As we are approaching that time of year when conifers tend to sprout up in living rooms, here are some techniques and tips for making awesome personalized ornaments with the EggBot.
The Original Egg-Bot! 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 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. See the photos above for some examples of 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. No soldering required. 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.
The standard pen holder included with the EggBot kit is designed to fit various art pens including Sharpie Ultra Fine Point pens, one pen is included. It can fit almost any pen of similar size.
The Eggbot is normally controlled through a set of open-source extensions to Inkscape, the excellent, popular and free vector graphics program.
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 kit is based on the original design by Bruce Shapiro, dating back to 1990. Our version, the “Egg-Bot 2.0,” is a modern and friendly update, designed with the assistance of Bruce and his team.