Let’s re-invent the wheel, while we’re at it!
When I was a kid, plotters were the first printers I was exposed to (computer wise). I was in awe of them.
Well, I’ve got this CNC machine, just sitting around…
Two types of tools I’ve found for this job:
– Drag Pens
– Spring Loaded Pens
The drag pens, due to the build angle, automatically swivel to follow the movement of the spindle, and are (as far as I can tell) used on large, flat surfaces. The Spring Loaded Pens, on the other hand, have flexible Z axis movement under either a controlled weight or spring pressure, allowing the pen to move over irregular surfaces (cylinders, rough work).
Like the Spring Engravers, a mix of people building their own, and purchasing. One turn-off for me on the spring loaded I found for purchase is you are locked into their pens. Having said that, the company has been around for eight years or so, so not exactly a huge risk.
The best DIY spring loaded takes a simple click pen, and modifies it! Cost? The click pen *grin*
WidgetWorks Coilover Pen Holder, Thick Line (they nominally stock a thin line as well, but seem to be out at the moment)
The aforementioned Click Pen DIY
DIY Coil Over Pen for Plotting, by Grunblau Design (makers of my drool worthy next acquisition: Platform CNC)
Solsylva.com – DIY Pen Holders (Shows how to use a wooden block and dowel for a drag pen, and a compass, good thinking)
Floating Weight Style DIY for Sharpie Markers (Practical Machinist) – (Zip file with drawing at the bottom)