Buy a machine

You can buy one right now, from The Polargraph Shop!

The Full Kit contains everything except paper and pens.

What you need:

The setting up your PolargraphSD page is the best place to see what comes in the kit, and how to set it up.

The  instructable also gives an overview of what building and set up is like.

There’s some videos on this post: that show how it works too.

Read through it and see if you think you’d be ok with doing it all. Although the kits do contain all the things you need, it isn’t plug-and-play and you will need to do some assembly, and potentially spend a couple of evenings getting it right.



27 thoughts on “Buy a machine

  1. Pingback: Build or buy a machine | Polargraph | Contemporary visual art |

  2. Hi ! I’m really interested on your drawing machine! just a question: is there a maximum paper size to make a draw whith this basic Polargraph machine ?
    I’m interested to buy one “complet kit” but i m living in france > How many time do you think it’s necessary to get one ?
    thx you

    • Hi Julien, thanks for your message – There is no theoretical maximum size, it just depends on how much string you have. I supply two lengths of 2 metre long beaded cord in the kit, not a problem to add a little more (just let me know). This will be enough for a machine that can cover A1 sized paper. There is a practical limitation though, in that the controller software is a bit simple and it is fixed to display millimetres as pixels, so a machine that is 1800mm across will be 1800 pixels across too – doesn’t really fit on a screen. I am working on a solution to this, but it’s not ready yet.

      I am hoping to deliver the next complete kit orders by the end of this month (November), hopefully earlier.


  3. hi , first really nice machine , i was looking for something like this for a while,
    man , i generated some pattern with processing , and i would like to buy one of ur machine and try it out with these pattern, i wanted to send u some pic to tell me if its possible to it with ur machine , but i guess i cant attach photo here ,, this is the like to the image , take a look , and tell me what do u think ?(how accurate,in terms of lines) if its possible then on more thing , when do u think i will get assembled one if i order just now 😀

    • Hallo, thanks! It’s certainly an image that could be drawn with the machine, but probably not in the way you want. The machine draws bitmaps rather than line art, so the thin lines in your piece wouldn’t end up as pen lines, and they might well get missed entirely. I can try it on my machine here if you would like a sample?

      I’ve clarified the paragraph in the article above about how long it’ll take – I’m expecting full kits to be rolling by the end of the month (November 2011). Parts-only kits will hopefully be a bit sooner.

      Also, it would be useful if you have questions like this to ask them on the forum – that way we can have a better conversation than here.


    • More or less, that’s all you need yes. Long cords. The line characteristics change a bit when the cords are so long – there’s a bit more shake and bounce in the movement, and the pressure on the pen is a bit less consistant, but that’s all part of the fun of it.

      This version I’m using uses counterweights on the other ends of the cords, so there needs to be enough space below the motors for them to hang. I did a big massive polargraph machine that was 6m wide, and that used thread instead of beaded cord and just reeled it in onto a bobbin – so no counterweight. I have a counterweight on smaller ones because the gondola is so heavy – the motors aren’t powerful enough to lift it reliably on their own.

  4. Hi Sandy,

    I love your pics and machine. Can you tell me (and the others) when you will have more complete kits available?
    I live in Edinburgh, so I was hoping that you may have some bits I could pick up!

    Thanks in Advance.

    • Hi Adrian, the short answer is: “don’t know”. The long answer is: I’m looking for a bit of space where I can work, and until that appears, kits will only ever be put together on an adhoc basis (no room to make batches). The longer bit it that I’m working with a couple of other folks to come up with a custom polarbot board that will be able to do the neat things in one board that you currently need an arduino mega + a handful of other pieces to do. That said, there’s a good chance I’ll be making up some prototypes since I have a stack of cheap mega’s burning a hole in my pocket, as it were. If you (or anyone) is keen, I can make up a kit using the parts I have, and actually, I have almost all the parts I need right now, but it won’t be that cheap. Drop me an email if you’re interested – very happy to discuss it.

  5. Hello, I was wondering if you sell just the stepper motors you have in your kit. Finding 400 step/rev motors under 600ma is difficult in the US.
    Thank you


  6. Lovely work. I’d like to order a kit from you but from the comments I’m not sure that you have any. Is the two to four week lead time mentioned taking this into account or is the wait likely to be longer? I could be tempted to spring for the more costly version if they’re available. Failing that are the motor supports and gondola available on shapeways?

    All the best


  7. Hi! Iam pretty much interested to know how much you sell this machines for, details on how to order and how long it takes one to get one.
    Best regards!

    • Hi Brian, the closest you will get is the vitamin kit. That includes the “unusual” pieces of hardware: Polarshield, LCD, stepper drivers, motors, sprockets, cord, gondola, brackets, servo motor.

      There is no unassembled kit that includes all of the parts for the full machine. If you’re interested I can probably get you a price – just drop me an email.

  8. Dear seller,I am really interested in buying a completed kit.But I am living in India.So please tell me some way to get it delivered.Also tell me when I could expect the delivery if I can get it..

  9. Hey m8, the machine looks awesome. I am planning on buying one very soon, I just had a quick question first. So once everything gets shipped to me, all I’ll have to do is mount the two machines on the top corners of the board I find, and it’ll be good to go?
    I read through the instructions, but I didn’t know what was required of me, and what was in the kit I get from purchasing it off you.

    • Hello! If you get the full kit, all you need to supply yourself is a big surface to put it on, and some pens and paper. Building the machine is not trivial, and you’ve got to make some accurate measurements, but it’s not rocket science either. Your starting point is The pictures there are out-of-date, but the “things” do the same thing, and go together the same way. Any questions beforehand, hop along to the forum and post there, I’ll be able to help you better.

  10. Pingback: 5 fantastic drawing robots — but is it art?

Leave a Reply