Passive Pen Tool

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Passive pen tool.png

This is a pen tool for drawing with pens up to 13mm in diameter. It does not have any active components, which means the machine's Z axis can be adjusted to "lift" and "lower" the pen. This tool has a built in laser cut flexure, allowing you to increase the pen tip pressure by increasing the push distance slightly, for about 2mm total travel.

Parts to Buy

All parts to buy are in this spreadsheet.

Assembly Tools


Laser Cut Parts

All Laser Cut Parts should be cut from 3.175mm (0.125in.) Delrin. If you are certain that your laser cutter applies automatic kerf compensation (rare), cut the original DXFs. Otherwise, cut the offset DXFs. (If you are uncertain, cut the offset DXFs.)

To download the file, right click, and select "Save Link As."

Quantity Name Original DXF Offset DXF
2 Compression Flexure Original Offset
2 Pen Flexure Original Offset

3D Printed Parts and Settings

Common Settings

  • PLA
  • 0.4mm nozzle
  • No supports
  • 0.2mm layer height
  • 6 perimters
  • 20% infill (any pattern)

Parts and Special Settings

Pen Tool

Quantity Part Source Note
1 Pen Tool Base Tool Plate print with support material
1 Left Parking Wing
1 Right Parking Wing
1 Pen Holder

Parking Post

Quantity Part Source Note
1 Parking Post Base 47mm
1 Tool Holder 47mm

Assembly Instructions




Software Configuration

There are a host of software projects that can generate GCode (using Z for pen up-and-down), many of which are listed on [1]

There are many variations of workflows, but the simplest one is below.

1. Start with an .svg

There are many ways to obtain existing svg files:

Or you can generate your own:

  • You can make your own in Inkscape.
  • Drawing Bots has a list of great tools.
  • Rad Lines is a graphical vector generator.
  • SquiggleCam converts images to horizontal squiggles.
  • There are many more tools out there! Or you can generate your own .svg files with Python.
  • Inspiration can come from browsing #plottertwitter

2. Convert svg to gcode

With all methods, make sure you check the output gcode for any lines that could crash Jubilee (i.e. X or Y values above 300mm, or negative Z values). If you are picking up and parking your pen plotter tool, make sure to check out Setting Tool Parking Positions and inputting the correct pick up and drop off commands in your code.

  • Inkscape has a built-in extension called gcodetools that can convert svg to gcode. There are many tutorials that exist on the internet for how to use gcodetools.
  • Juicy-gcode is another svg to gcode converter

3. Send gcode to Jubilee!

Many other resources exist on Drawing Bots.