DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)

This morning the USPS website told me that the remaining parts from Adafruit left Oakland yesterday.  As of this moment, they should be sitting at my local Post Office… but not go out for delivery until tomorrow as today is a postal holiday.1  In any case, I just realized that a DrawBot based on Sandy Noble’s Polargraph will require some basic knowledge of Processing.  I guess I better get learning!

Posts in the DrawBot Adventure Series
  1. Wanna make a DrawBot?
  2. DrawBot Resources and Links
  3. DrawBot, the Adventure Begins
  4. DrawBots for the slow learner
  5. DrawBot - Parts Ordered!!!
  6. DrawBot - The Breakdown
  7. DrawBot - Parts Shipped!!!
  8. DrawBot - What would you draw?
  9. DrawBot - The Plan!
  10. DrawBot - The Hacks
  11. DrawBot - Giant Unicorn?
  12. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  13. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  14. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  15. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part IV
  16. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  17. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
  18. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
  19. DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  20. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  21. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  22. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  23. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  24. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  25. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  26. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  27. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  28. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  29. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  30. DrawBot – Printing!
  31. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  32. DrawBot – Why are you crying?
  33. DrawBot – Calibration
  34. DrawBot – Pen Selection
  35. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  36. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  37. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  38. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  39. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  40. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  41. TSP FTW!
  42. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  43. Two new DrawBot links! And an update!
  44. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  45. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  46. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  47. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  48. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  49. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  50. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  51. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  52. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  53. The Eagle Has Landed
  54. Every Body Needs a Skull
  55. I think I know what I want to draw next...
  56. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  57. Overengineered Spools
  58. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  59. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  60. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  61. DrawBot - A Tour!
  62. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  63. Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
  64. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  65. Unidentified Foam Object
  66. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  67. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  68. A Study of Drawing Robot Pen Holders and Design Considerations
  69. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  70. Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
  71. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  72. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  73. To Maker Faire!!!
  74. Skipping! How could I forget the skipping?!
  75. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  76. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  77. PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots
    • My current self [CS] would like to point out to my past self [PS] that if you had only placed the order one day earlier, you’d probably have had all the parts this weekend to work on.  Heck you could even have been done by now.
    • PS would counter, first, that I couldn’t have ordered all of the parts necessary without having first sought some input from people who have done this before me.  And, second…
    • CS would interrupt saying, “Hey PS, what happened to you, man?  You used to be so cool!  What you were afraid of?  Burning a chip or some damn thing?  That’s how you learn!  Buy a helmet!  In any case, people have built these things out of complete junk before!  Where is your sense of adventure?!”
    • PS would remind CS it is not polite to interrupt, “And, secondly, as I was saying, there’s no point in not making use of the various resources available to one.  It would be brash and foolhardy to simply jump in not knowing what the heck you/we were doing.  And, thirdly, in the fullness of time, I think you’ll come to understand that a few day’s delay in assembling a robot is but a blink of the eye in comparison to the time you’ll spend assembling, tuning, and operating said robot.”
    • CS, “Really?  ‘Fullness of time’?  Seriously, man, who talks like that?  I suppose the delay is not such a big deal, but the momentum one has when tackling a project is not an inconsequential concern.  I don’t know about you, but I have the attention span of a gnat.  <Oh!  Shiny!>  It is entirely possible that by the time the final parts arrive, in less than 24 hours, I may have moved on to some new project.”
    • PS, “Momentum, schmomentum.  You might move on to a new project?  Do you realize that you’ve got 16 posts on your site yammering on about this project – when all you have so far is one half-assembled circuit board?  No, you’re going to have to do better than that.  Besides, if you had simply moved to Brooklyn already like I told you, none of this would have been an issue.  You could have just walked over to Adafruit and picked up all the parts you required.”
    • CS, “Move to Brooklyn?  That’s your answer?  I live in the Bay Area, as in ‘California.’  Chances are work is going to have me driving down to Silicon Valley at some point this week anyhow.  And you want me to move to Brooklyn over $100 in parts?”
    • PS, “Well, it looks like you just admitted that this project wasn’t important enough for you to conjure up an excuse to drive to San Jose or Palo Alto.  You didn’t even try to visit a Radio Shack or a Fry’s.  Hell, the time you’ve spent griping about the delays you’ve caused yourself would have been enough for you to drive down to an electronics store and pick up the parts.”
    • CS, “Yeah, at a 50% markup?  Right.  Good plan!”
    • PS, “Okay, which is it?  Did you want the cheapest result or the fastest?  Having chosen an economical middle ground, it seems somewhat silly to blame me that the parts didn’t arrive as fast as fast can be.”
    • CS, “Shut up.”
    • PS, “No, you shut up.”


4 Responses to “DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)”

  1. kongorilla says:

    1. If you know how to open and verify a sketch in the arduino ide, you pretty much know all you need to about Processing. Unless you plan to change Sandy’s code, you’re just going to open a pde in Processing and hit the ‘run’ button. Or, if you grab a precompiled binary from Sandy, you’ll just launch an executable without even knowing you’re running processing code.

    2. You live very close to me (I’m on the peninsula), but since you have heated arguments with various fragments of yourself, I don’t want to be any more specific. ; )

  2. MakerBlock says:

    @Kongorilla: (1) I once had to open a sketch in the Arduino IDE and upload a new temperature table to my Cupcake. However, I was religiously following a step-by-step guide someone had written specifically for that hack. (2) In that case, let’s hope for all three of our sake’s that I don’t need to call on you for help!

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