User Experience & Product Design
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Polargraph

Polargraph

 A Robot to Preserve Handwriting

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THE CHALLENGE

An independent physical prototyping project using code and embedded electronics.

The Polargraph is a robotic drawing machine. My personal goal for the machine is to capture and preserve an individual's hand lettering for all time. My Polargraph is learning to mimic past writing samples, likely in the form if a 'unique personal font' to preserve these one-of-a-kind handwriting styles and the personality and individuality embodied within each.

THE DESIGN

Polargraph is an automatic drawing machine variation on the hanging-pen plotter. It consists of a weighted hanging pen within a stabilizing gondola.
The gondola is controlled by 2 stepper motors on either top corner of a large plywood surface and beaded chord. An Arduino Microcontroller, an Adafruit motordriver and 1 amp (1000mA), variable voltage AC/DC power supply which drives the 2 stepper motors.  Arduino source code and Polargraph code from here are responsible for the rest.       

TOOLS & MATERIALS

 Adafruit's Motoshield v1., NEMA-17- Stepper motors,  Arduino, Plywood Drawing Board, Birch Plywood, Metal chord
Open source code, MakerBot 3D Printer (for parts) , Laser Cutter (for parts) , Birch Plywood, Acrylic, Adobe Illustrator, Rhino 

 

Take a look at this time-lapse Polargraph example.

 
 
 

Inspiration

Hektor - the daddy of all hanging drawing machines
Der Kritzler - the smartest one yet
AS220 Drawbot - the basis for mine
SADBot - Instructable for an automatic drawing machine on the same pattern by Dustyn Roberts

Resources

Polargraph website
Polargraph wiki and code

 Photo by  Euphy

Photo by Euphy

 

Stay tuned, work in progress...