Drawing Robot - Arduino Uno + CNC Shield + GRBL

by henryarnold, published

Drawing Robot - Arduino Uno + CNC Shield + GRBL by henryarnold May 27, 2017
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This is a drawing robot which is based on an Arduino Uno controller and a CNC Shield. This drawing robot receives G Code commands that are created by a drawing program called Inkscape. The robot was put together using two other people's designs. I added the improved pen slider and the controller enclosure. This drawing robot allows you to draw things in Inkscape and then plot them out. Below are the links to the software I used. Avanhanegem's design has a great tutorial on how to generate G Code within Inkscape and then send it to the drawing robot using Source Rabbit G Code Sender. If you have any questions post them and I'll try to answer them.

I have posted all needed parts from the two source designs. There are only 15 parts to print and non of them are very large. I added a stronger pen slider and a controller enclosure. I also clarified the names that were in Spanish. I have posted all needed files so that there isn't confusion regarding which parts are needed from each of the original designs. If the original designers object to what I have done, I will remove the parts and only point to their designs.

My drawing robot is modified version of this one

Firmware for the Arduino

Inkscape Drawing Software

Source Rabbit G Code Sender

2x Nema 17
2x Linear rod M8 x 450mm, X Axis
2x Linear rod M8 x 350mm, Y axis
2x Linear rod 3.0mm of CDROM, Z Axis
(You can find them in any old CDROM or purchase on EBay)
1x M8x470mm threaded rod
8x LM8UU or printed
1x Servo sg90
2x GT2 Pulley 16 teeth
5x Bearing 624zz
1x 2000mm GT2 belt

misc M3 and M4 screws and nuts
M8 nuts

Arduino Uno
CNC Shield
12V 2A Wall Transformer
2-4 limit switches

Inkscape which is the graphics design software (Includes G Code Extension)
Source Rabbit which is the G Code Sender (sends the machine commands from a file)
GRBL which is the Arduino firmware (programmed into the Arduino Uno)

I have supplied a few G Code files that work with this drawing robot. If yours is identical to this design, the G Code files should also work with yours.

Here's a video

Update 6-15-2017: I added the limit switches about 10 days ago and they don't add much to the functionality. When GRBL sees a limit switch hit, it just stops with an alarm condition. You must soft reset the robot and your drawing cannot be continued. The homing feature doesn't seem to work. I read in another persons post that they could not get home to work in GRBL 0.9. At this point I suggest building the drawing robot without the limit switches. As long as your drawing does exceed the envelope of the robot, you won't need the limit switches.

Update 6-19-2017: My friend found a better Inkscape Extension for generating G Code. I think it is easier to use and generates better G Code:

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I just wanted to say thanks for the design and the thorough explanations! This is great! I'm currently in the process of building mine. I'll post when I'm done.

You're welcome. I enjoyed building mine. It is a fun project. My plans are to experiment with a laser mount and a mount for a swivel blade for cutting materials.

Very nice this desing is better than others in my opinion, i like it

Would this work acceptable wall mounted?

Yes as long as you have a spring to keep the pen on the paper. I'm currently using the weight of the pen to keep it on the paper. Some of my photos show springs which I removed. You will need some kind of spring or springs.