Magnetic multi-pen

I made a drawing with sharpies:

But that’s not the interesting part.

While working with pen holders for Doug’s magnetic accessory holder, I noticed it had rotational symmetry and it could be installed multiple ways. And I thought it would be funny to make this abomination:

This holds six pens, each of which is a retractable sharpie (no-name amazon brand).

A tiny adjustment to the mobile base and it has six-way symmetry:

I set up workspace offsets for the five colors relative to black. Then I used EstlCAM to generate the toolpath and manually hacked the gcode afterward to pause and switch workspaces.

Here’s a video of the drawing. (My Z was slightly high so I needed a small bit of extra weight for the pen to make contact.)

To be clear, this six-way pen holder is a bad idea. It is worse than having separate pen holders, and I only did this because why not. It made me laugh.


No, it’s a brilliant idea and I think you should spend the rest of your days in a dark room taking it as far as you can! :smiley:


That’s great. We need moar!

  1. We need cam to make the info look more like it was for done by hand. A more chaotic infill pattern.
  2. We need it to use your camera to detect the lines. That way we can fill in arbitrary coloring sheets.
  3. We need a mechanism for rotating it automatically. Bonus points if it can also click the pens.

You need to add another motor in there to automatically rotate to each pen.

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Yes! A camera adapter for the magnetic mount is already on my list. It could see lots of applications.

Scanning a coloring book and filling in the regions is an interesting problem. With modern AI it should even be possible to determine which colors should be applied to which regions based on the subject of the drawing.

With this magnetic mount it is conceivable to have an automatic changer. There are already designs out there in the 3D printing world. I haven’t begun a design for that and I don’t think I will, but it’s definitely possible.


How does your brain work. I might think about something like this. The chances of me actually making something like this are slim to none. As soon as I think something can be done I rarely follow through with it.


As I said in the IDEX thread:

I really appreciate that, someone thinking outside the box and just doing whatever he thinks is right. :smiley: The weird is a compliment, really.


That multi-pen mount is awesome!

An automated version with a pen up/down would really make for an interesting demo in a show like RMRRF where there isn’t the possibility of running a router.

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Well @jamiek it looks like you’ve got yourself another project to develop!!!

Where’s that “sit back eating popcorn” gif when you need it? :smiley:

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Dude, your creative brain is amazing! I totally get it. Amazing!

Speaking of it being weird in a wonderful way, may I suggest remixing the video to add this music as the audio bed:

Just for fun! Couldn’t help it…

NOTE: There used to be a video link here, but at least one somebody did not get the sense of humor and it cost me a subscriber, so in case someone else would feel the same, I removed the video. :-/

For those who liked it, at least you got to watch it. If you did not see it, you are only missing a minute and 53 seconds of tribute to Jamie with sincere admiration of his limitless creativity and skill.


Haha! I love it!

I have no idea where the ideas come from, but when they do strike me, my first response is “haha, that’s funny”. Then a pause, and then, “you know, I could actually build that.” I feel very blessed.


Jamie, wow, man you have a very creative mind, I very much await what you do NEXT!!!

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Or it’s the drugs. :joy:

Whenever I hear this, I think of that one episode of “Monk.”

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I think that I earlier would have felt inferior and stupid, comparing myself to you guys and your amazing creations. I wouldn’t say that today I’m very competent or creative in any way, but I don’t feel bad at all, witnessing the geniuses in action. I’m just awestruck and amazed on your behalf! :smiley: