Cyberplotter Uses Multiple Tools To Great Success

The CNC bug is a familiar ailment in these parts. Often, patients present with persistent obsession with computer controlled machinery, most commonly after initial contact with gateway hardware such as 3D printers or basic plotters. Once diagnosed, there is no cure – simply the desire to build, and build again. [Adam Haile] knows this all too well, and built the Cyberplotter in service to the affliction. 

The Cyberplotter is the culmination of [Adam]’s CNC wishlist – a two-axis build with a seriously large build area, and the capability to mount a whole bunch of different tools for different jobs. With a work area of up to 800mm x 750mm depending on what’s mounted, it can produce some seriously big output. With a Smoothieboard 5X running the show, [Adam] does all kinds of neat hacks to make the system play with different gadgets on the business end. There’s a laser for engraving, and a top-notch pen plotter featuring a high-quality linear rail for precise movement. But the fun doesn’t stop there – [Adam] goes so far as mounting a Z-axis, camera, and even a Sharpie-based airbrush which we’d never even contemplated before.

It’s not [Adam]’s first build, and past experience shines through here – armed with prior knowledge, the build does many things well without compromising on outright capability. You may find [Adam]’s name familiar – we’ve featured his Engravinator on these pages before. Video after the break.

14 thoughts on “Cyberplotter Uses Multiple Tools To Great Success

  1. Ooooh, Smoothieboard! That’s my thing :) Really really cool project! If project creator wants one for free, or any kind of help whatsoever, or code or anything: Don’t hesitate!

  2. Note the Smoothieboard isn’t just a random choice here. Smoothie is the only control system in the Open-Hardware crowds that was built from the ground up to be used not just for one machine type, but for lasers, cnc mills, 3D printers, plotters, medical/scientific/component pick and place and more. One of the reasons it was designed that way is for machines with multiple uses like this one, but another reason is so more people from a larger amount of different communities come together to work on a single project, meaning people working on improvements for 3D printers will often do work that also benefits say laser folks. That was the intent when the project was created out of the Reprap project 8 years ago, and it’s definitely worked the way it was expected, we have a really great community and super cool contributors, all working on something more than would have been achieved if this was a project for just one machine type. v2 coming soon, very very excited, it’s such a huge step up, and was ( in retrospect ) a crazy large/ambitious project, can’t wait for people to be able to start using it.

      1. Definitely makes sense making ESP-based controllers, Smoothie v2 will have an ESP-based extension, and I wouldn’t be surprised if when we get to hardware selection for v3 the candidates will have integrated Wifi / be ESP-like, it does sound like this is the way most stuff is going in the near future.

      1. Well we’re actually very close at this point. There’s only one big point of incertitude on the final design, we don’t know yet if the fix worked or not, and both leads on the hardware are meeting before end of the month for a hacking session, at the end of which we are likely to have a design we can actually produce/ship. Stay tuned :)

  3. I want to mount a webcam on the business end and fly it around over a model landscape on the bed of the machine. It will, of course, have a Death Star canyon, and an added tilt access for the camera to better simulate an aircraft’s motion.

  4. Ooowwiiii! Its like someone read my mind! I have a half-baked unfinished Smootie-based pen plotter sitting in my garage gathering dust because too many other projects became higher priority. Hopefully this winter I will have time to rejigger it into a copy of this project! I’ve got the hardware, just need the time now.

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