The plotter featured above was, according to the author, made almost entirely of salvaged parts. In addition to what he had accumulated, only $20 in parts was needed to complete this build. Pretty good considering the thousands of dollars that a new plotter goes for.
Control of all axes is accomplished using unipolar stepper motors. In this case only one unipolar motor was available along with two bipolar motors. [Lovro] actually hacked these into a unipolar setup to save costs on the build.
Mach3 control software along with a parallel port is used to control the steppers. A similar “junk” setup could be used to power a CNC mill or laser engraver, so think twice before tossing that old printer in the trash! Check out the video of this plotter in action after the break! Also, see this hack for a similar laser engraving machine using Mach3 control software.