Cable-bots are impressive! We see them deployed in variety of applications in disparate areas. Spidercam has been significantly popular for filming outdoor events like sports and live concerts . On the other hand, in some research labs, the cable-bots are used for certain simulation studies . A few months back, I came across an irresistible project in DIY (Do It Yourself) world namely, DrawBot. This is an x-y plotter, in which, considerably large working (plotting) area can be achieved using minimal set of components such as gondola, pulleys, belts and a couple of stepper motors. I decided to design and build one simple DrawBot for my young nephew.
I used opensource electronics of my personal 3D printer for the project. In order to save time, 3D printing of components was avoided and instead, I did laser cut required parts from acrylic and MDF boards. A fairly large (3 feet x 4 feet) plywood board was used for the DrawBot.
An AutoCAD DXF is a commonly used CAD data file format for storing drawings required for the bot . Inkscape is a useful opensource program for drawing and saving DXF files . However, from the DXF file, a G-code appropriate for RepRap firmware needs to be generated. Simple separate python codes were written to generate G-codes for DrawBot and Cartesian 3D printer. The codes are shared and can be downloaded from GitHub repository.
Here is a snap of a sketch of Tom and Jerry.
An edited video of DrawBot drawing the same sketch.