The Arduino-based Bipolar Bot can draw impressive spirals

The modern day Spirograph?

Maker Barton Dring has created what he calls the Bipolar Bot just in time for ORD Camp 2015. The spiral-drawing contraption was inspired by the RepRap Wally SCARA design printer and devised by simply using some “cool stuff” that had been lying around the Inventables lab.


The robot is equipped with two identical sets of actuator arms. While the inner arms are driven by a pair of NEMA 14 steppers and bolted to a bearing on a base plate with the other end holding a pen, the outer arms are mounted to the stepper motor shafts using Actobotics hubs.

“The ends have 1/4″ I.D. flange bearings,” Dring explains. “These are bolted together, but free to rotate using a screw with a holed drilled for the pen. That is basically it for the mechanics.”


The stepper motors are controlled by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) with the aid of a quick conversion tool that translates Cartesian G-code into bipolar G-code. Dring admits that some of these projects were never meant to be practical machines, just conversation starters at camp. And, well, mission accomplished. You’ve got us talking!

Those wishing to whip up their own robotic Picasso can head on over to the detailed project page here.

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