WKP (weird kind of printer)

For lack of a better name, here it is, the weird kind of printer!

As I explained, it's a printer but instead of an inkjet head, there is a needle driven by a solenoid. I still have to figure out what to use that for but the results keep getting better so I decided to shoot this little video. Some friends of mine have started to test it for screen printing and it works quite well! Many other uses to come (braille printing, embossing, and many more..).

On the technical side, I use two Nema 17 stepper motor driven by an adafruit motor shield and a solenoid. On how to drive a solenoid from an arduino see here. A processing program thresholds the image and sends coordinate to the arduino sketch uploaded on the arduino (call-and-response protocol to avoid any data loss). All in all this is a pretty simple setup! The structure is laser-cutted and most of my parts come from the CNC section of the adafruit  website, except for the urethane tube used to move the paper, which I got from ebay. My goal was to buid this machine for less than 200$ and I am pretty close to it!

 

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If you have any questions or have any specific use in mind, feel free to contact me!

Processing Snippets

Lately I have been working on half-tones generation with processing, mainly to use with my home-made printer (I am still working on vectorial drawing, but it's a little harder).

So here are two snippets of code.

The first one is pretty basic, but the point is to let you chose what shape do you want to use so I commented it in order to be very easily understandable.

The second one uses a very specific pattern that I really love. I saw it used on the sestemantics website, for the van Bergen Kolpa website. Here is a demo: 

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You can download them here . One of the good things is that the output file is a vector PDF so you can manipulate it in Illustrator (or Inkscape if you want to stay open source)!


ENSCI x Microsoft Gadgeteer Workshop

Last week, we had a workshop with Tilman Dingler and Thomas Kubitza from the University of Stuttgart. They came to the ENSCI to present us the .NET Gadgeteer. Basically it is an Arduino alternative made by Microsoft (but still open-source!). The main difference is that Gadgeteer is way more powerful (enough to do video stream processing) and is designed to be solderless with a plug and socket-system.

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I have to say, it is a really neat prototyping platform with killer features like an automatic wiring system (you drag and drop the elements you want to use on the software and it shows you which sockets to choose) and an auto-completion system of the code which makes it really easy to use. The downside is of course the price. It is not cheap. If you want something to make prototypes in two hours, take it to pieces and do the same the next day, you need to buy that! It is like electronics Lego and you can use a converter to use classical electronics. But you can't afford to abandon one main board in each of your machine so you will have to take it to pieces

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I worked with my friend Sebastian. What we did was basically a two axis plotter. The twist is that the two axis are making a radial plotter so it allows you to plot on an half-sphere. We made a little processing sketch to convert SVG graphics into a group of coordinates fed into the plotter.

A video (we were drawing the ENSCI logo. Unfortunately the video doesn't have the final result.) right here!

ENSCI On-line Drawing course

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I had a drawing course at the ENSCI run by Claire Malrieux. The goal of the course was to think about drawing as a tool to express ourselves on a specific theme which this semester was the Money.

My work was a reflection about how money was a mechanical and mathematical system that we juxtapose to our human sensibility, and that it couldn't work causing an alienation of our sensible selves. 

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To express that feeling, I chose to do portrait with my CNC, by processing image to get my G-code which is just a series of numbers till I recomposed that to get my portrait, a deconstruction/reconstruction of someone through mathematical steps. I chose Boris Karloff's Frankeinstein as a subject because this character embodies the fear of what science can do when it applies to human being, and the monstrosity that results.

To show the movement of reconstruction of the portrait, I decided to project a simulation of the G-code being drawn through a semi-transparent plexiglass sheet.

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Scratch on Trackpad with Processing

A few month ago, I came across a Java library to access the Macbook Trackpad. At first it might seems useless but when you think a bit about it, its basically a multitouch (up to ten points), pressure sensitive surface! Which opens a lot of possibility. What's more acceding the absolute coordinate of your finger is something that you can't do only with the basic mouse support of Java, because the software is made to move the move according to relative change.

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Personally, I made a little scratch App which use the absolute location to (try to) give sensation close to what scratching really is. But run the example sketch and you will get how powerful this thing is! 

I putted everything on my git, here.