posts tagged with the keyword ‘makerspace’

2012.04.29

Ping-Pong Balls in the Egg-Bot

Adam, one of the members at Milwaukee Makerspace, organizes The Amazing Milwaukee Race, and he asked for some help making customized ping-pong balls for this year’s event. He specifically asked about using the Egg-Bot to do it, so I volunteered to help… you know, being that I’m an certified Egg-Bot Operator and everything. ;)

Ping-Pong Balls for The Amazing Milwaukee Race

Here’s the end result, a whole bunch of The Amazing Milwaukee Race ping-pong balls. We originally tried to use the official logo, but at such a small size it just wasn’t as legible as we wanted, so I decided to go simple and just use text, but mix it up with all the different Ultra Fine Point Sharpies that I had available.

Egg-Bot Manual Control

I’ve almost always plotted on eggs, so doing ping-pong balls was new to me. I found the trick to doing them well (besides raising the height of the motor that holds the pen arm) was to put the ball in with the printed logo aligned directly upwards, and then using the manual control to spin the ball 180 degrees (1600 steps) so the logo is facing downwards so you can center your plot onto the backside where you’ll have the most room and (in theory) the artwork should be centered. Once you’ve done this, just plot as normal!

The other nice thing about using ping-pong balls rather than eggs is that ping-pong balls are all the same size (in theory) while eggs are all slightly different. Oh, ping-pong balls are also lighter, which means there should be less slippage, which sometimes occurs with eggs due to their weight.

So the next time you need some customized ping-pong balls for an event you’re putting on… give me a call! :)

2012.04.24

Our old pal Time Lapse Bot is back! And this time he visited Bucketworks for Spring Gallery Night 2012. Watch as the guys from Milwaukee Makerspace wow the crowd with their amazing making skills…

You can also view this video at blip.tv. The musical soundtrack is “Bogi Beat Budapest” by Budapest BluesBoy (feat. Church Choir Sv. Troica – furkosbot – presserror) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License.

2012.04.22

Arc-O-Matic

Once again Gallery Night was a blast… This time myself and the Milwaukee Makerspace guys joined forces with Bucketworks and showed the art-lovers of Milwaukee what we do. (Make things!)

Since both Drawbots were busy at the Art Milwaukee Wedding event, I needed something new to show. (And yes, I did say “both” because there are now two rolling drawbots.)

Anyway, I saw this blog post over a year ago, and made a mental note to explore the idea more, and I did, and the result is the Arc-O-Matic: a robotic drawing arm that makes arcs. Well, that’s basically what it does at this point. See the Arc-O-Matic project page for all the details.

People seem to really like seeing machines that draw, which means I’ll probably keep on exploring the world of art robots.

File Under: FUN.

(Also, if anyone knows who I can talk to at Sharpie about a sponsorship, I’d appreciate it!)

2012.04.22

Wooden Knuckles

I made some wooden knuckles. Why wood? Well, brass knuckles are usually made out of brass, which is a hard metal, and may hurt someone. Wooden knuckles use wood instead, and shouldn’t be as harmful, or dangerous, or heavy. Also, I may have a history of making safe/odd weapons.

I also published this on Thingiverse, which means if you’ve got access to a laser cutter or are really handy saw, you can make your own. It’s derived from 3D printable “brass” knuckles which would look lovely in glow-in-the-dark ABS plastic.

These may or may not be something you want to take through security. I mean, they are definitely not metal, so they won’t set off any metal detectors, and really, they are more “art” than “weapon” in my opinion. (I have no idea what the TSA might think about these…)

If you want to make your own laser-cut wooden knuckles, you could probably do so at the Milwaukee Makerspace if you were a member, and had some 3mm Baltic Birch plywood and a bit of glue.

2012.04.18

SVG file in Inkscape
SVG file in Inkscape

After my last post on the subject, Laser. Cut. Files. (Part II), I figured that I had something that worked… but then something came along that worked better!

Thanks to a comment from old pal Thomas Edwards on the Part II post:

Have you tried Inkscape Save as EPS, then Preview EPS to save PDF? (Inkscape Save as PDF might work as well, but I find Corel Draw gets messed up by fonts unless I start as EPS and then go to PDF)

I decided to give PDF files from Inkscape a try. They didn’t work. CorelDraw gets some crazy error trying to open PDF files I create in Inkscape on Mac OS X… but what did work was a two-step process!

Again, my goal is to do all of my design work on Mac OS X, typically using Inkscape, and then moving my files to the Laser Cutter PC running CorelDraw on Windows (yuk!)

PDF file in Preview
PDF file in Preview

So for now, my process is the following:

  1. Create vector art in Inkscape
  2. Save (original) file as an SVG
  3. Save (a copy of the file) as a PDF from Inkscape
  4. Open the PDF from Inkscape in Preview and Save as a PDF
  5. Copy the new PDF file to Laser Cutter PC
  6. Open a new document in CorelDraw and import PDF file

Save as a PDF (again!)
Save as a PDF (again!)

Windows and Linux users, your mileage may vary, and obviously you don’t have Preview.app, but on Mac OS X this process works for me. And as for the note in the comment from Thomas about fonts, I’d be sure to convert any fonts into outlines after I save my SVG file, but before I save my PDF file. (It’s an old print design trick.)

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