If you’ve ever wanted to do a “deep dive” into how plotters work, then the d.i.d., or Deep Ink Diver, from studioprogettiperduti looks like a great option. The device boasts a structure made out of aluminum extrusion, plus some 3D-printed parts, enabling it to be scaled up for different sized paper as needed.
The plotter is driven by a pair of NEMA 17 stepper motors, one of which pulls the writing carriage along steel rods in one axis, while a roller pulls the paper into position on the other. The actual writing implement is held in a 3D-printed carriage, which can accommodate different tools like pens, pencils, and markers. The implement in use is pushed up and out of the way with an SG90 servo, for movement without marking when needed.
d.i.d. is built around an Arduino Uno with a CNC shield, running grbl firmware specialized to allow for servo control. Per the project write-up, using this firmware “is pretty much plug and play,” and G-code can be generated as if it was a laser engraver with this Inkscape plugin.
Studioprogettiperduti made six prototypes to get to a plotter that they were happy with, and what they’ve put out looks like a great way to get started in your plotting adventure!
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Author: Jeremy S. Cook