Post-It Note Printer


I came in last night for some advice with the general desire to design a Sharpie wielding printer. My goal is to automate the creation of sticky notes for both work and play.

The first thing I learned is that it’s called a plotter and there are actually two really cool options:

  1. AxiDraw
  2. Piccolo the Tiny CNC-Bot

These both look like great alternatives at opposite ends of the price/quality spectrum. The Piccolo must be built, but the AxiDraw is so buttery smooth and mesmerizing…

Anyways, this is the high level vision:

PS: Thank you to Dan and Kevin for the extensive tour and everyone else that made it easy for the new guy :maple_leaf:

Shopping List:

1 12V 2A power supply

1 CNCshield, 4 Pololu stepsticks, 1 Arduino UNO [$30] 
1 GT2 belt ( 1.4 meters long ) [$12 for 5M]
8 LM8UU [$20 for 8]
10 F623ZZ bearings [$10.61]
2 4mm OD, 100mm-long carbon fiber tubes [$6 for 5 x 200mm]

6 3K carbon fiber rod 6mm x 8mm x 500mm [$6.5/ea]
  instead of:
    4 8mm smooth rods (two 400mm-long and two 320mm-long)
    2 M10 threaded rods (400mm-long each)

2 nema 17 steppers 40mm [$30/ea]
2 20-tooth GT2 pulleys [$9]
1 micro servo SG90 (plus a 250mm cable extender) [$14 (save $2 with 180 degree)]
8 M10 nuts [$1 for 20]
8 30mm M3 screws with nuts [$2 for 10]
8 6mm M3 screws [$1 for 10]
4 16mm M3 screws with nuts [$1.50 for 10]
4 M3 washers [$1 for 20]
2 15mm M3 screws [try using/modifying a 16mm]

Sourced Elsewhere:
1 felt tip pen (or many for more fun) [Existing]
1 USB cable


Some of you are probably aware that I’ve been 3D printing parts for a 4xiDraw.

Thank you everyone for all the printer help! I think that’s it except I probably need a second motor mount. That means it’s on to the parts.

2 nema 17 steppers (*)
4 8mm smooth rods (two 400mm-long and two 320mm-long)
2 20-tooth GT2 pulleys
10 F623ZZ bearings
1 micro servo SG90 (plus a 250mm cable extender)
1 Arduino UNO
1 CNCshield
2 Pololu stepsticks
1 GT2 belt ( 1.4 meters long )
2 M10 threaded rods (400mm-long each)
8 M10 nuts
8 30mm M3 screws with nuts
8 6mm M3 screws
4 16mm M3 screws with nuts
4 M3 washers
2 4mm OD, 100mm-long carbon fiber tubes
2 15mm M3 screws
1 12V 2A power supply
1 USB cable
1 felt tip pen (or many for more fun)

Can anyone share their thought process for sorting through and sourcing a list like this?


My first plan is to head over to Lee’s Electronics unless someone would like to DM me with a better option.


I’d say Lee’s and Fastenal should have you covered for most or all of that


Oh yeah. I’ve heard of them. Pricing for both is reasonable I assume?

Is it normal to just show them the instructables page or should I be a little more prepared?


Fastenal is like in-person McMaster-Carr

They’re for contractors/companies, so you’ll need a pretty decent BOM, or be willing to browse. Last I’d heard they were going to stop selling to individuals, though.

I’d check Lee’s first, and if not, just buy everything off AliExpress and spring for e-packet shipping.


That is disappointing. I got my odd hardware from them for a few projects. I had not heard that


I’m not familiar with making a bill of materials. Would they provide the template for me to fill out?

I’ll definitely start with Lee’s so that I can start crossing out the list.

At one point I considered dismantling a dot-matrix for parts, but I’m going to take the easy way on this project.


I’ve also disassembled many printers for parts, and most modern ones have done away with the precision mechanical bits entirely. It’s amazing what they’ve managed to do with plastic sliding on plastic.

The list you posted is mostly okay. You just need all of the critical parameters of all your parts. Just go into a Fastenal and check it out, anyway. It’s like a toy store.


~$160 at Lee’s got me the following (I’ll update the list with prices paid soon).


Buying screws at Lee’s is probably not economical. I recommend checking out pacific fastener


All the screws, nuts, and washers came out to $5. I could see that adding up on a bigger project. By comparison, the Arduino and stepper motors were $93. Even the linear bearings at 2 bucks a pop is 3 times the cost.

As a first project, I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m going to pay a premium for a few things. These tips are great for the future though.

Has anyone curated a list of stores?


If you’re looking for how to order for something very similar to your project, check these threads:

Keep in mind that that project was three years ago,


There’s also the supplier list on the wiki:


That’s super helpful. Thank you!