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Drawing Machine [MaxMSP, Processing]

For the past four years Harvey Moon has been building a Drawing Machine, a mechanical robot that takes commands from a computer in order to draw onto the wall. Many (here and here) have done a similar device in the past, what gives Harvey’s machine uniqueness is the algorithm that translates the image into drawing path. He has two machines in the works currently. Both of the machines are using the same hardware components but very different software code. He now needs your help, to make this machine a viable open source alternative to current plotting/milling/cutting solutions. He intends to release all plans, code and help to anyone who wants to build one themselves! If there is enough interest, he will also print PCB’s and make kits for the masses!

Harvey has created a Kickstarter page where you can support the initiative. If you donate $30 or more. you will receive a 6 to 8 inch drawing made with the wall mount model. if you donate $100 or more you will receive a full size completed drawing from the wall machine. The more you donate, the larger the drawing!

Kickstarter Page

The machine includes 1.8° stepper motors and they are interfacing with an Arduino through an Adafruit Motorshield. The controlling of the machine is done with an attached computer, The computer can run just about any software that can send serial messages to an arduino. He has used Max/MSP and Processing but lately leaning more towards Processing. The algorithms that he has made on Processing he tend to keep a secret – which is totally fair. These algorithms take JPG files as input and take weeks to months to draw, making many mistakes along the way. They are not particularly efficient and are more about creating something unique that predictable output. He has however made an SVG application that will send X,Y coordinates from a vector file so that you can use the machine just like a printer. This is open source. If you want it, you can have it by contacting Harvey directly but it won’t do you any good until you have the machine built.

All in all, please support the project. It would be fantastic to have these kits available to order and share different drawings methods.

For more information, see Kickstarter page and/or Harvey’s site.