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.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.