3D Printed Pen Plotter Is As Big As You Need It To Be

There’s nothing quite like building something to your own personal specifications. It’s why desktop 3D printers are such a powerful tool, and why this scalable plotter from the [Lost Projects Office] is so appealing. You just print out the end pieces and then pair it with rods of your desired length. If you’ve got some unusually large computer-controlled scribbling in mind, this is the project for you.

The design, which the team calls the Deep Ink Diver (d.i.d) is inspired by another plotter that [JuanGg] created. While the fundamentals are the same, d.i.d admittedly looks quite a bit more polished. In fact, if your 3D printed parts look good enough, this could probably pass for a commercial product.

For the electronics, the plotter uses an Arduino Uno and a matching CNC Shield. Two NEMA 17 stepper motors are used for motion: one to spin the rod that advances the paper, and the other connected to a standard GT2 belt and pulley to move the pen back and forth.

We particularly like the way [Lost Projects Office] handled lifting the pen off the paper. In the original design a solenoid was used, which took a bit of extra circuitry to drive from the CNC Shield. But for the d.i.d, a standard SG90 servo is used to lift up the arm that the pen is attached to. A small piece of elastic puts tension on the assembly so it will drop back down when the servo releases.

If this plotter isn’t quite what you’re after, don’t worry. There’s more where that came from. We’ve seen a number of very interesting 3D printed plotters that are just begging for a spot in your OctoPrint queue.

16 thoughts on “3D Printed Pen Plotter Is As Big As You Need It To Be

  1. I made a pen mount for a 3D printer the easy way.
    simply let the selenoid lift a pen.
    Connect the selenoid with the part cooling fan port.
    Replace the pen lift commands with Fan On /Fan Off.
    Can be done on every printer with no modification (hardware, firmware.)
    No, it was no extra effort.
    Have YOU , the writer, made on in person????

      1. ohhhh… like a “regular” DIY 80’s plotter (Elektuur had something called the “Mondriaan plotter”)

        Regarding infinite… that’s unlikely in this configuration as a slight misalligment of the paper will result in a paper jam on the edges left or right if you feed it enough paper. So anything small works fine, larger things require correction mechanism to correct for the alignment error (offset) which will be integrated (by moving the paper in one direction). However… the tractor feed mechanisms DID allow for an infinite feed of paper, as the roll didn’t squeeze the paper too hard and the tractor feed fed the paper in only one way, so no difficult alligment problems to solve…
        Ahhh… I miss my old matrix printer… nothing like the loud and disturbing BBBZZZZZZZPPPPPPRRRRRRRTBBBZZZZZZZPPPPPPRRRRRRRTBBBZZZZZZZPPPPPPRRRRRRRTBBBZZZZZZZPPPPPPRRRRRRRT in the late evenings. Trying to print out a report at the time everybody is just about to fall a sleep. Followed by the gentle tare of the paper and careful folding (like a map).

        1. I know it might sound strange, but our latest test (1m long) did not show big problems, it managed to print a frame and connecting it at the end. It is all a matter of tension and alignment.

      1. “Wtf is a selenoid?”

        An astronomical body resembling Earth’s Moon, obvious, from the Greek “Selene”. :P

        Or maybe they meant “selenide”.


      2. Selenoids are small creatures that live on the moon, a bit like fairies. They a re very easy to train to do useful tasks. that’s why the the US when to the moon. They cancelled the Apollo program once they had a breeding pair. Anyway Peter_s obviously has a selenoid trained to lift a pen.

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