Catching up

Sit down!  Stay a while!  It's time we talked

Sit down! Stay a while! It’s time we talked

Hey!  It’s been a while since we’ve talked! ((Photo courtesy of Scott Beale))

Hopefully you’ll excuse the rambling nature of this post.  :)  A fair bit has changed recently.  I started a new day job1 in June, but not after taking off all of May and arranging for this last week off.

May was fun, especially Maker Faire and taking the time to go on little field trips.  I got my drawing robot in working order, put together a website dedicated to drawing robots, and drew some really cool things.  I’ve even got some stories from Maker Faire to share with you.

1. A Little Story

I had a number of drawings on display in my Maker Faire booth.  I had some Doctor Who related things, a Yoda, a Death Star, a Tesla, a House Stark dire wolf, and a number of other things.  In particular, one was a big blue TARDIS I had taped to the chain link “wall” and I was working on drawing a dalek.

Then this guy walks up with some friends, asked me a few questions, and then asked me how much for the TARDIS and dalek.  I told him that I wasn’t really selling them and that the dalek was only about 75% done – and it would need another hour or two to finish.

He turns to his friend and says, “Hey, how much do you have on you?  $110?”  Then, he says to me, “I’ll give you $110 for both right now.”  I told him he had a deal – but that the dalek was still an hour or two from being done.  He said he liked it just the way it was.  What the hell, who am I to stand between a man and his Doctor Who-themed robot drawings?  I stopped the robot, pulled down the drawings, rolled them up, and took the man’s money.

2. Another Little Story

At Maker Faire I drew two pictures for other Makers.  One was for the guys from Wikipedia who asked me if I could draw a big poster of the Wikipedia logo.  They e-mailed me an SVG of their logo and I was happy to draw it up.  Although I was still figuring out how best to draw non-TSP SVG files, it turned out really well.

The next drawing was for a fellow maker and good friend, Chris Connors, who needed a banner/poster for his booth for How2Today.  He sketched out a few tiny logos in Sharpie on a piece of paper, I took a picture with my cell phone, and I drew a big giant version of his logo.  I’m working on putting together a tutorial to help you do this too.  :)

3. Crane Project

I’m about 26% done folding 1,000 cranes.  I kinda stalled out on this project over the last few weeks.  However, now that I’m back from a vacation I’m hoping to revisit this project and get it back on track.

Okay, that’s it for a catch up post.  More soon!

  1. I say “day job” to differentiate what I do as my vocation versus what I do with the rest of my time []

I swear I’m not jealous!

Green eyed monster

Green eyed monster

Before Maker Faire announced the official call for Makers, I had already downloaded and printed out the “call for Makers” information from the most recent Maker Faire and handwritten all of my responses in the form – just so I would be ready to submit my application to be a Maker this year. ((Photo courtesy of @Doug88888)) I ended up submitting my application within just a few hours of the call going out.

After I had submitted my application, my daughter wanted to submit her own application.  Of course I was happy to help her, so I helped her prepare an application and submitted it on her behalf a little after 11pm on March 14, 2013, just under the wire.

Today Maker Faire sent her an acceptance!  My daughter is going to be exhibiting at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!



I just hope my acceptance letter comes soon.  :/  Senior year all over again…

Maze Code + Polargraph?

My RSS feed for Slashdot brought my attention to an article on Slate.  The Slashdot summary stated:

This Slate article talks about a single line of code — 10 PRINT CHR$ (205.5 + RND (1)); : GOTO 10 — and how it manages to create a complicated maze without the use of a loop, variables and without very complicated syntax.

Even though that “one line” of code really is two lines and it really does use a loop, that short string of code is still very interesting.  While the way the code generates a maze isn’t immediately intuitive, it becomes obvious once you watch a bit of the video above.  All that code does is randomly kick out a forward slash or backward slash.  Once they wrap around to the next line, they start to form what looks like a maze.

As a little exercise I created something similar using PHP.  To make that work I had to use a fair bit of CSS to make it look decent.  In any case, it occurred to me that this would be a wonderful project for a Polargraph! Draw a random forward slash or backslash, get to the end of the line and make a bunch more on the return line.  How awesome would a huge paper roll of nothing but a giant maze look?

I think I may have found a project cool enough to show off at Maker Faire.  :)

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 - The Delivery?
  12. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  13. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part III
  14. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  15. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  16. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part IV
  17. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  18. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
  19. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
  20. DrawBot – Design Considerations
  21. DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
  22. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  23. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  24. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  25. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  26. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  27. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  28. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  29. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  30. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  31. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  32. DrawBot – Printing!
  33. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  34. DrawBot – Why are you crying?
  35. DrawBot – Calibration
  36. DrawBot – Pen Selection
  37. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  38. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  39. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  40. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  41. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  42. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  43. TSP FTW!
  44. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  45. Two new DrawBot links! And an update!
  46. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  47. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  48. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  49. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  50. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  51. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  52. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  53. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  54. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  55. The Eagle Has Landed
  56. I think I know what I want to draw next...
  57. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  58. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  59. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  60. DrawBot - A Tour!
  61. DrawBot - A Preview
  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. - a new site dedicated to drawing robots

Countdown clock to the right

I couldn’t resist including the MakerFaire Bay Area countdown clock in my sidebar. However, since it is kinda wide for my sidebar, I had to use a quick bit of CSS to shoehorn it into the space. In case you want to do the same:

Would you be interested in some free MakerBot prints?

I have this pile of printed PLA pawns I’m not going to be using any time soon.  They’re of varying quality and interesting-ness.  If you’ve always wanted a MakerBot printed part but thought they were just too unattainable, now’s your chance!

I’m going to be at the East Bay Mini-MakerFaire this Sunday just walking around with my family.  If you’re going to be there too, drop me a line or leave a comment and I’ll bring a spare piece for you.  I’ll have at least nine pieces to give away.  (More if I try a few new settings.)  If you’re the only one to respond, you get all nine.  :)