PlotRobots – The Idea

I wanted a plotter for really big paper up to 1meter or more, a plotter for Art, drawing Mandalas and so on – and it should be cheap.

Last week i couldn’t get one in Ebay, at least not for the money I wanted to pay.

On the other side I am looking for a new hobby project – so the first idea was to build an own homebrew plotter. If you remember my old posting, I am convinced that there is nearly no idea on earth which is yours alone. One good source to look for others is currently YouTube – you’ll find nearly everything there.

There are a lot of concepts. Using old printers. Using linear axes. The Elektor-Plotter projects . So the next idea was to look for linear axes. Long axes are really expensive and such a plotter will be heavy, a material grave, you need quite big motors … is there no other idea ?

Then one morning I opened my eyes and there I had a flush of ideas how it should look like, with lowest material usages. Here are the core thoughts for the Plot-Robot.


  • A small autark robot car big enough to carry the pencil
  • At best 3 wheels, two with motors
  • A remote control to transfer the plot data
  • The PlotRobot moves over the paper and plots the drawing
  • The accuracy could be good enough for big structure
  • The paper size is nearly unlimited
  • The material should not cost more than 50€ or 50$

PLOT-ROBOT Extensions:

  • Small structures could be done with a small x-y-device on the bot while standing still
  • More than one PlotRobot could work on one drawing maybe with different colors

PLOT-ROBOT for wall paintings :

  • What if the bots could climb up a wall .. would be cool to do big paintings on walls

PLOT-ROBOT for perfect circles :

  • I saw a house painter drawing a perfect huge circle on a real big building – with a simple string, he fixed it in the middle and fixed the pen on the string
  • What if the bot is fixed on a string in the middle and he could wind the string and adjust the lengths and draws perfect centric circles ?
  • What if the bot is fixed on another bot and they are moving and turning around each others – wow !

You see in a few minutes you can get a burst full of ideas . But lets start slowly.

Other Plotter-Robots are possible, look again in YouTube, yes, there are similar ideas – but not exact the same . Here is one example :

A good try, not autark, no car, not precise, but not bad !

What about the organisation of the PlotRobot Project – maybe it could be an open-source-hardware project – not only the software could be open, also the complete hardware construction. Maybe an Arduino based thing or similar. There could be a community, competitions, sponsored rewards … open means not free – everyone could make a bit money .. but let’s start slowly, step by step 🙂

To fix the idea a bit I registered this domains today : and

Comments are welcome !

( The original blog post was made on  tech-relaxed then moved to and back )

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