2011.04.13

Egg-Bot for Newbies

Hello folks! So you came here to hear about the Egg-Bot! Well step right up and buy my new book “Egg-Bot for Newbies!”

But seriously folks…

As we all know, an expert is just someone who knows more about a subject than you do… so with that said, if you know less than I do about the Egg-Bot, consider me your expert.

At the Milwaukee Makerspace Grand Opening plenty of people had questions about the Egg-Bot, and I did my best to answer them. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the things I said, as well as what I’ve learned in the past few weeks.

It’s a kit.
Don’t expect to pull Egg-Bot out of a box and plug it in, you have to build it first. It’s all just assembly, no soldering, but you will need some tools and the ability to follow directions and not lose very small parts. Set aside a few hours. I set aside 3 but was done and plotting eggs in less than 2, and I was even drinking while I assembled it, but I’m an expert.

You’ll need Inkscape.
The open source vector art application Inkscape is used to send the artwork to the Egg-Bot. You’ll need to install it, as well as the Egg-Bot extension, and I’d recommend the Hershey Text extension. And Mac users will need X11. If any of those things confused you, you’ve got a little research ahead of you. If all you plan to do is print other people’s Egg-Bot specific designs, it will be a little bit easier. If you plan on making your own designs, or making existing designs work with the Egg-Bot, you’ve got some work to do. (If you are already an expert at Inkscape, well, then you’re lucky.)

Get ready to tweak.
Tinkerers tinker. Tweakers tweak. !? What I mean is, you’re going to have to mess with things. Little things. Egg-Bot is not just “set up and go” ready Freddy. You need to find the center of things, and the height of things, and what numbers equal what settings. And not just for the hardware, but for the software as well. If you have a problem figuring out how the DVR works to record “Glee” you might be in trouble…

But hey, don’t let me scare you… I’m not trying to. In fact, the Egg-Bot kit is not rocket science (that’s the Rocket-Bot kit) but it does require a bit of work. If doing some work before you have some fun doesn’t interest you, well, I can’t help you.

There is a mailing list, and a wiki, and the folks at Evil Mad Science are awesome and helpful. So there’s that.

And one more thing… I may not be an expert, but I’m willing to share what I know, so for the locals (meaning, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin) I joked about an “Egg-Bot User Group” when I met the other guy in town who has one, but since a few people thought that was a good idea, maybe we should arrange some demo or meeting or something? If you’re interested, get in touch with me, or leave a comment.

(And yes, I tried very hard to avoid using the “Eggspert” joke. You’re welcome.)

One Response to “Egg-Bot for Newbies”

  1. LarryNo Gravatar says:

    Afternoon – I have just ordered the Egg-Bot and it should be in withing the next week. I really cannot wait. I have downloaded and played with Inkscape and should be ready once the machine arrives. now, what am I going to do with it. Well, draw images on the eggs then carve them out.
    I’ll update some photos once I get it up and running.

    Tks

    lsg

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