Printing my own parts

A project log for Minimal Pico Vertical Plotter

Building and improving a Raspberry Pi Pico-based, wall-hanging vertical plotter.

andy-piperAndy Piper 11/07/2023 at 13:180 Comments

The project heavily depended on Ben's original article and 3D printed parts including the motor holders and the pen gondola.

It was never completely clear how the electronics were attached to the board in the original design. I've now merged some other 3D parts together into an "all-in-one" frame that contains the protoboard with Pico W and buttons, which attaches the two motor driver boards on either side. That is then screwed onto the MDF backboard. I also printed off a couple of "feet" that I've glued onto the back of the board along the base, that will hold it away from the wall at a slight angle to give the pen more of a purchase to press against the paper.

I used Tinkercad to merge the parts, and printed them in the same basic PLA I used for the other pieces. The objects are available on Printables and also in the GitHub repository. I have black nylon standoffs connected to the PCB in each of the four corners that sit on the lugs inside the corners of the box, but it is generally all press-fit into the case otherwise.

I'm thinking of printing some slightly larger / more obvious caps for the buttons, but that's no more than a nice-to-add.

For now I'm still going to be driving this via USB serial with a very long extension cable over to my desk, so I'd like to move on to figuring out how to enhance it to receive commands via wifi instead. As mentioned in the previous log, that will wait until after the art show.