Drawbot

„Robotika Vallauri” is a project that was born and developed within the IIS „Vallauri“ and its primary purpose is making Robots that respond to pre-established goals. Maker activities are the spin off of this experience: projects implemented by groups of young people who, based on their sensitivity, respond to a thematic challenge proposed by the teachers, enhancing the skills of the individual students which are shared within the work group and becoming a source of ideas for the development of future inventions.
The important characteristics of “Robotika Vallauri” are sharing and Open source software. Students are not limited to handle products and objects, but they are also able to manipulate them in order to find new usages and making their increased knowledge available to the group.
Once the maker theme is assigned, the groups of students design and develop an object that meets the specific requirements. Drawbot is born from the desire to use unused materials for the creation of objects with completely different goals than the original device.
In the institute’s laboratories, the parts necessary for the construction of the structure were designed using recovery and / or waste materials treated with the laser cutting machine and 3D printing; electronic boards and connections (arduino, breadboard, servo motors, steppers, etc.) were used to manage the mechanical movement of the plotter as a result of the special study carried out during the brain storming phase through a digital manufacturing process. The project can be reproduced with construction costs below 20 euros. The plotter is able to acquire an image and print it on a post-it. Draw Bot acquires the image as GCode flow, used to compose an appropriate sequence of commands which describe the movement that the pen must perform in a precise and repeatable way. Each instruction corresponds to a Draw Bot action. The GCode interpreted by the Draw Bot is generated through the inkscape „MakerBot Unicorn“ plugin, which allows you to convert any vector drawing in this way. The data are sent to the plotter via USB cable (serial) and are translated into movements on the 3 Cartesian axes (x, y, z), which, through the Arduino, are sent to the servomotor that moves the pen on the post-it. Draw Bot is able to print an image on post-it in about 1 minute; each visitor can choose the drawing that wants to be created and take it away as a souvenir. The Draw Bot project is open source.

Ansprechpartner/in: Maria Grazia Berardo

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