No desk is complete without your own personal mug to insist on having your tea in. Oh sure, you can use a suitably obscure freebie mug that you picked up somewhere, or even buy your own, but do any of them really express the personality that you'd like your workmates to understand? No, you're going to need a personalised mug for that desk. The cheap and easy solution is to buy one from an on-line printing company, but where's the fun in that?

The mug plotter is loosely derived from Evil Mad Scientist's Egg Bot - it uses the same control board, and a modified version of the software, so you can design and print your mug from inkscape.

To build the mug plotter, you're going to need the following as a minimum, regardless of how you approach it:
two stepper motors
5V Power supply
mini-usb cable

To build the Mark I mug plotter along broadly the same lines I have, you'll also need the following:
3mm ply
Something to cut it with (laser cutters are good)
250mm of threaded rod, and a nut to suit. I've used M5, but its not important.
Some 1/4" aluminium rod (but anything in that range will do). 
Around 20mm metal tube big enough to slide over the rod - I didn't have anything to hand to drilled a 6.5mm hole through a bit of 1/2" aluminium rod.
Some connectors suitable to join your stepper motors to the threaded rod and 1/4" rod.
Lots of small (M3) screws and nuts.

There's quite a degree of flexibility in the choice of stepper motor. I went for Bipolar, 200 Steps/Rev, 28x32mm, 3.8V, 670mA because it was pretty much the first one I saw, but it's within the ballpark of what you need

Step 1: Assembling the mug mounts

Design your frame. Or download the attached DXF, it's up to you. Load the DXF into your laser cutter of choice, and run off one copy in 3mm ply, or similar. The file attached will give you all the parts you need, but you need duplicates of a few of parts. As with anything, read all the steps first so you know which parts you need (hint, it's the stepper motor mount, the side panel and the end upright). You'll also need to get rid of the borders.

Cut the 1/4" rod to length - you'll need:

Start by assembling the mug mounts - connect the two concave frames together, and then the convex two. Place a circle frame on the end of each to keep it square, and then attach to a piece of your 1/4" rod with a bit of glue - 25mm on the convex one and 80mm on the concave one. You need to file down the last 10mm or so of the 25mm rod to provide a surface for the connector to grip to. Cover the sloped ends of the two mounts with some draft excluder tape, and slide the spring onto the end of the concave mount.
<p>Got it running, Scale_screw set to 6, with a 16 toothed gear<br></p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXgzFjiX3vc" rel="nofollow">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXgzFjiX3vc</a></p>
<p>Brilliant. Can&acute;t stop myself, building one.</p><p>Complete watercut Alu.</p><p>four jaw chuck with thanks from Hexitex on thingiverse</p>
Its because he is using an M5 threaded rod for the pen spindle... If you take a look at the M5 thread standard you can see the thread pitch is 0.8mm/turn.. And he is using a 200step/rotation motor... So in one motor rotation (200steps) the pen moves 0.8mm.. So you have to ask your self hoe many steps does the motor need to make so the pen moves 1mm... The answer is 240... That means 240 steps/mm... Hope this helps...
<p>... you need also consider the microstepping (I guess you <br>drives will have a microstep facility - 4 or 8 or 16 -)... maybe I was wrong, but (EBB) driver board uses 16&times; microstepping to give a resolution of 3200 steps/revolution in both axes ... if so, the answer is 4000 steps/mm..</p>
hi, first: sorry about my english<br><br>why scale_screw are 240?
<p>Do you think i can make it using arduino mega instead of eibotboard? Can you help me with the coding?</p>
<p>The main reason for using the eibotboard is it has a pair of stepper motor drivers built in, which the arduino doesn't, and it already has a plugin in inkscape. You could use an arduino with a motor shield of some sort as a couple of people have suggested, but you would have to program it first, and I don't have the time to help, sorry. You'd have to get the arduino to respond to the same set of commands as the eibotboard (unless you change the drawing application too) which are documented here: </p><p><a href="http://www.schmalzhaus.com/EBB/EBBCommands.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.schmalzhaus.com/EBB/EBBCommands.html</a></p><p>I'd also point out that a few people have built this using a belt drive for the pen, rather than the screw drive I used - it seems to work a LOT better.</p>
<p>this good idea Thank you for this effort</p>
<p>I dusted mine off again and worked out a few kinks that had been troubling it last time. a bit of sugru made a great custom belt drive pulley for the stepper motor</p><p><a href="http://youtu.be/Z31QqCKGwPI" rel="nofollow">http://youtu.be/Z31QqCKGwPI</a></p>
<p><a href="http://myhomemadecnc.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">http://myhomemadecnc.blogspot.com/</a></p>
That's awsome!
Good Design !! If you need this kind of cutting plotter please contact me at david@live.cn
What a great instructable, it's just what I needed! A lot of rowing clubs will give out china mugs as trophies at regattas, so I copied your plotter to personalize them with a porcelain marker. Still in the testing stages so far, but changes to date are: changed the pen axis to be tiltable, since these mugs are slightly conical (an old printer carriage worked a treat for this); and I've glued a bolt to one of the fins on the mug mount to counterbalance the weight of the handle. So far, so good! Thanks heaps for doing all the legwork and writing such a nice 'ible!
As a solution for the controller you could use an arduino with adafruit motor shield. I am currently looking for a project where this has been done. It seems like a no brainer because the board drives two steppers and a servo. I was going to build zaggo's spherebot which uses pololu stepper drivers with an arduino. but I have an arduino clone and motor shield that cost me 20 bucks total so I would like to figure it out with this. There are many drawbots that use the motor shield so it shouldn't be to difficult to port
is there any stepper motor specs here???
There is - on the first page. It vaguely states &quot;I went for Bipolar, 200 Steps/Rev, 28x32mm, 3.8V, 670mA because it was pretty much the first one I saw, but it's within the ballpark of what you need&quot; <br> <br>It occasionally drops a step on the mug rotation if you don't counterbalance the handle though, so definitely don't go any lower
this is rad! i have a super favor to ask...will you make me a mug? will you do it in honor of bringing back the aquatic arts? that would be so rad! maybe we can trade for something - I'll make you something rad! i just know i can't built this right now - damn deadlines. YAH, &quot;From Mug plotter with love.&quot; Thanks for considering teed. <br> <br>P.S. If you really would make one...see me on fb: The Olivia Darlings cuz we clearly need a team mug. Especially one with a floating formation on it. A surprise for a surprise!
The Olivia Darlings looks like a brilliant idea, so yes, I shall. But it might take me a little while to come up with something that will do your particular interpretation of the aquatic arts justice - maybe it'll be a nice surprise in a couple of weeks time!
this is rad! i have a super favor to ask...will you make me a mug. will you do it in honor of bring back the aquatic arts. that would be rad - maybe we can trade for something. i just know i can't built this right now. you should charge a fee or do a trade. YAH, from Mug plotter with love. <br> <br>If you really would make one...see me on fb: The Olivia Darlings. Cuz we clearly need a team mug from teed.
Hi I would really like to build this cup marker but I can't get the dxf file to give me anything but numbers and letters doesn't seem to work in any draw program that I have. If I had a drawing of the pen holder would be nice. Think that the other parts can be worked out. A drawing of the other parts would be helpful. I have a laser cutter but it uses G-code. Very well done Instructable..
Hi, <br>I'm glad you like the idea. DXF is a fairly open standard for exchanging cad drawings - it was drawn using the free version of Siemens solidedge 2d, but you can also open it in other free programs like draftsight or inkscape. Our laser cutter can import dxf files. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a dxf to g-code converter out there somewhere.
Hi, <br>I have down loaded the solidedge 2d and It seem to be a very good program I may find many uses for it but not able open your DXF with it, just does not see it. Have you any suggestions how to move on? I have started making the Mug plotter having a problem with the pen holder design. I can send photos of my progress if you are interested.
Hey, <br>do you mean you just can't see the file in the open file dialogue? I'm using solidedge ST3 (which is a slightly older version) and it can open a DXF file like any other file. It does seem to get slightly confused with the scale though, so I had to select the manual zoom and zoom out a long way to display it normally. <br> <br>If you don't get anywhere then PM me your email address and I'll send you the native file instead. I'd love to see some photos of your progress - I've mentally assembled a better pen holder that will let you swap out pens for multi-colour designs, but our laser cutter isn't working at the moment - maybe I can get you to try it out?
Hi Teed, <br>Solideedge does not show your file in the open file dialogue. I do not know what PM means. I would like to send my e-mail address but not sure how. I would like to see what you have in mind for a pen holder. I can make just about anything. My laser is small only 7 X 11 inch work area. If it will fit in that area I can do it. I tried to send photos of what I have so far but I don't know where they went.
PM is internet slang for private message - I've sent you one with my details. Click on the &quot;you&quot; button in the very top right hand corner of this page (you might need to scroll back to the top), then click on &quot;inbox&quot;. I've not drafted anything for the revised pen holder yet but I'll try and knock something up and send it to you
Hi Teed <br>I stoped looking for ways to open your dxf file and just built my own. I will be asking you how to make the software work but that is in the future. I have attached some photos of my attempt to make the Mug Marker. It is made of cardboard because I engineer by making parts I make a lot and cardboard is easy to work with and quick.
I would suggest chalk on a blackboard coffee mug it wouldn't be permanent, but could be interesting to change designs and colors leaving the fade design to fade under the new one.... Great build!
That's a great idea, except I've never heard of a blackboard coffee mug. Any idea where I could get one?
Ebay is the source of all good things (well except for eibotboards - where did you get that?) <br> <br>http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/390546891745
Yeah, I always waste time looking at other sites and eventually think to try ebay. I got the eibotboard from SK Pang.
Great 'ible, BTW. If I had time I would love to make one. <br>Fingers crossed for that lottery win so I can retire!
can i use marker here <br>
Nicely done. Simple, fun, functional. I think I heard you talking about that coupler on the top motor being the source of wobble, which it appeared to be. Once that's replaced with something that fits better and isn't flinging long headed screws around I bet it runs smooth. <br> <br>I was really entertained by this prodject. I'm love to see more video of it doing stuff. Have you found a way in software to do raster plots, or half toning? <br> <br>I bet you could do color prints pretty easy with a manual pen swap. <br> <br>:) <br>
Thanks! Simple fun and functional was exactly what I was going for. The couplers were made from some 1/2&quot; aluminium bar, and the lathe had a bit of a wobble when I made it so the holes are a little oversize. The setup on the lathe is a bit better now so I might have another go at it. Ideally you'd use a universal connector of some sort but that would add cost. <br> <br>There are some instructions out there for doing rasters in inkscape, although I haven't tried them yet. Colour is probably the next step, but I think I need a simpler way of fixing the pen in that case.
Kickstarter! KIt of parts! Take my money already! :D <br> <br>Well, ok, some nice laser cut ply and maybe some of that draft excluder tape stuff. :) <br> <br>That board is quite expensive, so I would try to use an Arduino, Stepper driver.and some G-Code. <br> <br>Oh, and a construction video please. :)
I'd love to turn it into a kit, but I think it needs a little work to make it a bit more stable and simple to build in that case. I'm sure you could use an arduino and build a stepper shield for it, but this way I could just use the existing software. <br> <br>The board cost me &pound;33 plus tax, and an Arduino from the same supplier would be &pound;20 plus tax, so it's not a huge increase. I suppose the benefit of an Arduino is you usually already have a couple you can swap between projects.
Hi <br>You'll also be performed using the AVR controller? <br>You can do this work?
Very Very cool!
Very cool!
this is awesome!... do you have a video to show us?
Thanks! Poor-quality video posted above.
What? No video of this wonderful device working? I like it a lot! But as the saying goes, Loves comes from Sight. Will you post a video of the Mug Plotter in action?
Okay, you convinced me. I've added a video in the introduction. Please ignore the background noise of the rest of Edinburgh Hacklab being rude about it.
This is awesome!!!
Ok. I'm impressed. Have to build one.
This is awesome!!! An idea worth kickstarting. I can see this at county fairs nationwide
[begin quote] <br>To build the mug plotter, you're going to need the following as a minimum, regardless of how you approach it: <br>Eibotboard <br>two stepper motors <br>servo <br>5V Power supply <br>mini-usb cable <br>PC <br>[end quote] <br> <br>So, I wouldn't be able to do this any other way? Not with an MSP430G2553, a single stepper with an XY transfer case, 3.3v supply, bluetooth, and a Palm Tungsten T5 PDA? The only way to do it is with the stuff you used, because it is so hella-rad that if I used anything else, I just wouldn't be cool? <br> <br>I took a look at this, because I was interested in the general requirements and wanted to attempt it using things I am more familiar with. Before I start, stop me if it would be just absolutely impossible. <br> <br>Thanks.
I must have missed the constructive part of this comment. Seems as if you are taking an unnecessary poke at the instructables author, using a somewhat unfair interpretation of his instructions... being facetious here myself. Make one using whatever and then post your results here so we can see how you did it. There is NO rulebook! <br>Cool machine, BTW! Have you shown this to Mr. Shapiro?
I was asking a serious combination of questions. They are relevant, for the reasons I stated. I guess I must have a 'dry' sense of humor, as I chose my wording with the intent of injecting some levity. <br> <br>In order for me to actually make one of these units by some other method, I need to understand the method, not the exact components.
You should try it with the hardware you suggest - think of the kudos for making it work! <br> <br>The only essential part is the eibotboard, and that's only so the existing inkscape plugin will work and you don't need to write any software. If you're happy writing a new protocol into the plugin or writing your own software then you can use whatever want.

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