QuickDrawBotBy Matt Havlovick
A few years ago, my friend Cory Gano and I saw a V-Style DrawBot at the Bay Area Maker Faire. Cory said he wanted to buy it and I told him, "Don't buy that, we can build one ourselves". That began our journey to build our own and around three months later, we were showing our own "QuickDrawBot" at the Portland OMSI Mini-Maker Faire.
I decided that using the Raspberry PI Model B (and B+) would be the way to go. We built our own Motor Shield (Pi Plate) to control the stepper motors and either a servo or solenoid depending upon the model of the pen holder. The Raspberry Pi web app written in Java allows the images to be uploaded, rendered, and then drawn by our DrawBot.
Once the drawing has started, the bot is fully self-contained and can continue to draw, for the Raspberry Pi is both the host and control computer. This is unlike most other draw bots where there usually needs to be a host computer of some sort as well as an Arduino or some other microcontroller to control the motors.
Due to the processing required to convert the uploaded bitmap image into a format ready to be drawn by our bot, depending upon the drawing size, pen width and resolution, it can take around a minute to render the image before it is ready to draw. The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B was the perfect upgrade. Due to the increased memory, we can draw larger, more detailed images and more importantly, the images usually only take around 20 seconds or less to render!
We recently attended the Bay Area Maker Faire ourselves as participants this time and sold 10 of our bots at the show. We were also awarded a blue ribbon by Make Magazine.
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