Posts Tagged ‘eggbot’

A Whole New Way To Draw! StippleGen

Posted by on Friday, April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
An excellent portrait of Grace Kelly

An excellent portrait of Grace Kelly

I’m really excited about StippleGen.  And, if you like drawing, robots, or drawing robots I think you’re going to be really excited about it too.  StippleGen is a new free open source program released by our friends Evil-Mad-Scientist-Laboratories.  If you’ve ever purchased or coveted an EggBot, you definitely know who they are.1

For most CNC machines (such as a MakerBot Unicorn, EggBot, or DrawBot) a traveling salesman / single line art drawing is easiest produce.  Single line drawings are faster than drawings comprised of more than one line, since the drawing robots don’t need to spend time lifting up the pen.  However, if you’re going to require a pen-lift for a drawing, you might as well do it with style – such as with stipples.

Definitely check out EMSL’s blog post announcing StippleGen for more information about this cool program.  It can be used to create an SVG file showing a TSP-style path, a stippled image, and apparently a combination of the two.

  1. I cannot believe I didn’t go for the egg puns here… []
Tagged with , , , , , , , One comment

Tips for Making TSP Art

Posted by on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
Victory!  Victory for the Daleks!

Victory! Victory for the Daleks!

Yesterday I posted a tutorial on how to make TSP (traveling salesman problem) single line drawing art.  If you’re looking to create your own TSP single line drawing artwork from an image, there are few things you can do to ensure a better result:

  • Before the “Make a Stippled Image” step, try adjusting the contrast.  Increasing the contrast will make the lighter areas have less stippled points in the following step.  Decreasing the contrast will make the lighter areas have more stippled points.  This is really just a matter of taste, so have fun experimenting with the results.
  • Before the “Make a Stippled Image” step, try decreasing the file size.  Decreasing the file size will also decrease the number of stippled points.  If you have too many stippled points, the resulting SVG image file look like a jumbled mess of squiggles.  The image above was created by reducing the original image size by 50%.
  • Make your batch file “drag and drop.”  By editing the Batch file in the “Create a Batch file to automate the Stippled Image to a TSP Line Drawing conversion” step, you can actually make the Batch file conversion as easy as dragging and dropping your PBM file onto the Batch file.  In order to make your Batch file “drag and drop” replace the location of the PBM file with “%1”.  This will tell the batch file to convert whatever PBM file was dropped onto it.  So, your Batch file should look like this:
    • c:\python\python C:\Users\MakerBlock\Desktop\TSP\scripts\ %1
  • Adjust the SVG in the free open source SVG image editing software Inkscape1  You can trim any unnecessary space around your image easily by:
    • File->Document Properties
    • Click “Resize page to content
    • Adjust the borders to suit and click “Resize page to drawing or selection

Good luck!

Error - could not find Thing 19063.
  1. I prefer the version []
Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

Single Line Art / Traveling Salesman Problem Tutorial

Posted by on Monday, March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized
MakerBot Replicator TSP Single Line Drawing

MakerBot Replicator TSP Single Line Drawing

The “Traveling Salesman Problem” (“TSP”) is a problem studied in mathematics where one tries to figure out the shortest path through a number of points.  Solving for the absolute shortest route can take a lot of processing power and time, but getting a pretty good approximation can be very quick.  The Eggbot, MakerBot Unicorn, and drawing robots are particularly well suited to these kinds of drawings.

Recently I tried to create some of my own single line / TSP art based using the awesome Evil Mad Science TSP guide.  In doing so I think I may have figured out a way simplify the process slightly for Windows users. 1  The EMS guide has the user install Cygwin in order to provide certain elements of Unix for running the Concorde or Linkern TSP solvers.  However, I accidentally discovered that once you have the “cygwin1.dll” out of the Cygwin installation, all you need to do is create a batch file for automating the TSP conversion.  So, start to finish, here’s how I do it:

Programs / Scripts

  1. Download and install the free open source Python programming language
  2. Download and install the free open source GIMP image manipulation software2
  3. Download the Evil Mad Scientist Eggbot scripts for creating TSP vector art.  You’ll want the file named, “”
  4. Download the Linkern TSP solver from Georgia Tech’s website
  5. Download the “cygwin1.dll” file for running the Linkern TSP solver on a Windows platform

Install Scripts

  1. Put the “cygwin1.dll”, “linkern.exe”, “” , “”, “” into a folder location of your choice

Make a Grayscale Image

  1. Open your image in GIMP
  2. Turn the color information monochrome “Image -> Mode -> Grayscale
  3. Open the color levels “Colors -> Levels
  4. Wash out the image by adjusting “All Channels” in the pop-up window to some value to 2003

Make a Stippled Image

  1. Turn the washed out grayscale image into a stippled image “Create Image->Mode->Indexed
  2. Select these options in the pop-up window
    • Use black and white (1-bit) palette): Checked
    • Remove unused colors from colormap: Checked
    • Color dithering: Floyd-Steinberg (normal)
  3. Click “Convert
  4. Save the file in the “Portable Bit Map” format “File->Save As” and saving the file with the extension “.pbm
    • If given the option, choose to save the PBM file in the “Raw” format

Create a Batch file to automate the Stippled Image to a TSP Line Drawing conversion

  1. Open “” with your favorite text editor4 and change line 76
    • From:      LINKERN = ‘C:\linkern.exe’
    • To:    LINKERN = ‘C:\FILELOCATION\linkern.exe’
    • Save “”
  2. The command for converting the PBM file takes three parts, the location of Python, the location of “” and the location of your PBM file.  Here are where my files are located:
    • My Python directory is located at “c:\python\python”
    • My scripts are located in a subdirectory on my desktop “c:\python\python C:\Users\MakerBlock\Desktop\TSP\scripts\”
    • My PBM file is also located on my desktop “C:\Users\MakerBlock\Desktop\TSP\images\drawing.pbm”
  3. Open a text editor and copy these three locations into one line as follows:
    • c:\python\python C:\Users\MakerBlock\Desktop\TSP\scripts\ C:\Users\MakerBlock\Desktop\TSP\images\drawing.pbm
  4. Save the text as a batch file named “convert2tsp.bat”

Use the Batch file to convert the Stippled Image to a TSP Line Drawing

  1. Double-clicking the batch file will convert “drawing.pbm” into “drawing.svg”
  2. To convert your next file, you can either name it to “drawing.pbm” or edit the Batch file to reflect a different PBM file name.

If you haven’t tried to create some single-line-artwork yet, give it a shot today!  It’s a lot easier than it looks and the results are really satisfying!

Once you’ve gone through the above process once, it goes super quickly the second time.  You basically make your image grayscale, wash it out, save as a stipple file format, and then run the batch file.  The entire process takes about two minutes once you get the hang of it – with a full minute and a half or so just devoted to letting the TSP program do its thing.

Error - could not find Thing 19042.
  1. I know.  I’m trying to give it up too… []
  2. I like the version []
  3. Values between 180 and 245 should work well []
  4. I like the version of Notepad++ []
Tagged with , , , , , , , , 12 comments

An Argyle Egg?!?

Posted by on Monday, March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized
Argyle egg for Egg-Bot by HooDat

Argyle egg for Egg-Bot by HooDat

I have no idea why, but the thought of argyle eggs just strikes me as insanely funny.  Here’s how I imagine using them: Making a huge batch of them with matching pairs, putting them into a clean egg carton, and sneaking them into a grocery store.  With bonus points for making sure there was just one unmatched pair.

HooDat, you made my day!

Error - could not find Thing 18584.
Tagged with , , , , , , , 4 comments

Woah! Ostrich Egg-Bot Kit Now Available on the Store!

Posted by on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

Not for your Spanish Omelet.

For those who thought to themselves, “I want an Egg-Bot, but it won’t work for me on my ostrich farm,” this one’s for you. The Ostrich Egg-Bot kit is a special, extra large version of the original open-source Original Egg-Bot kit with a chassis that fits larger objects, up to 6.25″ in diameter(!) – perfect for ostrich, emu, and your run-of-the-mill jumbo chicken eggs.

It can tackle wine glasses, Christmas ornaments, mini pumpkins, and more, so vegetarians can get their paint on, guilt-free!

The Ostrich Egg-Bot is equipped with CNC cut plywood, and laser engraved calibration and assembly marks. With high-torque precision stepping motors, this bot means business. Get one today!

Tagged with , , One comment

Omelet Recipe


Eggbot omelet recipe by dnewman

Eggbot omelet recipe by dnewman

If you thought an egg sporting it’s own nutritional information was awesome, it’s time to check out Dan Newman’s egg with a recipe for omelets written on it by use of an Egg-Bot.1

Error - could not find Thing 8125.

  1. On a slightly related note, I really love how unpredictably meta Thingiverse has become. []
Tagged with , , , , , , 3 comments

Crafty Season Reprise: The Incredible Legible Egg

Panoramic Egg (parametric too!) by MakerBlock

Basic Egg Cup, printed by Mark Cohen

I talked with Keith, MakerBot’s Marketing Manager, last week — he had a theory why so many great things went up on Thingiverse around Easter / Passover: “This season is already really crafty, like Halloween. You are expected to create decorations while drawing families together — so this is a great Thingiverse season.”

So much awesome1 went up after my Stanford Bunny post last week that I wanted to highlight a few more favorites. A number are egg-focused, including MakerBlock’s incredible parametrical panoramic egg.2 So another reason must certainly have something to do with eggs, eggshells, egg-bots, and the things you can do with all of these things.

Error - could not find Thing 8061.
Error - could not find Thing 8027.
Error - could not find Thing 8004.

Read the rest of this entry »

  1. Keith’s favorite word []
  2. Mashups are no longer just hijinks, they are becoming some of my favorite designs on Thingiverse. I cannot wait to have the time to try to print MakerBlock’s design, as well as Chick In Egg by nicholasclewis []
Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , 3 comments

The Easter (Stanford) Bunny Cometh

Brass Stanford Bunny, printed by Isaac Dietz

As with every holiday calendar event that rolls through the T-verse, the approach of Easter this coming Sunday has been the inspiration for a number of outstanding seasonal objects contributed to Ethan featured Zydac’s cute Eggbunny last week1, but check out some of the other great offerings. (Thingiverse-tagged as “easter.”)

HASENFRANZ Easter Bunny Cookie Cutter by elk

There are a few cookie cutter options, including Elk‘s Easter Bunny Cookies and brettjones Easter Bunny Cookie Cutter. (Make your own cookie cutters by using guru‘s Cookie Cutter Generator v2!) Stage your stained/painted/chocolate eggs in bpijls‘s BunnyCup – Bunny Footed Egg Holder. Of particular usefulness to those of you working with OpenSCAD to design Easter-flavored objects, you’ll want to grab nicholasclewis‘s Parametric Egg and take a look at TeamTeamUSA‘s impressive Virtual Easter Eggs color/multi-print assembly project for ideas and parts for your OpenSCAD or MeshMixer masterpieces. Also, if your Easter egg hunt actually involves firearms, don’t forget vik‘s Egg-Shaped Target.2

And this doesn’t even get us started with the t-verse’s prolifically breeding colony of Standford bunnies….

Stanford Bunny

Stanford Bunny, printed by mah_digilife

The Stanford Bunny model has a venerable computer visualization pedigree previous to becoming one of the more iconic Thingiverse first objects for printing or mashing-up. The bunny is but one of the more popular models from the Stanford 3D Scanning Repository, a collection of high resolution scans made available by Greg Turk and Marc Levoy in 1994 to assist computer scientists working with mesh tools who do not have access to high resolution scanning hardware. According to the Bunny’s Wikipedia article, the Bunny was scanned from a ceramic figuring, and “consists of data describing 69,451 triangles.”

Here’s an intriguing note from the scanners about their models:

As you browse this repository and think about how you might use our 3D models and range datasets, please remember that several of these artifacts have religious or cultural significance. Aside from the buddha, which is a religious symbol revered by hundreds of millions of people, the dragon is a symbol of Chinese culture, the Thai statue contains elements of religious significance to Hindus, and Lucy is a Christian angel; statues like her are commonly seen in Italian churches. Keep your renderings and other uses of these particular models in good taste. Don’t animate or morph them, don’t apply Boolean operators to them, and don’t simulate nasty things happening to them (like breaking, exploding, melting, etc.). Choose another model for these sorts of experiments. (You can do anything you want to the Stanford bunny or the armadillo.)3

Well, thank goodness for this, as the Stanford Bunny, as brought into Thingiverse very early on from Operator archiveman and then cleaned up for easier printing by phooky, has become along with the Gangsta one of the most frequently mashed-up and manipulated base models. It is even a base model in Ryan Schmidt’s wildly useful MeshMixer app.4

So when you are looking for treats to print this week (or this year, given that this is the Year of the Rabbit), don’t overlook gpvillamil’s Tron bunny, mrbug’s Bunny Trouble game or Optime Bunnyus, mifga’s Rabbitsta, and of course phooky’s printable-classic Stanford Bunny. My favorite Standford Bunny print involves simply taking phooky’s model and scaling it to 0.4 or 0.5 in ReplicatorG for execution with a Stepstruder MK6.

The Original Egg-Bot

While the Original Egg-Bot kits are currently back-ordered at Evil Mad Science, we still have a number of the kits in stock. Finding chocolate Easter eggs hidden in the backyard is one thing … but what if your love ones discovered a kit for building a robot to plot artwork on egg-shells on their Easter egg hunt?

A t-verse catalog of several compelling Easter-related models follows after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

  1. an instant “I must print!” design []
  2. A note from Vik’s Thingiverse post: “Unlike real Easter Eggs, you should only practise on these targets with plastic Airsoft BB’s – Unless you just get a kick out of blowing things to smithereens” []
  3. Ed. My emphasis. []
  4. MeshMixer is back in active development now — grab the latest version for Mac or PC and add some literal Easter eggs to your other models []
Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , One comment

Truth in Labeling

Eggbot Nutrition Label by dnewman

Eggbot Nutrition Label by dnewman

Have you noticed the recent marketing of prepackaged produce?  I’m not talking about washed, bagged lettuce here.  I’m talking about a prune or a banana in a single serving plastic wrapper.  The prune, okay, maybe.  Unless you’re buying prunes individually this just doesn’t seem to be worth the effort.  As for bananas, pineapples, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, avocados, kiwi, mangoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and any other fruit where you do not consume the exterior…  I just don’t get it.  Perhaps it’s more pushed by a desire to utilize more marketing space on produce?

Dnewman’s solution is beyond elegant.  Why not just print the nutritional information right on the produce using an Eggbot??  I just LOVE this idea!  I would absolutely buy eggs from any producer that did this.  Not only is this idea so so so cool, but it opens the door to all kinds of other food labeling robots.  I mean, who wouldn’t want a Mangobot 2000?  Oh, and if you’re going to buy an apple, pear, or other fruit or vegetable where the exterior is consumed, why not just print with an edible ink? 12

Error - could not find Thing 7232.

  1. I suppose this would cause an infinite regression of trying to then print the ink’s own nutritional information on the ink itself…  []
  2. Wibbly wobbly… []
  3. I’m just letting it be known I had to restrain myself from using a number of other adjectives here. []
  4. Frankly, this is the mark of incredible self-control []
  5. I didn’t use the words extraordinary, example, or exemplary. []
Tagged with , , , , , , , 21 comments

Pattywac Holiday and MakerMe Design Challenge Winners!

Thingiverse citizen Pattywac recently launched two design challenges – a Holiday Design Challenge and a MakerMe Design challenge.  Each winner gets $40.00 from Pattywac and an additional $100.00 in MakerBot store credit from MakerBot Industries!  Without further ado, here’s Pattwac’s announcement of the winners!

Holidays Challenge

Nicholas C. Lewis' print of Kliment's Holiday Prusa Mendel Set!

Nicholas C. Lewis' print of Kliment's Holiday Prusa Mendel Set!

There ended up being 21 holidays-tagged items to judge, many of them being closely evaluated to each other.  Thingiverse citizen Kliment ended up winning with the Holiday-ized Prusa Mendel design, in part, due to the huge response from the community.  This design was able to incorporate the holiday spirit and will continue to give for years to come by allowing others to print other Things and hopefully other 3-D printers.

MakerMe Challenge

Nutcracker by psync

Nutcracker by psync

There were only two entries to this contest but they were both pretty cool.  Citizen psync was able to fit his Holidays Nutcracker into the MakerBot for some z-axis walnut smashing action while citizen Nickames was able to create an egg-bot style attachment for the MakerbotNickames ended up taking home the W with the egg-bot attachment due to the response from the community and the fact that it will allow a whole new range of designs to be posted on and printed from Thingiverse.

Congratulations Kliment and Nickames!

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , 2 comments
What can we help you with today?
I want to chat with Sales.
I have a question about an existing order.
I have a technical question about my device.
Existing Orders
For faster service, enter your order number
(found in your confirmation e-mail)