock Nut M4.
4. Insert the Threaded Shaft 4x31mm into the Beam 0808-80.
5. Put the Shaft Collar 4mm on the Threaded Shaft 4×31mm and insert a Headless Screw M3×5 into the Shaft Collar 4mm.
6. Install a Plastic Ring 4x7x2mm on the Threaded Shaft 4×31mm.
7. Insert the Threaded Shaft 4×31mm with the Beam 0808-80 into the hole of the Plate 3×6.
8. Install the Threaded Shaft 4×31mm with the Beam 0808-80 to the Plate 3×6 with a Nylon Lock Nut M4.
9. Install the Beam 0808-80 to the Solenoid - 12v by using a Nylon Cable Ties.
10. Install the second Bracket 3x3 on the Plate 3×6 with 2 Screw M4×8 and 2 Nylon Lock Nut M4.
11. Install the General Bracket to the Beam 0808-80 with 2 Screw M4×14.

Step 16: Add Drawing Mechanism

Materials List:
2× Screw M4×8
2 × Screw M4×30

Procedure:
1. Install the Drawing Mechanism on Beam 0824-144 by using 2 Screw M4×8.
2. Insert 2 into the General Bracket.

Step 17: Add Electronic Modules

Materials List:
1 × Arduino
1 × Acrylic Arduino Bracket
1 × Me-BaseShield
2 × Stepper motor driver
1 × Me-Bluetooth modules
2 × Me-Limit Switch
3 × 6P6C RJ11 cable-20cm
2 × 6P6C RJ11 cable-50cm
4 × Plastic Rivet 4120
6 × Plastic Ring 4x7x2mm
1 × Link Rod
4 × Screw M4×8
4 × Screw M4×14
4 × Nylon Lock Nut M4
8 × Nylon Cable Ties

Procedure:
1. Install 2 to the Bracket 3×3 on Beam 0824-96 with 2 Screw M4×14 and 2 Nylon Lock Nut M4.
2. Install Meduino on Beam 0824-96 with 2 Screw M4×14 and 6 Plastic Ring 4x7x2mm.
3. Plug Me-Base ShIeld in Meduino.
4. Intall Me-Bluetooth.
5. Connect the first Me-Limit Switch on the Beam 0824-128 with 2  Screw M4×8.
6. Connect the second Me-Limit Switch on the Bracket 3×3 with 2  Screw M4×8 and 2 Nylon Cable Ties.
7. Connect the stepper motors to the stepper motor driver connector.
8. Connect all the electronic modules with Me-Base Shield.

Step 18: XY-Plotter Application for Android

See more details about the codes and app for Android here. It would tell you how to run the XY-plotter by Android app.

That's all. Have fun!

Comments

author
TimK165 made it!(author)2017-06-28

This looks very nice. How large is the working area? And could it be made larger by using longer parts?

author
TusharP1 made it!(author)2014-11-18

This plotter can write in my handwriting..

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author
kroner made it!(author)2015-07-10

Very nice. I would like to make something similar. Can you please point me in the direction of the guides or tutorials you used to make you plotter?

author
Olek410 made it!(author)2015-03-28

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

author
filthyPhil made it!(author)2014-10-16

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?

Thanks.

Phil

author
davidvanderstel made it!(author)2014-09-19

Is it possible to use the adafruit Motor Shield (http://www.adafruit.com/products/81) instead of the Me-baseboard + stepperdrivers for this project? Thank you!

author
link- made it!(author)2014-03-05

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?

author
kavish007 made it!(author)2014-08-14

Hey, I am planning to make xy plotter . Were you successful in making this .

author
cyclopedia made it!(author)2014-08-06

Hi
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?

author
luis.gonzalez.9809672 made it!(author)2014-07-26

how much load can I put over the moving car?

author
sammccants made it!(author)2014-03-02

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?

author
jlp6k made it!(author)2014-01-17

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?

author
partyzan made it!(author)2014-01-27

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 :/

author
pyrokidd89 made it!(author)2013-12-05

what is the resolution of the plotter?

author
avtech made it!(author)2013-10-22

Any Chance of an iOS app?

author
indream made it!(author)2013-11-15

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

author
eumorpurgo made it!(author)2013-10-10

Hello!
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

author
indream made it!(author)2013-11-15

http://forum.makeblock.cc/t/xy-plotter-using-gcode-interpreter/256 or http://forum.makeblock.cc/t/xy-plotter-application-for-andoid/228/

author
alegiaco made it!(author)2013-10-10

Hei, I would buy it, but without the software is USELESS. Where is the code?

author
indream made it!(author)2013-11-15

http://forum.makeblock.cc/t/xy-plotter-using-gcode-interpreter/256 or http://forum.makeblock.cc/t/xy-plotter-application-for-andoid/228/

author
Hiram made it!(author)2013-10-09

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

author
askjerry made it!(author)2013-09-29

I have seen the Makeblock before on other projects...

MUSIC
ROBOT #1
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)

author
mathieulj made it!(author)2013-10-02

First kit doesnt come with the electronics. The second one does.

author
orpheus567 made it!(author)2013-09-30

Nice work...:-)

Is this ship to world wide? because makeblock.cc site can't find my country distributors....

author
Edgar made it!(author)2013-09-30

A neat Instructable, and a great idea, Makeblock, very good prices, congratulations, and good luck!
Went to my Blog:
http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2013/09/cnc-um-livro-uma-cortadora-laser-open.html

author
muh1967 made it!(author)2013-09-30

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.

author
Nick_Tesla made it!(author)2013-09-30

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

author
saravananeceait1 made it!(author)2013-09-30

it will be very good materials, i have more ideas for the way of this materials,i really excatted

author
elabz made it!(author)2013-09-29

I thought the commonly accepted name for a "drawing robot" is plotter, no? :)

author
tootall1121 made it!(author)2013-09-29

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.

author
pcarew made it!(author)2013-09-29

Can you position / align the head with the corner/edge of the papaer?
What is the drawing resolution?

author
alegiaco made it!(author)2013-09-25

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?
Thanks.

author
Makeblock+Robotics made it!(author)2013-09-25

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.

author
pcarew made it!(author)2013-09-29

Where will you release these?
Thanks

author
DoctorWoo made it!(author)2013-09-25

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?

author
Makeblock+Robotics made it!(author)2013-09-25

The 3D printer may be a plan project. And we will release the STL files soon.

author
pcarew made it!(author)2013-09-29

Where/what website will you release or make these available on?
Thanks

author
Kelticfox made it!(author)2013-09-29

What size paper does this go up to?

author
TDaddy made it!(author)2013-09-29

Where's the sketch?

author
Alabalcho made it!(author)2013-09-28

What is the accuracy / repeatability of the setup? Will it be enough to make it into e.g. a laser cutter?

author
Makeblock+Robotics made it!(author)2013-09-28

Yes, it can be enough to make it into a laser cutter if you change the pen to a laser head.

author
EoinM17 made it!(author)2013-09-26

this could probably be modified into a vinyl cutter by putting a cnc vinyl cutter bit like in this instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-CNC-Graphics-cutter-hack/
a
nd a small electric lock or servo to lift the cutter and lower it

author
Makeblock+Robotics made it!(author)2013-09-28

It's a good idea to modified this to a vinyl cutter. Thanks for your suggestion.

author
tbeltrami made it!(author)2013-09-26

What is the total cost of the project?

author
Makeblock+Robotics made it!(author)2013-09-26

About 270 $, now it may cost about 216 $. You can visit here to see more details.

author
chengjianwan made it!(author)2013-09-26

Very interesting

author
robispurple made it!(author)2013-09-25

where did you buy your materials?

author
Makeblock+Robotics made it!(author)2013-09-25

Hi robispurple. You can buy the materials here.

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Bio: Makeblock was founded in 2012 as the world's first open-source robot and programing platform. With more than 400 mechanical components, electronic modules, and software ... More »
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