Turntable Drawing Machine


As previously mentioned, I’m working on a new drawing machine, and it’s based on a turntable. I’ve included some of the sketches here, as I continue to explore a few ideas.


There’s a number of aesthetic choices to make in the design of this thing, including the material. Right now I’m focusing on wood for the majority of the build, but may also include some acrylic (which may allow for some LED lighting) and metal. I’d consider Alupanel, as that stuff is pretty nice, but it’s also a bit pricey, especially since I’d need a piece that is 19″ x 15″.


There’s also the mechanical build to deal with. I’ve got a good idea of how that will work, and I should be prototyping the spinning platter mechanism this week. I have semi-working Arduino code already, but I’m still contemplating direct drive versus a belt system. (I have all the parts, just need to start experimenting.)


I stopped by Bliffert Lumber last week to grab some 1/4″ Baltic Birch plywood, and I cut the top panel and turntable. These may just serve as test pieces and not final pieces, but it’s something to start working with. I used a 90 watt laser cutter as it’s quick and easy. I do have a 1/4″ end mill coming in this week, so I can cut 3/4″ wood on the big CNC router if needed. It’ll all depend on material and time. (This needs to be completed in about a month.)

Hopefully I can start working on the arm mechanism by next week, as there’s a few tricky bits involved there. I’m not sure if I will use limit switches, a servo, or make the pen placement a manual process. Hopefully a prototype will come together soon and answer some of those questions.