“Tracey is a servo based panto-graph drawing machine.
It consists of two main parts:
Drawing mechanism assembly.
Once calibrated correctly Tracey can produce nice fun drawings, slightly shaky but this is the nature of the parts used.
There are different fun configurations that Tracey can be used in, some are listed below:
Pen on paper drawings. - we will focus on this mode in this Instructable
Laser drawing on wood / plastic - using small laser modules
UV LED drawing on glow in the dark paint.
Drawing on a Magna Doodle.
Object scanning with various sensors -infrared heat sensor, light sensors etc
Moving objects for games - experimental
The Controller Board:
The controller is based on the ESP8266: low-cost Wi-Fi microchip with full TCP/IP stack and microcontroller
The specific type used for this project is the WeMos D1 Mini, this type has a nice small form factor - other types could be used providing they have enough pin outs.
Using the ESP8266 means we can communicate with the machine using both a WiFi (Telnet) and a Serial interface.
Tracey has a Gcode interpreter and a GRBL interface so -at time of writing- the below software works:
LaserGRBL - this is a great piece of open source software, Tracey works with both Telnet and Serial. -Tracey pretends to be a laser engraver.
Easel - web based carving program, very nice. Set to x carve, x controller * -Tracey pretends to be a carver.
Universal Gcode Sender - Open source Java based GCode sender.
_There is also an Android App called Tracey App Beta, it sends drawings over WiFi -more on this later.
_There is also an upcoming Tracey-Link board to send the serial data from Easel and UGS to Tracey via telnet.
If you want to write you own programs to interface to Tracey, this is very easy too, everything about the interface is very open and all details will be explained.
The Drawing mechanism assembly:
The physical drawing machine consists of number of 3D printed parts and three mini servos along with some 3mm bearings and M3 screws.
Two servos are used for drawing and one is used for a lift mechanism.
The drawing servos should be of good quality, the lift servo should not - its resolution and accuracy are not important and it has to do a lot of work.
We have put a lot of work into keeping the 3D printed parts and assembly as simple as possible and they should be easy to print on any standard 3D printer.”