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Sovol SO1 – The 3D Printing Pen Plotter Review

If you are familiar with Sovol, you’ll know about the SV01. However, they have now produced the Sovol SO1 Pen Plotter! A 3D printer with a difference! Read on to find out more about this machine and its capabilities!

Sovol SO1 Pen Plotter Specifications

Brand – Sovol 3DPort – Micro USB/TF cardPen Draw Speed – 800-1500mm/min
Model – SO-1Stepper Motor – Creality 42-34Pen type – Pencil, Marker, Fountain Pen, Felt-Tip Pen, Biro, etc
Material – AluminumPower Input – AC100-240VContinuous Working Time – 8 Hours
Package Size – 600*260*16mmWorking in Voltage – DC 12VWorking Area – A4 size
Product Size – 430*480*130mmSystem Support – Window XP, WIN7/8/10Applied Materials – Paper, cardboard, floor, notebook, etc
Package Weight – 2.5KG
Control Software – Inkscape
Product Weight – 2.2KG
Pen Travel Speed – 3000-5000mm/min

Sovol Packaging And Contents

The Sovol SO1 came packaged really well. Surrounded by your usual dense foam to protect against any knocks, it was securely packaged with no damage to the unit.

So, what do you get with the Sovol SO1 Pen plotter?

  • Clipboard
  • Non-slip feet for clipboard
  • Pen
  • Power cable
  • Spare servo motor
  • Micro SD card with adapter

Quality

The quality of the Sovol SO-1 is just like your typical 3D printer. It uses the same aluminum extrusion, stepper motors and end stops. The parts feel of good powerful quality and it’s easy to pack away when not in use.

Assembly

The assembly of the pen plotter is simple and easy. All you need to do is place the 4 thumb screws and plug in 2 connectors for the stepper motor and end-stop. That is it! Plug in the power, and you are ready to plot!

Here is a video from Sovol on how to set up the Sovol SO1.

Software

The software that comes bundled with the Sovol SO1 3D Plotter is a version of Inkscape with their own inkscape plugin installed. Unfortunately, I am not all that familiar with this program, so it will be a steep learning curve to figure it out! The instructions give you some guide on how to create a wireframe sphere, although it is missing a vital step of the process. After 6.4 in the manual, it goes straight to the Generate Gcode from Path, but it doesn’t show you how to get there.

To get to this stage, within Inkscape go to Extensions > Sovol Workshop > Generate Gcode from Path. You can then proceed from 6.5 in the manual. This may now be updated since I received this unit, but just to make you all aware in case you get stuck!.

Check out this video on how to create text with a different font and export it to Gcode.

I could create my own creations using text, shapes and importing an SVG image within Inkscape through trial and error. You just have to play around in Inkscape until you get your desired result.

Operation

The operation of the Sovol SO1 pen plotter is quiet! As there is no hotend that needs to be cooled, the only fan is for the power supply and motherboard. The only noise you get is from the servo moving up and down and the stepper motor moving the arm. It’s cool to watch it do its thing.

Before starting your plot, get your paper on the clipboard and then line the clipboard edge up with the bottom of the machine and then in line with the left edge of the hole at the top. This is an excellent starting point.

Choose your pen of choice and then go into the menu and then Pen Movement. You want to move the Pen Down. Insert your pen so it is touching the paper and tighten up the screw. You can adjust the angle of the pen also depending on what type it is. Back on the menu, move the Pen Up and home the machine. You are all set to go!

To start the plotter, it is the same process when starting a 3D print. After saving your Gcode file to the SD card and then inserting into the plotter, within the menu just go to Plot from TF and choose your file. The print will start straight away as there is no warm up time!

The Results

Here are some gcodes found on the SD card which are included. On Sovol’s website, they have a link to some pre-loaded gcode for you to try out on your plotter too! Here is one of them below.

Conclusion

The Sovol SO1… what do I make of it? I think it’s great! There are other possibilities you could do with this! For example, adding a laser engraver or a swivel cutter to cut out intricate shapes. These are some things which I will plan on adding to the pen plotter in the future, and being light and portable, would mean I can easily move it around somewhere suitable to try this out.

Is there anything I would improve? Nothing to improve on the current model, however, it would be good to see future upgrades such as longer extrusions you can swap with so you have a larger plot area, perhaps? Silent operation would be great too! In addition, a power button would be nice as to turn off, you just unplug it.

I look forward to seeing what others can do with this excellent piece of kit! The Sovol SO1 is available for just under £120 direct from Sovol. As of yet, I don’t know of anywhere else it is available. Watch this space!

If you enjoyed this review, then why not check out 

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