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Old 10-02-2018, 03:58 PM
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ceptimus ceptimus is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: UK
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Default Vintage plotter refurbishment

I mentioned (off topic) in another thread that I'd bought a vintage computer plotter on Ebay for only 0.99 - though I did have to drive 300 miles to collect it! It's a CalComp 1025 and probably cost about the same as a small car when it was new. It's now about thirty years old, I think.

Computer plotters have been totally obsolete for about twenty years now - so it's high time that I got one.

JoeP said he wanted to see more information (including video) about it - so that's what this thread is about.

I've not done much with it in the last couple of weeks - I put it together, cleaned a lot of dust and fluff out of the works and managed to do a self test (aka 'Confidence Plot'). But one of the pinch rollers that hold the paper against the drive rollers had gone soft (I suspect ink contamination from a leaking pen) It was leaving dirty marks along the paper where it rolled, but worse than that, after one confidence plot and some manual paper moving tests it collapsed completely and was then ripping the paper to shreds.

I searched on line for a replacement roller, but it seems completely obsolete and even close equivalents that would still need modification are selling for stupid money.

So I decided to try refurbishing the existing roller with a 3D-printed tyre. I removed the traces of the old rubber using an electric drill like a lathe, then cleaned the bearing in an ultrasonic bath ready to accept a new tyre.

I measured up the remaining good roller and designed this in Fusion360.

Then used Slic3r in the usual way to convert the design into something my printer can use.

My printer can print using a rubbery filament - but I don't have any of that so I printed out one to try using regular PLA - I happen to have orange PLA in the printer right now.

I filmed the very first power-on after fitting the new tyre, and it seemed to work remarkably well - I don't know how durable the PLA tyre will be, but if and when it fails it's easy for me to try alternative materials.

I've bought some new (old stock) pens on Ebay for a few pounds (they've not arrived yet). I've also begun investigating how to get some dried-out clogged pens that came with the printer working again and bought some A1 paper! :)

Next thing is to get it doing some test plots driven by a PC, and then move on to plotting some artistic drawings - I have some software that converts photos into line drawings, so it will be interesting to see how those come out.

I shall report on future progress (or lack of it) in this thread.
Attached Images
File Type: gif TyreInFusion360.gif (26.3 KB, 171 views)
File Type: gif TyreInSlic3r_PE.gif (26.8 KB, 165 views)
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Thanks, from:
Ari (10-02-2018), But (10-02-2018), Crumb (10-02-2018), Ensign Steve (10-04-2018), JoeP (10-02-2018), lisarea (10-02-2018), specious_reasons (10-02-2018), SR71 (10-02-2018)

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