Wacky Realization #8565748

Shadows

Shadows

I had a lot of driving to do this last week. 1  For work I drove about 11 hours total on two separate days combined.  Then, on Friday, I drove another 4 hours or so to visit some friends.   Thankfully, driving back Saturday was only 3 hours.

Driving back at around dusk on Saturday meant lots of glare, lots of long shadows.  And then it struck me…  There must come a point when the Earth rotates relative to the Sun such that an object on the surface of the earth could cast an infinitely long shadow.  And, really, this should happen twice a day.

Now I think I have a new mission.  I need to find someplace on our planet to stand such that either at sunset or sunrise I would cast an infinitely long shadow.

  1. Garry via Compfight []

Has it really been that long?

2012. calendarI just fired up OpenSCAD, my 3D design program of choice, and then it occurred to me that it’s been quite a while since I’ve used it.  A quick search for *.SCAD files on my hard drive revealed I haven’t updated any OpenSCAD documents since 5/13/2012. 1

That’s more than two months!  How can this be?!  I’ve got a pile of ideas stacking up.

How do you organize your ideas?  I created an e-mail address for myself “ideas@DOMAIN.com,” jot down the ideas, and send them to myself constantly.  If I have paper, I’ll sketch the idea out, take a picture, and e-mail the picture to this same address.  I think I probably send myself about two or three e-mails a day.

I can’t wait to jump back into OpenSCAD and work on some of these ideas!!!

  1. Photo courtesy of Asja Borošvia Compfight []

DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot

Winter Is Coming

Winter Is Coming

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my DrawBot.  In large part that’s because it’s been a while since I’ve even used my DrawBot.

After a little dry spell of making, I’ve been rocking the DrawBot.  Previously I had been drawing things about the size of a sheet of paper.  While this meant the drawings were relatively quick, it also meant I could just print whatever I wanted directly onto a 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper using my traditional black and white laser printer.  This weekend I’ve cranked out a few drawings – but on a much grander scale.  Several months ago I picked up a large roll of white paper at the local office supply store – and I’ve since created about three 3-foot tall drawings.  One is a House Stark direwolf from Game of Thrones, one is an R2D2 commissioned by my daughter, and a third is an R2D2 and C3PO also at the request for my daughter.1

The last one is particularly cool.  I’ll take a picture for you later.  There’s a lot of room for improvement with the gondola.  The current setup is… let’s say… non-optimal.  I’m working on an improved version.

Where was I?  Oh yes!  The watched pot!

I’m using Sandy Noble’s seriously awesome Polargraph software to power my DrawBot.  I’m rocking version 0.182 and noticed that when I’ve got the program on the “Input” tab it draws about 42 points a minute and when it’s on the “Queue” tab it draws about 96 points a minute when working on SVG / vector graphic.  The cool part about drawing with the “Input” tab open is that you can see the drawing in progress.  So, when I’m watching the drawing, it runs slower.

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 - The Plan!
  9. DrawBot - The Hacks
  10. DrawBot - Giant Unicorn?
  11. DrawBot - The Delivery?
  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 Delivery, Part V
  21. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  22. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  23. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  24. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  25. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  26. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  27. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  28. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VIII
  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. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  48. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  49. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  50. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  51. The Eagle Has Landed
  52. Every Body Needs a Skull
  53. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  54. Overengineered Spools
  55. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  56. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  57. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  58. DrawBot - A Tour!
  59. DrawBot - A Preview
  60. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  61. Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
  62. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  63. Unidentified Foam Object
  64. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  65. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  66. A Study of Drawing Robot Pen Holders and Design Considerations
  67. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  68. Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
  69. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  70. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  71. To Maker Faire!!!
  72. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  73. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  74. PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots
  1. She likes R2D2. []
  2. He’s continually working on the software and is already out with v.0.19! []

Dear Google, this IS my name

Dear Google,

Your user policies apparently require anyone using Google Plus to provide proof of an established online identity or have my Google Plus account deleted.  I have been using the name “MakerBlock” for two and a half years now.  I probably have as many friends and acquaintances who know me by this, my chosen name, as I have friends and acquaintances who know me by the arbitrary name chosen for me.  In fact, when it comes to an online identity, I’d say 99% of the people who know me don’t even know other names for me.

Here’s part of the problem with your online identify policies.  I’m not trying to be mysterious.  I’ve had online cyber stalkers before and, it is very likely I will again.  It’s actually becoming a more frequent problem for people with professions similar to mine. If this website, my Twitter account, or my Google Plus profile became associated with my given name, I’d probably need to soon abandon one or more of them.

Aside from safety issues, there are other totally legitimate reasons I’d want to use a non-given name for any of these accounts.  I do enjoy a little slice of anonymity and freedom that comes with not having the people I work with or for know about this website or online social networks.  It’s nice to have a place to vent about work, employer, and/or client frustrations.

In any case, why do you even care about my given name?  You know my IP address, which websites I own, you know where I live, probably all of my e-mail addresses.  You are in my phone, have my credit card number, and know where I work.  Why, for heaven’s sake, do you want to take this little piece away from me?

I have friends I would like to connect with through Google Plus, but associating Google Plus with my given name would essentially mean I wouldn’t be able to use Google Plus.  Your policy notice indicated that if I don’t appeal by 7/11/2012 you’ll delete my account.

MakerBlock IS my name and if I can’t use it online for Google Plus then I guess you need to delete my Google Plus data.