|Ed Ward||Mark Benson|
|Artist, Designer and Founder||
Artist, Designer and Founder
TerraPen is the result of Mark and Ed's fascination with drawing machines, born from their involvement in the Reprap 3D printer movement of the early 2010s. As they built Reprap printers, they discovered the endless possibilities that lay before them. Mark's experiments with 3D printed 'Eggbots' and a fortuitous visit to a hackathon sparked their interest in building a Polargraph from scratch.
Their paths crossed at the local Reprap User Group, which eventually transformed into the hacker space community known as 'MakeBmth'. While MakeBmth pursued various projects, they always returned to their passion for drawing machines. Mark continued refining Polargraphs, while Ed ran the group and envisioned a CoreXY string bot for his next plotter. The limitations of string-based movement became apparent, prompting Ed to explore alternatives during a lockdown period. He iterated on the design, transitioning to more conventional belts, while Mark focused on the electronics and open-source firmware.
This intensive two-year period laid the groundwork for a potential product. Ed's collaboration with AUB turned the plotter into a research project, named terraPen. Generative artists were given sample machines to experiment with, resulting in captivating artwork displayed at AUB's exhibition and plotter symposium in late 2022.
Building on this success, Mark and Ed have since been refining terraPen, iterating and testing the design. With the support of AUB, they are now striving to establish a business centered around selling terraPen plotters. Their goal is to provide artists and creators with a tool that expands their artistic expression and unlocks new possibilities. terraPen seeks to redefine the boundaries of imagination and empower individuals to bring their visions to life.