The selfdrawing painting

by OliviersHappyCreations, published

The selfdrawing painting by OliviersHappyCreations Apr 28, 2016


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The selfdrawing painting!
Never get bored by your current painting! any time, any place and any color as you wish. you can let it paint whatever you want! This machine had loads, loads of prototypes. Mine is controlled by an arduino UNO with CNC shield and GRBL controller, but you can use anything that you want that reads G-codes of NC-files. For making the G-code or NC-file you can use your normal 3D slicer or (what I prefer) Inkskape with the laserengraver extension.

Bill of extra materials; (apart of the printed parts)
-sheet of wood 375x600mm
-a steel plate(or glass,whatever you prefer)
-2x 8mm smooth rod 595mm long
-2x 8mm smooth rod 350mm long
-2x M8 treated rod 420mm long
-2x nema 17 stepper motor
-2x 608zz (skate) bearing
-1x 624zz bearing
-4x LM8UU linear bearing
-around 2meter of timing belt
-2 pulleys (for on the stepper motors)

-15x M3x16 bolt
-4x M8 nut
-1x M4x20
-3xM3 nut
-some whasers to make sure that the belt won't dislocate
-some tyraps

Project: The Selfdrawing Painting


Ever had a wall that bored you? Do you have some technical skills that you want to test?
There is a DIY solution for you!
You are going to make an painting that writes on itself.It is based on a 3D printer/CNC milling machine. But instead it does not make anything, it draws something!
The whole frame is already designed for you, it is up to you to finish the last bit!
The assembly only takes about one hour and you only have to use some basic tools like allan-keys, some wrenches and a cutter.

This is going to be the result.

Step 1

Step one is probably the hardest one. Getting all the parts.
Most of the parts can be printed with a basic printer (120x120mm)
the rest can be bought at your hardware store.
There is only one exception; The lazercutted plate. Not everyone has the luxury to have one at their disposal.

Step 2

The assembly.
The assembly is quite straight forward, you can see an exploded view of all the parts on the picture below.
I recommend to clamp the lasercutted wood with the printed parts, the smooth rods and the treated rod first.
once you assembled the outer-frame, continue by building the x/y component bij mounting the two NEMA 17 stepper motors.
afterwards, place the pulley's,smooth rods, bearings and bolts. Tighten the bolts and secure the linear bearings if needed.

Exploded view of all the parts

The X/Y component assembled

Step 3

The electronics...
As almost every Reprap 3D printer, there is no tutorial how to do the electronics. This is because everyone as another way of doing it. There are many, many ways of doing it.
The challenge is up to you to find the easiest way to control it.

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Hi, great design. Particularly impressed with compact design for the two motors (usually I've seen the two motors riding on different brackets/housings). Would it be possible to show an exploded view / close-up of the belt routing around the pulleys? (the washers are kinda hiding the view currently).


Thank you! I hade a quick drawing for you! I hope you find it useful! if not, let me know

Thank you for the quick response. Yes the drawing makes perfect sense. Can you also please show/describe how the y-idler assembly is created? Are you using a bearing on a press-fit dowel in the 3D printed part or some other way with a timing pulley? Also, method of attachment of belt to y-carriage (do I zip ties?). Rough hand sketches will work - no need for CAD. Thanks.

The y-idler works with m3 & m4 screws. The bearing (624zz) is mounted in the middle of the y-idler with an m4 screw. The belt should go around the bearing and the washer should hold it in place. The two m3 screws go through the top of the idler and should have a nut on the inside. These two bolts are used for tightening the belt by pushing the linear axes outwards.
I have added some pictures, those might be handy.

UPDATE: I figured some of the issues myself and deleted them. Still unsure about the following:

I'd asked about the means of attaching the belt to the y-carriage (I thought I saw zip ties in the pics). Wondering if that's a separate 3D printed part.

Thanks for your help and detailed responses. Very much appreciated - I'm nearly there with all my questions :)

sorry for the delay, but you are right! We used zip ties for attaching the belt.
I made a drawing to explain the way the zip ties work!

Hi!, Thank you for the reply and drawing.

Hello, is this plotter do not have a servo or solenoid to control the pen up and down?


Not yet! there will be an upgrade soon.