Wanna build a robot?

How about one you plug into your computer and it draws whatever you say?

Best of all, it should only cost about $20, if you've already got the 3D printer.

PlotterBot provides the instructions free of charge.

This particular drawing robot doesn't have a z-axis, but if it's not exactly what you had in mind, don't worry. PlotterBot has designs for a whole slew of open source, DIY robot plans on its main Web page.

This particular robot requires one small screwdriver, two micro servo motors, six 3D printed parts, downloaded from Thingiverse, a rubber band and a pencil.

"You'll also need an Arduino, some wire to connect your servos to the Arduino, and a USB cable to communicate with the Arduino," the page advises.

Once you've got all the pieces, it's very easy, 10-step process to completion:

  1. Print (plastic) parts.
  2. Assemble the x axis.
  3. Place the x axis on the large x axis rack.
  4. Place the y axis rack.
  5. Assemble the y axis.
  6. Add the Y axis.
  7. Ready the pen holder (this is where the rubber band comes in).
  8. Admire your work (this step's a bit gratuitous).
  9. Wire robot to arduino.
  10. Draw!

PlotterBot is working on adding a z axis, as well as some other improvements. As far as DIY robotics go though, this is about as easy as it comes, short of a snap-together, pre-made, modular kit.