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Electric typewriter turned CNC plotter

Arduino TeamMay 22nd, 2019

A few months ago, maker Fabian Mazza created a CD ROM plotter for his daughters. While the three-year-old loves it, the eight-year-old thought it was too small. Rather than giving up—or building a CNC machine from scratch—he cleverly constructed a new plotter out of a Smith Corona electric typewriter.

Since this device is designed to control the X and Y positions of a writing implement using steppers, it gave him everything he needed for CNC use via an Arduino Uno and GRBL shield.

For better resolution, he added gear reduction to the carriage stepper salvaged from an old scanner. Z-axis movement is done using parts from a DVD-ROM to control whether the pen lowered onto the paper or retracted.