Foam Board / Marking Pen Sign

Needed a cheap sign for a community Halloween party. Used a 20" x 30" x 1/4" sheet of foam board from WalMart and a couple permanent markers. The black was done with a fairly sharp pointed pen type marker - not extra fine but more so than the normal pointed marker. Set it as a 1/32" bit running 150 ipm. Took about an hour for all the black but there is a lot of detail in the popcorn at the top. The red was with a blunter pointed Sharpie (seen in photo). Tried it as a 1/16 bit but didn’t get 100% coverage. Changed to a .045 at the same 150 ipm and that covered well.

I was very surprised at the result. In the close up of the red letters you can see a little unevenness of color but from a few feet away looks fine.


oh yes I become a artist after I bought the x-carve lol :slight_smile:

That looks incredible @RayMacke wow. Did you design the marker holder?

How do you set the z axis to have enough pressure to write?

all I did was set the depth of cut to around .002" and then just mess with my zero to dial it in

the professional pen plotters are spring loaded but I but my first one out of a toilet paper roll holder (well the little bit on the end lol)

just saw it one day and said DANG I bet that will work lol

the one I built for my bigger machine is milled out of HDPE

This was thrown together with just junk around the shop.

1/2" cpvc pipe and caps are the main body. The pipe cap on the pen end is center drilled just the right size to allow the end of the pen to drop through but catch on the lip where it widens. (On this pen at the red/grey intersection. Most all these pens have some type of lip to hold the cap.) Stops it from falling through.

With the pen in the pipe I then have a small section of plastic tubing I drop in (it is actually the spool from inside an empty container of dental floss). Although not totally necessary it helps stabilize the pen. The tubes outside diameter is close to the inside of the pipe. The pen is smaller and tends to rock a little inside the pipe making the drawn line a little less accurate. The tube slides over the end of the tapered pin end and helps take up the play.

For spring loading I just added two foam ear plugs (I said I just used stuff from around the shop!). Add the cap on top to hold it all in place and I have a cheap spring loaded pen holder.

When changing pens I find different sized bodies so I just have some extra caps on hand and drill then to fit the pen. All caps are just friction fit on the pipe so I can change them at will.


Super cool