Zen wall

This could be an addition to the zen builds!
@jeffeb3 @vicious1
There is also a router that runs like this .
Could be a fun build.
What do you think?


I think I some of the things becoming real in practice are starting to make some SciFi seem very dated.

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We have come a long way from Dick Tracey’s watch!

This is cool. Thanks for sharing. A few thoughts:

  • The router that uses this concept is the Maslow.
  • The biggest stumbling block to a DIY version is the firmware. I suspect it would take significant modifications to Marlin to support this form of X,Y movement. I believe the Maslow uses its own firmware.
  • I like their pen change solution. I’ve mused about a pen change solution for my MPCNC. I guess I’m still missing my HP plotter after all these years.
  • Pens run abut $1.75 to $2.00 each in packs of 24 or 48. That seems like a reasonable price for consumables.
  • Unlike the Maslow, the stepper motors are inside the drawing head. I like that, though I would guess it would be difficult in a DIY solution.
  • There are very few videos showing it running in real time. It does not draw very fast, but it doesn’t really need to run very fast.
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If it’s supposed to be used in a office/interactive environment, the speed would certainly matter. It sounds like a cool gimmick, but something that would be left gathering dust in competition with hand writing on a white board or a big screen. But for wall art this would be amazing!

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Exactly… it would be cool to see new art work on a wall.

I’ve seen a DIY version of something similar before https://www.instructables.com/Drawbot/ and I think there are older ones too.

The difference is including the motors in the hub instead of having them anchored, which is a cool idea, and the pen changer, which is a big upgrade.

I’d be curious how they cap what I assume are felt-tip markers to keep them from drying out. I have contemplated a few ideas for how to make a color-changing pen head for MPCNC. Some ball-point pens can be left uncapped, and the only other feasible thing I’ve encountered are retractable sharpies. I haven’t purchased any but it looks like they have some mechanism to seal the pen so it doesn’t dry out when retracted.

I was thinking of a stationary post, and the machine could physically click the markers against it to extend and retract them. And a carousel like @Madgrizzle had developed: Crazy Idea: Pen Color Change With E0?


Thinking of the dry erase markers. That would be a challenge

Your Instructable reference sent me down the internet rabbit hole. I found a fair number of different hanging-plotter-like machines. I found some firmware. I found one open source set of tools and firmware set that they said was g-code based. And this instructable has the math for movement. I have too many other projects stacked up to take one of these on right now, but I do find them intriguing.


Haha, this is TOO relatable…

I do want to get myself a dedicated plotter though, I really really like the plotting aesthetic.

I am not sure automatic color changing would be worth investing in. It would be a lot easier for someone to just change them and click a button when they were changed.

But the total concept seems awesome. The kinematics aren’t that complicated (at least it is still 2D) so I would expect any firmware could be modified to make it work.

Just like the maslow, there will be some areas where one lever arm has almost no control in one direction. So you could have errors close to the motors, or anywhere directly below the motors. But it is a pen drawing. It doesn’t have to be super precise.

I also really like plotting on the cnc. I have some cheap white board poster board I have used, and I just used estlcam to draw an svg. It is very refreshing to make something and then just wipe it away when you’re done. The expectations of quality go way down, and the ability to have fun is nearly the same. Even big plots take just a few minutes.

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Ha I agree! I did no research and this was strictly put up on impulse. I found info and existing projects myself. I just finished printing my LR2 and cleaning up to start the build. plus just finished my RD zen table ,and want to do a write up post… this is on my back burner.

What would make this really cool is having a wall of windows and just drawing strait on the glass with the wash away paint markers. It would be like an erasable stained glass machine.

Very cool. and portable to all your windows!! mounts on an A frame that leans in front of any window

A frame that leans in front of any window

When you mentioned windows, my first though is suction cups. Harbor freight has ones rated at 15lbs, 80lbs, 110lbs, 125lbs.


I had a coworker build a drawbot and bring it in to work and mount it to one of the whiteboards.

We would use it to draw potential client’s logos onto the board while they were visiting our office.

Sales guys would use it in their sales pitch, “our engineers do this stuff ‘for fun’… imagine what they do when they get paid.”