Drawbot history and thanksgiving

Most people think that Jurg Lehni’s Hektor was the original hanging-v drawbot.  I know I owe my excitement about drawing machines to seeing that video ten years ago, but I also remember being pretty frustrated at the time that there was no instructions on how it was done, no software, no hardware.  That’s always been the bit that interested me.

Though the mechanical setup of the hanging plotter machine seemed obvious enough to me that I was sure that it must have been done before Hektor, I never saw any evidence of it until this video:

That shows a hanging-v plotter in action, at the SIGGRAPH show in 1988 made out of Technic Lego, drawing more-or-less the same test patterns I was working with this time last year.  This confirms Hektor as only the most famous (and messiest) example in a long line of revisions stretching back at least 25 years.  It’s good to kill your gods every now and then.

I am excited to see so much interest in the last year or two in drawing machines, and am pretty thrilled to be involved in that surge of interest – I am vain enough to like to think I have done something to help it along, and I have met lots of great new people along the way – thank you for being interested enough to harass me into doing it better!

Happy holidays to you all!


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  1. Pingback: A Study of Drawing Robot Pen Holders and Design Considerations | MakerBlock

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