Real-world lessons and adjustments

A project log for Minimal Pico Vertical Plotter

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

andy-piperAndy Piper 11/18/2023 at 12:340 Comments

We are part of Wimbledon Art Fair this weekend, and the plotter (which I have named "Picoplot" for the sake of having a title!) is hanging just inside the studio door, as a nice way to draw folks in. Blinky lights and moving robots!

I've painted the MDF back board as the original greenish colour was a bit jarring on the wall, and I also "upgraded" the cotton lines for the gondola to an extra strong thread (and also made them a bit longer). We put a fishing line across underneath the plotter to hang pieces from - although several of the plots in the picture below are from the AxiDraw on the table across the studio.

I thought I'd write down some real-world lessons learned.

Finally, the reliability has proven a bit hit-and-miss. I'm not certain of the cause - I think loose wire connections are part of it (I'll likely switch to soldered connections in place of the Dupont connections after the show), but I also noticed some static discharges happened when I came near the radiator a couple of times. I don't particularly want to hide the circuit inside a sealed box as this is currently a nice talking point, but if that is the issue then I might work more on the 3D printed elements to make it prettier (and hopefully, less susceptible to external static discharge).