In high school, I took an engineering class. It was, by far, my favorite class. We had all sorts of assignments that ranged from taking something and drawing it from multiple angles to creating mousetrap powered balloon popping machines.
It was 1988 and there was a computer that had cad software. I remember that you could zoom in on a drawing of the moon to find the lunar lander. It was amazing to my 16 year old brain that you could look at the moon and zoom in on the lander. Google maps has made this experience ubiquotous.
There was also a plotter and I remember the senior students got to use it. It had multiple pens and the machine would go over and trade in it's pen for one of a different color. I could have just watched that machine for the rest of high school, it was so fascinating. I always wanted to use it. There was also a blueprint machine that we could use to make blueprints. You fed your vellum drawing into it and it converted it into a beautiful blue print.
Fast forward 20 years. I made a drawbot in Seattle with my awesome friends that assembled at Hackerbot labs. I've also worked with the craftrobo.
I also got inspired by being at Modelabs this last weekend where they have two plotters and a shopbot. I've been craving large pieces of art to put on the wall. Today I pulled out a lumenlab mill that we've had on the shelf here at MakerBot and it totally works, but it moves veeeeeery slow, which is fine for milling, but not so exciting for for drawing.
So the next step is to use a real plotter. We've got one at NYCR, but nobody has been able to get the drivers for it and get it up and running, so I'll try that first. I'm also wanting to get a blueprint machine and make blueprints from plotter prints.