The Isoscel-Ease Drawing Robot


Maybe you’ve built your own drawing robot, but I doubt it comes with a geometric pun like the Isoscelease pen plotter device. As the name would imply, this robo-plotter uses a constantly varying isosceles triangle that is able to angularly expand and contract as well as move as a unit back and forth. This allows for an innovative way to move in the “X” and “Y” directions. One limitation is that this plotter doesn’t have a way to pick the pen up, however, as seen in the video below, it can still draw a beautiful image.

YouTube player

To drive this motion, a servo motors powers a belt drive for each of the two arms. As noted on Darcy’s page, the belt is in tension, while the linear rail that it rides on is compression, giving nice rigidity to the design. The resulting movement is quite nice, and I could see this type of setup being used in a different context like a pick-and-place robot, or even a 3D printer.


Currently, work is being done to generate pen paths for portraits using I’d never heard of this site before, but according to its description, it was originally created to “created to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach computer programming fundamentals within a visual context.” This might be an interesting resource to check out for those that want to bring their projects to life. I’m a fan of Python in my limited programming experience, but there’s almost always more than one way to do something like this.

0 thoughts on “The Isoscel-Ease Drawing Robot

  1. Darcy says:

    Worth noting that is the system from which the Arduino IDE is modeled.

  2. Eugene_Oregon says:

    What if you put a small Lbar in the back with a loop at the top to gently pull the pen off the page from a height (about a foot should work) crane style. This would allow you to keep the pen from touching the page until the pen was lowered back down.

    Just a thought.

    1. Darcy says:

      It’s easy to lift the pen. Simply put a servo near the pen that will press against the paper… I had one on but it’s not showing in the pictures. I’ll add pictures to the icocel-ease with the servo lifter soon…

  3. kongorilla says:

    See also Pumping Station One’s version of the same idea from last year:

    1. Darcy says:

      Thanks for that pumpingstationone reference! I’ll have a look at it. Perhaps they share their software end of it…

  4. IAHope says:

    Much like an pantograph or planimeter. Victorian mechanical designs are a very useful reference,

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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