Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Eggs + Sharpies And The Egg-Bot Will Do The Decorating Work For You.
Now you can impress the Easter Bunny with stylish and artfully decorated eggs created by the Egg-Bot, a robotic kit that is available for purchase.
The Eggbot is an open-source art robot that can draw on spherical or egg-shaped objects from the size of a ping pong ball to that of a small grapefruit-- roughly 1.25 to 4.25 inches in diameter (3 - 10 cm). The kit is based on the original design by Bruce Shapiro. The newest version, the "Egg-Bot 2.0," is a modern and friendly update, designed with the assistance of Bruce and his team.
The Eggbot is super adjustable, and is designed to draw on all kinds of things that are normally "impossible" to print on. Not just eggs but ping pong balls, light bulbs, mini pumpkins, and even things like wine glasses-- with a bit of work. In the photos, you can see just a few of the things that you can make with an eggbot: Incredible personalized golf balls, christmas ornaments, light bulbs, and (yes) eggs.
The Eggbot chassis is made of tough fiberglass, with integrated heat sinks for the included motors. The pen and egg motors are high-torque precision stepping motors, and the pen lift mechanism is a quiet and reliable servo motor.
The Eggbot kit is easy to assemble in a couple of hours, and only requires a couple of basic tools like miniature Phillips-head and flathead screwdrivers. You'll also need a recent-vintage computer with an available USB port (Mac, Windows or Linux), plus internet access to download assembly instructions and necessary software.
Eggbot w/ EBB Driver Board The Eggbot kit comes complete with a fully assembled and tested EiBotBoard v2.0 (EBB) USB interface/motor driver board. No soldering or programming are required.
The EBB allows your computer to directly control the stepper and servo motors. The onboard 16X microstepping driver chips along with the 200 step/revolution stepper motors give a combined resolution of 3200 steps/revolution in both axes. A universal-input plug-in power supply (9 V 1.5 A) is included with the Eggbot kit, as is a USB cable.
Basic operation is much like that of a printer driver: you import or make a drawing in Inkscape, and use the extensions to plot your drawing onto whatever object you've mounted in the Eggbot. It's all handled through an easy to use graphical user interface, and works cleanly on Mac, Windows and Linux.
The standard pen holder included with the EggBot kit is designed to fit various art pens including Sharpie Ultra Fine Point pens. However, it can actually fit almost any pen of similar size. If you want to use a pen that doesn't fit, the pen holder is made of wood and can be enlarged to suit your taste.
You can even fit a lot of things that aren't pens. One example: They'll be offering a diamond-point engraver tool as an optional add-on for the EggBot kit in the near future.
above: The Eggbot Logo on an Egg
If you have additional questions about the Eggbot kit, you may want to look at the Eggbot FAQ.
The Egg-Bot 2.0 kit was designed by Windell Oskay and Lenore Edman with extensive help from Bruce Shapiro and Brian Schmalz. The kit includes assembly and use instructions, open source hardware release documents and example plot files.
The Eggbot kit is available here.