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In this project I’m showing you how I made my own art robot. The whole concept is to illustrate how we as humans can work together and collaborate with machines and robots to create something new. Both the art style and ethos of the project was inspired by the great pop art artist Andy Warhol.

Warhol was among other things fascinated by commoditization and mass production. This inspired his own art work both in subjects, like Coke bottles, Marilyn Monroe, Campbell Soup cans, and in method - as he used silk screen printing to be able to churn out paintings and art work in his studio The Factory.

I might be severely overstepping, but I like to imagine he would be proud of a robot making art in the style he helped popularize. After all, one of his many famous quotes was: “I want to be a machine”.

Read on to see how I ended up putting this art robot together, so you may learn how to make your very own.

The configuration of this kind of plotter design has many names and there already exists a lot of similar designs, some of which are probably a lot better than the one I made. However I deliberately stayed away from looking at similar designs as the goal of this project was to explore and solve the many expected and unexpected problems along the way. If I used the designs and code already available the project sure could have been finished a lot faster. But my goal with this project was not to finish the robot as quick as I could. The goal of this project was to explore and solve the many expected and unexpected problems along the way. It was a lot of fun!

There are a lot of different files needed to complete this project like 3D files, microcontroller code, PCB designs, and a GUI computer program. I have gathered all files I developed and produced in this Github repo to have a single source for all files in their latest iteration and update.

Motors and kinematics

Metal gear servo motor. Datan B2122
2 x Nema 17 stepper motors. Model: 17HS4401N
2 x 2GT 20 teeth timing pulleys. 5mm bore hole. For 6mm belt width
2 x 2GT timing belts. 6mm wide. 2m long
7 x 623ZZ ball bearings. 3x10x4mm
Robot frame and construction

20x20mm v-rail. 1500mm long
At least 4 ratchet or screw clamps
Access to a 3D printer
Plaster of paris
Assortment of M3 nuts, bolts, and washers. You can get away with mostly M3x10mm conicals
PCB and electronics

Arduino Nano
2 x TMC2130 silent stepper drivers
4 x 10uF cylindrical aluminum capacitors
1 x 330nF 1206 capacitor
1 x 100nF 1206 capacitor
1 x LM7805 TO-252 linear voltage regulator
2 x MDD SS14, DO-214 Schottky barrier diode
Push button 6.0x3.5mm. Currently not used I just added it in the design as I might need the button later
2 x 4-pin female JST headers
1 x 3-pin female JST header
Power supply: 7-35V at least 1.5A”

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