The Sharpie Dotifier

Schematic Overview
           The schematic seen below is a mid-level view of the dotifier system. I tried to give enough detail so that beginners could get a feel for what is being used and that experts could also see exactly what was down and how the microcontroller, motors and extra circuits were used.

View Full Schematic

Schematic Specifics

P40 Development Board
           This is the center of the project and everything is connected to this board in one way or another. Tfhe laptop sends commands to the p40 board through a serial cable connection. The P40 interprets the laptop commands and then sends unique movement commands to the servo motors or to the stepper motor controller board. This is the system flow and how the motors are controlled.

Stepper Motor Controller Board
           In order to accurately control the stepper motors and create the proper stepping cycle, I created a special board that would simplify controlling the motor. This board is connected to the P40 Development Board, which sends commands about how the stepper motor should move. Details on how this board is made and what parts are needed can be found in the Stepper Motor Controller Board tutorial write-up.

           Once the system was up and running I used an old laptop I have with a serial port (RS232) connection to send commands to the PIC on the P40 Development Board. Once the command structure was setup and testing was finished, I built a C++ scripting program that looks at a BMP image file that you drew in paint, and then finds what dots need to be created and where. With that information, movement commands are sent to the dotifier and it gets to work making dots.