Plotter made entirely from Lego

Check out this awesome tool that [Alfonso Martone] built and wrote in to tell us about: a pin plotter made entirely from Lego (except for the addition of a pin in one brick). [Alfonso] has managed to get 33dpi resolution with a “printable” area of 90x70mm. The NXT device reads 1bit bitmapped images in PBM format and outputs onto a sheet of paper, which is held in place by Lego pneumatics pushing against rubber Lego bricks. Output is not what you might call speedy, though: it takes 35-40 minutes to output a drawing with 1,500 holes.

[Alfonso] has managed to capture our hearts with this awesome piece of work, which we’d love to backlight and put in a frame on our wall.

[Thanks, Alfonso Martone]


  1. Franz says:


  2. Joe says:

    You should make the frame out of lego.

  3. miked says:

    I saw the title and thought bullsh1t. i figure the frame was lego, but the guts were from a real plotter. Wow! Great hack!

  4. Olle says:

    joe: The frame is indeed made out of Lego.

    Great hack!

  5. gopher says:

    there was a actual lego kit of a ink pen plotter i wanted when i was a kid but never got. look here

  6. threepointone says:

    yeah, i think someone did this with real ink with the original mindstorms set

  7. spoofy says:

    i remember seeing a lego scanner a while back, so this is nothing new. still cool though :)

  8. Aaron Sharpe says:

    You could buy a kit to do this that came with software for the BBC micro to do this. I borrowed the kit from a college and made it myself a few years ago. It wasn’t great but it worked.

  9. Piter says:

    The best thing is bra at 22-back-view.jpg on his site

  10. Ryan S says:

    You could make a pretty cool lampshade with this. There were several homebrew LEGO printers/scanners/copiers done back in the day when Mindstorms 1/1.5 came out. I built a copier in 1998.

  11. raefi says:

    may i ask what kind of software do you use

  12. FatScarecrow says:

    Next step make a fabber!

  13. cosplay says:

    I would never think of cosplaying that hehe I cant believe it was done, i guess it was bound to happen do to the shows popularity.

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