Making a drawing Robot, XYdrawBot

For my next project I want to create a Drawing Robot. I just finished ‘House 2’ and that was quite intense. I needed to think of a lot of things to make it work and there was nothing to build upon, except the vision of my wife and my experience.

For now I would like to just build something and see where it takes me. A drawing robot forms a nice opportunity to do just that, it has nice mechatronic challenges with stepper motors, makes some larger movements and has an existing design. There exist several types of these. As my main example I will use the one from designed by Plexi. Basically because it’s hosted on and allows to hold the pen under and angle.
You can find it here: The design is available under a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution license, which also fits my philosophy.

Example Drawing Robot – Arduino Uno + CNC Shield + GRBL by (c) Plexi @

The idea is to build this edition and get it going. With the main goal that it should work during the Weekend van de Wetenschap 2022 (Weekend of Science). That’s on October 1 and 2, 2022. After using it, there are a couple of improvements that I could work on:

  • It would be nice to have the design files available in FreeCAD. Which will need a complete redraw.
  • The software for the Arduino Uno has become quite old. A port to the latest edition of GRBL and compiling it via would be a nice start.
  • Since Rust now also compiles to AVR328, a port of the code to Rust would also be a nice feature.

But finding in a good name for this project remains quite difficult. The design is based of the AxiDraw, which is a registered name. Drawbot points to some drawing software for MacOS, Googling for “Drawing Robot Uno” mostly yields the best results. Another name that comes along is CoreXY, but mostly points to somewhat heavier types of Drawing Robots. Drawing Robot points to a lot of different versions, some that use rotation instead of X and Y axis. Then there’s the blog PlotterBot which has a really cool miniature CNC plotter robot. I might add as a stretch goal for ‘Weekend van de Wetenschap’

Therefore I settle on XYdrawBot for now and you can find it on my Printables and Gitlab pages. By using the same capitalization as we used for TDvenlo. Making the word behind the abbreviation lowercase and use Pascal case for the rest. (“XYD_raw_Bot” doesn’t sound so nice.)


The colors will probably become a mix of Azure Blue and White. That will mix quite good also with the chrome guidance rods. As per instruction, printed with PLA and using 75% infill on 0.1 mm. layer height.

Prusa Mini+ ready to go

The repository will contain the instructions, mechanical and electrical files. Especially Electrical drawings is something I miss in the design of this assembly. And the manual seems also from a different build.

The files on Printables have CC BY 4.0 license. Which means I can use the files as long as I attribute Plexi on The Gitlab repository will be licensed under GPL V3.0. The transfer of CC-BY to GPLv3 is only allowed in a one-way fashion, which makes this possible.

I will use this blog mainly to provide some updates and show the results.

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