X and Y Lego CNC


As you guys all know I’ve been recently working on a polar Lego CNC. A polar CNC is one where the base rotates instead of moving on standard X and Y co-ordinates. This means that they can draw incredibly accurate circular patters. And they use fewer parts as they do not require two linear movement assemblies.

The reason that I built a polar Lego CNC in the first place was that it produced amazing drawings and didn’t use as many parts as an X and Y machine. However, after a while a polar CNC becomes frustrating as it is very tricky to get it to draw say, squares or triangles. This is why an X and Y CNC is useful. It can draw any shape with little effort (with the exception of circles).

So just after finishing off the instructions and 3D models for my polar Lego CNC I set to work on building an X and Y version. Here’s a picture:

It’s features are:

  1. X and Y movement means it’s able to draw standard geometrical shapes.
  2. Low profile design means it can fit almost anywhere.
  3. Large expandable build area for a machine of it’s size. Around 10×13 cm.
  4. High print speed. Measured at 130mm/s on both axes. Don’t believe me? Please refer to yet another low-res mobile phone demo video: 
  5. High Precision. Just have a look at these pictures:
Showing the quality of the changes in direction with the pen.
Showing the quality of the changes in direction with the pen.
These were early squares before I figured out how to print gaster without having spikes on the end of lines which are caused by the recoil of the motor's auto correction.
These were early squares before I figured out how to print faster without having spikes on the end of lines which are caused by the recoil of the motor’s auto correction.
Very slowly drawn awesome square.
Very slowly drawn awesome square.

So the X and Y version is off to a good start. It’s smaller, lighter, faster but not stronger. It still needs some work to improve its structural qualities so it can print more accurately at high speeds. Then I’ll start work on the software.

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