While it has been a longstanding tradition in mechanical and industrial design courses to task the student to create functional designs out of paper, cardboard, and balsa wood — it is a rare delight to see such a fully-realized project tackled with these “prototyping” materials. Created by Noklas Roy. Thanks to Nick Brewer for the tip!
When I gave a workshop at the School of Art and Design in Offenbach about building digital devices out of cardboard, the students asked me to build a machine as well. I always wanted to own a plotter – so I didn’t have to think too long about what exactly I’d build.
The cardboard plotter is made out of Finnish cardboard, which is very durable, but also easy to cut with a hobby knife. The axles and slide rails are made out of welding rod. Everything is connected with super glue, adhesive tape and tie wraps.
As an interface, I built two rotary dials and a switch. One of the dials moves the pen in y-position. The other dial moves the table under then pen in x-position. The switch lifts the pen or puts it on the paper. When I was done with building the plotter, I also compiled a little code book with coordinates for several drawings. They are written down as a list of numbers from 0 to 9, which makes it effectively a very simple digital storage medium for low resolution vector graphics.
You can find further hires images – also of the building process – in this album.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.