How to Make a XY-plotter With Makeblock

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About: 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 tools, we are determined to bring mean...

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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!

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    50 Discussions

    0
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    shawnalfaro

    24 days ago

    post your code. dont give us a link. post it here.

    0
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    MagnusW

    10 months ago

    I dont get why they dont go out of synch - without a spacial measuring system how the hell can it go to exact positions time after time without going to a slightly different position?

    0
    None
    TimK165

    1 year ago

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

    0
    None
    kronerTusharP1

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    0
    None
    Olek410

    3 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    None
    filthyPhil

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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

    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!

    0
    None
    link-

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    1 reply
    0
    None
    kavish007link-

    Reply 4 years ago

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

    0
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    cyclopedia

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    0
    None
    sammccants

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    0
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    jlp6k

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    1 reply
    0
    None
    partyzanjlp6k

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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 :/

    0
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    indreamavtech

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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

    0
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    eumorpurgo

    5 years ago on Introduction

    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

    1 reply
    0
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    indreameumorpurgo

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

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