Piccolo: Mini Cnc Drawing Machine

About: Ngo active in the field of digital mediation, based in Toulouse, France

In this tutorial you will learn how to build a mini cnc machine capable of drawing simple shapes.

Step 1: Create Your Own Piccolo Robot

Instructions on how to create a replica of the piccolo robot are available here.

The robot is functional even without the z-axis. Assembling the z-axis is in fact quite complex, and the result is not a lot different than a piccolo robot with only x and y axis.

The design of the piccolo parts is available here in .svg format, which we believe is the most convenient of all.

Finally, note that, for the laser cutting of the piccolo robot, you may use mdf or another type of wood exclusively. Acrylic is in fact a lot more expensive that wood, and the robot works well even with all parts being made out of mdf or similar material.

If you decide to use mdf or a similar material exclusively, make sure to laser cut the paper spacers (use 160gsm card, as indicated in the official instructions).

Step 2: Program the Piccolo Robot

You can program the piccolo robot to have it draw simple shapes (squares, rectangles), or even simple text.

To program the piccolo robot you may use mBlock. Download mBlock here.

On mBlock, the code to control piccolo may look something like this (see image).

Each time an arrow key is pressed, the servo motor controlling the x or y axis rotates by 15 degrees, either clockwise or counterclockwise, so that the piccolo moves along the x or y axis.

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