Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing

Over the last two days or so I’ve drawn the largest picture yet with my DrawBot.  I started it on Friday night and, with numerous pauses and other misadventures, finished it this morning.  The drawing is roughly 12″ x 18″ or so. 1  With no apparent rhyme or reason the drawing would pause numerous times.  I would estimate about 25 or so.  Also, the pen had a difficult time towards the end.  I believe this was in part due to the angle of the pen on the drawing surface and the quantity of the ink left.  As of this morning I was still using version 1.1.2, but I’m installing version 1.1.4 right now. 2

Here are some additional thoughts:

  • In an earlier post I had mentioned I was having stalling problems while drawing.  Sandy asked whether I was able to change serial ports to a different one and back again.  The answer is “sort of.”
  • When there’s a stall, here’s what I do:
    1. Click “SETUP->SERIAL PORT…
    2. Click on some other serial port other than the one I’ve been using
    3. Disconnect and then immediately reconnect the USB cable from the computer
    4. Click on the original serial port I had been using
    5. As soon as the Drawbot reestablishes a connection with the Polargraph controller software, it starts drawing right where it left off
  • I used to export a copy of the existing queue before doing all of this, and while it is still a very good idea, it doesn’t seem necessary.
  • This exact process has worked several times in a row without a problem.  Interestingly, step number 3 above3 is critical.  If I exclude this step the program crashes.
  • For this drawing I used a Pilot Precise Rolling Ball V5, extra fine tip, black.  I had used a red pen of the same make for a prior drawing and it worked reasonably well.
  • I’m in the process of designing a new pen gondola.  I think something that can angle the pen downwards would help the pen apply ink to the page.
  • Interestingly, I noticed after about 80% of the drawing was done the pen had a little bit of paper fuzz on it.  Once I removed this, the pen seemed to work a lot better.
  • The pen stopped drawing completely after about 85% of the drawing over all.  This was a bit disappointing.  However, since I was drawing from the top right to the bottom left and the version of the Polargraph controller I was using allows you to specify which area to start from, I just restarted the same drawing from the bottom right corner and ended up with a very satisfactory result.

In other words, it’s a nice day to start again.

Posts in the DrawBot Adventure Series
  1. Wanna make a DrawBot?
  2. DrawBot, the Adventure Begins
  3. DrawBots for the slow learner
  4. DrawBot - Parts Ordered!!!
  5. DrawBot - Parts Shipped!!!
  6. DrawBot - What would you draw?
  7. DrawBot - The Plan!
  8. DrawBot - The Delivery?
  9. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  10. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  11. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  12. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
  13. DrawBot – Design Considerations
  14. DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  15. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  16. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  17. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  18. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  19. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  20. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  21. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  22. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  23. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VIII
  24. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  25. DrawBot – Why are you crying?
  26. DrawBot – Calibration
  27. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  28. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  29. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  30. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  31. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  32. TSP FTW!
  33. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  34. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  35. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  36. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  37. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  38. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  39. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  40. The Eagle Has Landed
  41. Every Body Needs a Skull
  42. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  43. Overengineered Spools
  44. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  45. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  46. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  47. DrawBot - A Tour!
  48. Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
  49. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  50. Unidentified Foam Object
  51. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  52. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  53. A Study of Drawing Robot Pen Holders and Design Considerations
  54. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  55. Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
  56. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  57. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  58. To Maker Faire!!!
  59. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  60. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  61. PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots
  1. I rolled it up and gave it to a friend before I thought to take a photogram []
  2. One of Sandy’s latest posts suggests there’s a 1.1.5 available, but I couldn’t find it. []
  3. The disconnect and reconnection of the USB cable from the computer []

5 Responses to “Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing”

  1. Sandy Noble says:

    Aha, the 1.1.4 that’s listed on the site (25th Feb) _is_ the 1.1.5 that I thought I was talking about. I was just being a spanner. Anyway, glad you sort of found a solution. I take it your board is powered by an external power supply (so not by USB), and that’s why you’re able to disconnect the usb without it resetting?

    It’s an odd one. It might be that the board itself stops transmitting it’s “READY” for one reason or another. Or it might be that the USB connection dies for some other reason. If you run the controller through the Processing environment rather than the standalone version, then you should be able to see what exactly is coming from the board in the console. It could be illuminating.

    Cheers!!
    sn

  2. MakerBlock says:

    @Sandy: I figured you were talking about the 1.1.4. :)
    My board is powered by the external power supply, rather than powering the motor shield separately.
    So, I’m not entirely sure which software to which you’re referring. I’ve only ever used the “polargraphcontroller” software and not the “polargraph_queue_runner” yet. What’s the difference between the two? Do I create the queue using the controller and then import the saved queue in to the queue runner?
    Basically, all I see is that the controller software reports the Arduino is still busy – even though it is sitting idle.

  3. Sandy Noble says:

    Yep I didn’t mean the queue runner, I just meant that if you download the source code for the controller, and install the libraries and run it through processing (rather than downloading the precompiled binaries), then you’d get more insight into what is actually going on, because all the messages coming from the board are echoed out to the console, and you get to see exceptions and things.

  4. MakerBlock says:

    @Sandy: Ooooooh! Well, I’ve never tried such a thing! I’ll give it a shot!

  5. […] using my DrawBot to draw pixelated drawings (versus TSP or vectors)1 I don’t really notice a pause from the machine between each […]

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