Mug-O-Matic & Post-It-Plotter: Modular Tiny CNC Drawing Robots

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 The Mug-O-Matic a tiny CNC Drawing Robot that can customize coffee mugs!

Similarly, the Post-It-Plotter is its twin, a tiny CNC for drawing on Post-it Notes! (Using the same code but designed more for group/classroom use.)

These bots can draw anything you want via manual controls, calculated algorithms, or even g-code. Mugs can be washed clean with warm soapy water or the drawing can be made permanent by baking it in the oven.

The intent of the project is to produce a unique and accessible educational tool. One that encourages children to engage in tinkering and making things because those activities are powerful ways to learn and inspire people to pursue STEM careers.

To that end these robots are entirely open source and offer kids an opportunity & excuse to learn Arduino, the most common and universally applicable language for physical computing. No soldering or bread-boarding required, controls are all plug-&-play. Robots can be assembled with nothing but a screwdriver and enthusiasm! (Assembly screwdriver included :D)

What makes these bots special is that they are designed to perform meaningful specific work as real robots do, rather than exist for ornamental sake. These are literally miniature CNC tools in a fun package that allow you to make your own custom creations!

Interested to get your hands on this unique DIY robot kit? Let me know, your support is valued!

COMING SOON TO KICKSTARTER! (Click here to follow!)





I didn’t want to make my offering confusing so I’ve separated this section out a bit. If you are ready for more, take a deep breath.

This page is meant to be a one stop link-hub for this project, because (like transformers) there is more than meets the eye to the above robots.

This open source project is currently a contender for the 2018 HackaDay Prize, so you can read all about its history and current development here.

From my research into the highly recommended book Invent to Learn​, kids learn by doing and are most engaged when they are able to independently experiment rather than just being told what to do. To that end, all components are modular so the parts can be rearranged to build lots of different things to facilitate experimentation.

These bots are actually just two possible configurations from the Tiny_CNC__Collection. This means inspired students can mix, match, and build their own custom real robots!

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License: Creative Commons-Attribution


Links to Models, Instructions, & Support:

  • Hobby Servo Linear Actuator Module- Enables 80mm linear actuation.
  • Hobby Servo Pivot Module  Enables 180 deg pivoting actuation
  • Hobby Servo Twist Module  Enables 180 deg twisting actuation
  • Hobby Servo Pulley Module- Fishing line pulley with overload protection for repelling actuation.
  • Hobby Servo Gripper Module-  Tool end robotic grabber
  • Hobby Servo Parametric Wheel Module
  • Arduino Uno/Nano Case, Mounts, & Tool Holder Modules
  • Assembly: Mug-O-Matic- Coffee Mug CNC
  • Assembly: Post-It-Plotter- Post-It Note CNC. Another example application.
  • Assembly: Laser Turret- A pan-tilt laser pointer for light writing.
  • Assembly: Gantry Crane- A suspended claw.
  • Assembly: 4 Leg Walker


Software Downloads:


Where to Get Parts:   (Links pending)


Recommended Reading Material: 

You don’t have to buy any books to learn arduino. There are lots of free resources & videos online. But if you learn best with a book in hand then these are the go to’s: