Anyone figured out how to print directly to DTFB yet? And don't mention another home brew CNC machine. Not what I'm asking for.


New member
Well, I have CNC machines. I did make a needle cutter for one, and it works. I also have a $400 diode laser that will mark white foamboard and cut black foamboard nicely.

On a budget, I also made a coreXY design that originally moved a laser, but now moves and lifts a drag knife for cutting vinyl. Moving a pen instead would be a no-brainer. Maybe $150 or so in hardware, 2 stepper motors, an Arduino, some smooth rod, bearings and timing belt, and a bunch of 3D printed parts. Oh and a servo. Currently I use the laser to mark white foamboard, though I cut my Tiny Trainer from black foamboard. Some of the Cricut type machines aren't too expensive and might be able to at least score the paper, which would still save a lot of work.

Other ideas: a cheap video projector. Project the plans onto the foamboard, trace with a sharpie. It will take a bit of doing to get the scale right, but a stand to put the foamboard on and hold the projector at the correct distance and you should be able. I have a 1080p projector that cost me less than $100CAD. It would do the job nicely, but it's a lot of work to set up and scale.

Aside from that, a commercial pen plotter isn't cheap, particularly one that can handle the 20x30" foam board.

Some ink jet printers can do pass-through, but I've never seen one that can handle more than 17" width and it was **not** cheap.


Active member
Currently experimenting with an AxiDraw:

Relatively inexpensive, especially if you can find one used. Main challenge is printing "across" tiles.