Makerbot Unicorn Pen Plotter

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Makerbot Unicorn Pen Plotter

Post by robosavvy » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:24 pm

Post by robosavvy
Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:24 pm

Hi all

In the subject of adapting the Makerbot for doing 2D printing, there is actually a platform/head from Makerbot to implement some of this functionality.

It is called the Unicorn Pen Plotter and details can be found here http://wiki.makerbot.com/unicorn

Image
Pic of a Unicorn assembled on a Makerbot can also be found here http://store.makerbot.com/media/catalog ... _1_800.jpg

The Plotter is quite simple: a wood assembly to receive the Plotting Tool (pen, Vinyl cutter, market, etc), a servo (HITEC btw) and the controller. The controller board is actually the one used by the Extruder.

Image

Assembly Instructions:
http://wiki.makerbot.com/unicorn-mk1-assembly

Usage:
http://wiki.makerbot.com/unicorn-mk1-usage

From the Usage page:
"Usage / Toolchains
There are a many different ways that you can use to create toolpaths for plotting. There are two main formats for creating art, and there are tools for both. There's also a nifty script that will allow you to plot circuit boards designs.

2D Vectors -> GCode
Scribbles.py will take your 2D vector image (DXF or SVG) and convert it to g-code to use with the Unicorn. Scribbles.py is derived from the lunchlines.py script for the Frostruder but it's been upgraded to be quicker and cleaner.

Jump to the scribbles.py page for detailed info on how to use the script.

2D Bitmap -> GCode
Plotterize.py will take your 2D bitmap, convert it to a black and white image and then generate a printable gcode file that will replicate your image using the Unicorn. This output is similar to very old printers. Retro-unicorn-action!

Jump to the plotterize.py page for detailed info on how to use the script.

PCB Design -> GCode
We have created a new script called gerbertogcode.py. This script will take your Gerber file (exported from Eagle or other PCB CAD program) and convert it, line by line, into G-code that the Makerbot can understand. Then, using an extra fine point sharpie you can draw circuit designs on copper clad board and etch your own PCB's!

Jump to the gerbertogcode.py page for detailed info on how to use the script."



We are not currently stocking this part as we're waiting for an update with regards to using it on the Thing-o-Matic.

Makerbot is also investing in improving the software for this kit in order to reduce the pipeline from Drawing to Printed Material. They have announced a competition here http://blog.makerbot.com/2010/11/26/fou ... n-plotter/

We have high hopes for this accessory and hope it lives up to the announcement it can _easily_ etch PCBs.

RoboSavvy
Hi all

In the subject of adapting the Makerbot for doing 2D printing, there is actually a platform/head from Makerbot to implement some of this functionality.

It is called the Unicorn Pen Plotter and details can be found here http://wiki.makerbot.com/unicorn

Image
Pic of a Unicorn assembled on a Makerbot can also be found here http://store.makerbot.com/media/catalog ... _1_800.jpg

The Plotter is quite simple: a wood assembly to receive the Plotting Tool (pen, Vinyl cutter, market, etc), a servo (HITEC btw) and the controller. The controller board is actually the one used by the Extruder.

Image

Assembly Instructions:
http://wiki.makerbot.com/unicorn-mk1-assembly

Usage:
http://wiki.makerbot.com/unicorn-mk1-usage

From the Usage page:
"Usage / Toolchains
There are a many different ways that you can use to create toolpaths for plotting. There are two main formats for creating art, and there are tools for both. There's also a nifty script that will allow you to plot circuit boards designs.

2D Vectors -> GCode
Scribbles.py will take your 2D vector image (DXF or SVG) and convert it to g-code to use with the Unicorn. Scribbles.py is derived from the lunchlines.py script for the Frostruder but it's been upgraded to be quicker and cleaner.

Jump to the scribbles.py page for detailed info on how to use the script.

2D Bitmap -> GCode
Plotterize.py will take your 2D bitmap, convert it to a black and white image and then generate a printable gcode file that will replicate your image using the Unicorn. This output is similar to very old printers. Retro-unicorn-action!

Jump to the plotterize.py page for detailed info on how to use the script.

PCB Design -> GCode
We have created a new script called gerbertogcode.py. This script will take your Gerber file (exported from Eagle or other PCB CAD program) and convert it, line by line, into G-code that the Makerbot can understand. Then, using an extra fine point sharpie you can draw circuit designs on copper clad board and etch your own PCB's!

Jump to the gerbertogcode.py page for detailed info on how to use the script."



We are not currently stocking this part as we're waiting for an update with regards to using it on the Thing-o-Matic.

Makerbot is also investing in improving the software for this kit in order to reduce the pipeline from Drawing to Printed Material. They have announced a competition here http://blog.makerbot.com/2010/11/26/fou ... n-plotter/

We have high hopes for this accessory and hope it lives up to the announcement it can _easily_ etch PCBs.

RoboSavvy
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