HP DraftPro EXL (7576A) Pen Plotter working

It’s been a long time waiting for me down the studio, but the other day, I managed to crack getting the plotter we bought on eBay for 40 Euros working.

At the moment, it’s under WindowsXP and through AutoCAD, which seemed to have the requisite drivers / translators. I tried installing the HPGL/2 driver and then realised that this plotter only understands HPGL, bless it.

I have had partial success under Linux using the python Chiplotle modules but I need to get my head round the margins / offset before I feel confident about publishing my findings here.

It’s so thrilling and beautiful to watch, though, reminds me of the first washing machine my family got and us all watching the first load it did like it was the most entertaining film we’d seen. I’m sure it will wear off, but I find it so thrilling to watch as it moves the paper and pen to make the marks. There’s something so embodied about the way it draws, it’s hard not to anthropomorphise it in some way.

Here’s the vid:

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