How fast can I draw?

n00b question: I want to make a 2D plotter sort of thing. I haven't really thought about how would I go about it or what all components would I be using. It could be robotic arm type (similar to uArm) or it could be what I saw people make out of printers/scanners or probably something totally different.

Most of the demo videos that I watched on youtube seem to be quite slow. My primary requirement is that it has to be fast. How fast? Lets say, draw the attached image within a minute.

I understand that the speed would depend on the product design, the components involved and the code but is it possible?

In general, which component exactly can be a blocker to the speed? The Arduino board, or the servo/stepper etc or something else?

yvin: n00b question: I want to make a 2D plotter sort of thing. I haven't really thought about how would I go about it or what all components would I be using. It could be robotic arm type (similar to uArm) or it could be what I saw people make out of printers/scanners or probably something totally different.

Most of the demo videos that I watched on youtube seem to be quite slow. My primary requirement is that it has to be fast. How fast? Lets say, draw the attached image within a minute.

I understand that the speed would depend on the product design, the components involved and the code but is it possible?

In general, which component exactly can be a blocker to the speed? The Arduino board, or the servo/stepper etc or something else?

Wow. One minute is pretty quick. The Arduino won't slow it down with well-written code, but everything else will.

Do you have much programming experience?

Yes, I have good programming experience in C, C++.

"The Arduino won't slow it down with well-written code, but everything else will." But do you think, it is possible to draw such image in a minute?

yvin: Yes, I have good programming experience in C, C++. "The Arduino won't slow it down with well-written code, but everything else will." But do you think, it is possible to draw such image in a minute?

It would definitely be possible if you adopt the printer approach, but if you want to draw the lines individually, as 'lines', then that's a whole different thing. Even though it might be possible, I doubt if it's practical. There's a good reason why the videos you've seen on YouTube are so slow. You'd need to build a pretty fancy machine to draw it that quickly line-by-line.

Edit: By 'printer approach', I mean dot-by-dot, not X-Y line-drawing. You'd basically need to build a printer. I'm sure that's not what you want. This is really a mechanical engineering question.

I would be really impressed by something that could "draw" that in a minute. That's really really fast for something like that. Very challenging mechanical engineering and fabrication project - do you have mechanical design experience and access to a machine shop?

DrAzzy: I would be really impressed by something that could "draw" that in a minute.

Me too. :)

The limit will be the hardware.

Good DC motors with good encoders or good stepper motors could do this.

You'd want to ramp the speed up and ramp the speed down with each arc.

I recently programmed a pair of stepper motors to move a xy table in a circular motion. I thought programming the circular motion with proper acceleration a real challenge.

I think a robotic arm would be even harder to program than a xy table.

I'm sure it's possible to draw the diagram in less than a minute. I doubt it could be done in less than a minute with really cheap parts.

@yvin, if you want a machine to draw that image with a pen how would you create the list of moves that the pen would need to make. That will be a substantial programming challenge, although I do realize that does not affect the speed of the machine.

Can you calculate (approximately) the number of millimetres that the pen holder would need to traverse to complete the drawing. And it would have to do all those mm in 60 seconds!! Have you got a pen that would deliver ink reliably at that speed?

...R

OldSteve: It would definitely be possible if you adopt the printer approach, but if you want to draw the lines individually, as 'lines', then that's a whole different thing.

Yes, it has to be line drawings.

DrAzzy: Very challenging mechanical engineering and fabrication project - do you have mechanical design experience and access to a machine shop?

No mechanical design experience. No access to a machine shop. :( What I have is mostly programming experience with very little electronics/electrical background.

DuaneDegn: I think a robotic arm would be even harder to program than a xy table.

I'm sure it's possible to draw the diagram in less than a minute. I doubt it could be done in less than a minute with really cheap parts.

You think its possible. Great. I will give it a try.

yvin: You think its possible. Great. I will give it a try.

Just to be clear, I said I think it's possible. I don't think it will be easy nor inexpensive. On the contrary, I think it will be very difficult and expensive.

yvin: Yes, it has to be line drawings.

No mechanical design experience. No access to a machine shop. :( What I have is mostly programming experience with very little electronics/electrical background.

You think its possible. Great. I will give it a try.

Without electronics know-how, access to a machine shop, the experience to use it and lots of $$, you're wasting your time. You'll be biting off far more than you can chew.

It's possible to travel to the moon, too, but I don't see every Tom, Dick and Harry doing it. :D

Robin2: @yvin, if you want a machine to draw that image with a pen how would you create the list of moves that the pen would need to make. That will be a substantial programming challenge, although I do realize that does not affect the speed of the machine.

Can you calculate (approximately) the number of millimetres that the pen holder would need to traverse to complete the drawing. And it would have to do all those mm in 60 seconds!! Have you got a pen that would deliver ink reliably at that speed?

...R

I haven't really thought about the moves. But in some Youtube videos, I could see some artwork being drawn by xy plotters so I assume that it is something doable. But yes, it might be challenging.

The complete image to draw would not be more than 8 cm in length and breadth. It could be around 200 cm of pen drawing (actual drawing). Then I guess there could be 15-20% movement although that would depend on the image to draw. So approximately, 240 cm of holder movement. That gives me 4 cm per sec of movement. Does that sound infeasible?

OldSteve: Without electronics know-how, access to a machine shop, the experience to use it and lots of $$, you're wasting your time. You'll be biting off far more than you can chew.

It's possible to travel to the moon, too, but I don't see every Tom, Dick and Harry doing it. :D

Thanks for the tip. You brought me back to the ground.

yvin:
Thanks for the tip. You brought me back to the ground.

I don’t want to rain on your party, but honestly, it’s not a practical idea.

OldSteve: I don't want to rain on your party, but honestly, it's not a practical idea.

Perfectly fine. In fact, that was the whole idea of this post. I just wanted to get some experienced opinion on the feasibility of such an idea. If it does not sound very practical, that means I need to approach the problem in some different way.

Thanks a lot for the quick replies.

yvin: The complete image to draw would not be more than 8 cm in length and breadth.

If I look at the speed of the 3d-printers I use every and then, it wouldn't surprise me you could reach speeds up to 15-25 cm/sec and finish a drawing, that small, within 15 seconds.

Simpson_Jr: If I look at the speed of the 3d-printers I use every and then, it wouldn't surprise me you could reach speeds up to 15-25 cm/sec and finish a drawing, that small, within 15 seconds.

It would surprise me. With pen-plotting lines, I'd like to see that. Very different to printing with a laser.