Drawing Holder Attachment

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hanselcj
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:57 pm
Location: Central Florida (east coast)

Drawing Holder Attachment

Post by hanselcj » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:18 pm

I don't actually own a shapeoko yet per say, but I have been doing some thinking about how to do a lot of drawing with the tool. Being able to lay out woodworking tasks, draw nice cards, make custom labels, and other tasks using sharpies, pens, and pencils would be amazing on the shapeoko. So I went and found a solution that doesn't require much money or special tools (3d printer). Before I begin, make sure you understand there is a difference between PVC and CPVC piping at your local hardware store.

The short answer is I found that 1/2" CPVC piping fits perfectly down a 1/2" PVC repair coupler such that it will smoothly slide in and out with little resistance. Also, that the interior diameter of 1/2" CPVC piping is a great size for sharpies and other pens. Now on to the longer explanation.

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First, start with a 1/2" PVC expandable repair coupling shown at top. If you unscrew the back completely the center portion will push out with a bit of force. That bottom left piece in the picture is what you want, the rest can be tossed. Note that the internal diameter of this repair coupling is larger than a normal 1/2" PVC pipe. Otherwise I would just use regular PVC pipe

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The reduced end is the same outside diameter as any given 1/2" PVC pipe. I found a fitting that fit over that end, but had a smaller internal diameter, than 1/2" PVC, in the threaded portion. This reduced diameter keeps the CPVC pipe from sliding right out every time the machine lifts to do another letter. You can glue this on, but a good friction fit might be all you ever need.

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Next I took a short section of 1/2" CPVC and stuck a sharpie in it. Regular sharpies fit perfectly. The thin tip guys took a few wraps of painters tape to get them snug, and pencils took a quite a bit of tape. Once shoved in the CPVC you can use a dab of glue in the back to keep them from ever going anywhere. Hot glue, 5 min epoxy, what ever you have on hand. Once the writing utensil is fixed inside, slide it into the the back end of expansion coupler and it should stick out the front.

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Like I said, I don't have a shapeoko yet, so I did a hand test. The weight of the sharpie alone was enough pressure to do a great job writing. because the CPVC is just barely smaller than the expansion coupler, it keeps everything straight and true while you move the device around.

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Make sure the writing utensil sticks out enough to clear the tip of the device.

Advantages
Why go to all this work when people have used a rubber band to good success? This is true, but letting the weight of the pen set the pressure is more consistent. You can be pretty sloppy with the Z values and still get good results. Also, this method should make swapping out pens very quick. I have the idea to do multi colored pictures and the like.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2" CPVC pipe. Only sold in 10ft sections at my stores, but it was less than 4 dollars. That will hold a lot of pens!
  • 1/2" PVC expansion repair coupler. 3 bucks at Lowes. Make sure the CPVC fits nicely inside
  • 1/2" PVC threaded fitting. <1 dollar. You could use a cap and drill a hole large enough to let the pen poke through, but this threaded thing worked well for me.
  • Lots of sharpies, pens, colored pencils, and what ever else you want to draw with.
Mounting:
Again, I dont have a shapeoko, but the outside of that disassembled expansion piece is a consistent diameter. I imagine that wouldn't be too hard to chuck up in place of the spindle, or as a side add on. That way you could slide a marker in at any time and get drawing.

Refinement
The threaded portion of that stop fitting I used could be cut down to save space, and I may end up doing that when I implement it into my future tool. When the CPVC is inside the coupler there is a tiny bit of wiggle. I don't know how badly that will impact the drawing, but a single wrap of painters tape seemed to stop it completely. Mileage may vary with use, I am not sure.

Drawing Pressure
My experience with the different sharpie types showed that their own weight was more than enough to leave a good mark. The pencil on the other hand was a bit light. You can cut extra CPVC sections and fill them with weight. Fill one end with hot glue, put measured amounts of sand, BBs, fishing weights, or what ever, then seal it up with more glue. These will then just drop on top after the pencil has been loaded. I doubt I will be using a pencil much, but it could be cool to have shapeoko draw me colored pencil art!

Let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions for improvement.

-Chase
Shapeoko 2 #4951: Xbox 360 Pendant, Z-axis lead screw and NEMA23 upgrade, DW660 with Loc-Line dust collection, Googly Eyes, Swivel cutter attachment.

ALuomala
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:30 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Drawing Holder Attachment

Post by ALuomala » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:25 am

This looks like a great idea. I have been talking up my new machine (ordered, but not delivered yet) to my family (wife is border-line sick of hearing about it, but the kids are still excited and will listen to me without thinly-veiled hostility....), and this idea seems like a great way to let my girls be involved with some projects (vs letting them stand around while the SO2 is carving out wood at high-speed).

The potential to create ginormous cards (birthday, get well, etc) using Sharpie markers (or those fancy metallic gel pens) is pretty cool, and I'm sure I will be stocking up on poster size craft board (Bristol boards??) at the dollar store and/or Michael's and let the girls come up with some of their own ideas, and then let the SO2 do the heavy lifting.

Thanks for the great idea again and the detailed instructions.

Allan
ShapeOko2, serial ??
DW660 spindle;
Upgrades: 900mm X axis and 1000mm Y axis; ACME Z Axis; modified MDF wasteboard with t-slot
Primary usage: wood crafting (signs, plaques, and ultimately a CNC-made electric guitar)

ALuomala
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:30 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Drawing Holder Attachment

Post by ALuomala » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:39 am

As an aside (more of a suggestion), it might be an idea to have a spring loaded system (spring at back/top of tube holding the writing instrument) to maintain a bit of pressure. This would alleviate the weight issue (for the pencil) plus allow for variations in height of paper/board/whatever. Maybe even a spring at front and back so that the pen is "floating", in case it meets too much resistance. I can't find an image to illustrate this, but imagine a "click" style of pen, with the spring at the front end, and one at the back end, to maintain a neutral position, but allowing it to retract a bit if necessary. Maybe I'm overthinking this....

Since the holder is so cheap, you could have a number of them to hold a bunch of different colours, implements (pencils, pens, markers, etc) at the ready to swap out. If you were to have a friction clamp (see pic below) type of system to hold the holder, with some form of indexing maybe (though this may get complicated), you would be able to swap them out fairly quickly. Maybe put a groove in the holder where the clamp will hold it (or just a penline or tape).

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Anyway, hope these ideas are of some use.

Allan
ShapeOko2, serial ??
DW660 spindle;
Upgrades: 900mm X axis and 1000mm Y axis; ACME Z Axis; modified MDF wasteboard with t-slot
Primary usage: wood crafting (signs, plaques, and ultimately a CNC-made electric guitar)

hanselcj
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:57 pm
Location: Central Florida (east coast)

Re: Drawing Holder Attachment

Post by hanselcj » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:12 am

Allen, luckily for me, my wife is pretty nerdy and crafty too, so she is a bit excited to see SO2 in action. We should both plan a few special projects for the misses though! I need to find out what kind of knitting helpers can be made on this device.

I wanted to get away from the spring idea because now your pressure on the work surface depends on how far down in Z you go. This could be used as an artistic style. Plus there has to be some kind of removable cap to tension the spring. I wanted the weight to govern pressure so you could be pretty wild with the Z placement. With the pen sticking out two inches, as long as you started the tip somewhere close to the paper, a 1/2" z step down would plant the pen tip soundly on the work surface. If the surface was curved somewhat, you wouldn't even have to bother messing with the Z function to compensate. The weight of the pen would keep it on the surface, and your throw distance in the holder would make up the differences in height.

Having a snap in system would be great. People have made spindle holders out of HDPE, maybe it will do a good job here too. If you always set your various pens to protrude from the CPVC the same distance, then you could get away with one ideal height for the holder. That could make mounting and swapping easier. Lots to think about and plan before the SO2 gets here.
Shapeoko 2 #4951: Xbox 360 Pendant, Z-axis lead screw and NEMA23 upgrade, DW660 with Loc-Line dust collection, Googly Eyes, Swivel cutter attachment.

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