Category Archives: Art

The First X-Men cover with AxiDraw

Adam Sontag posted this great time lapse of using AxiDraw to draw the First X-Men cover in honor of Jack Kirby’s 100th Birthday.

Electronic Kintsugi

Vanessa Julia Carpenter from FabLabRUC did a workshop at FabCafe Tokyo with Kintsugi Artist Kurosawa using mended dishes as conductors in circuits.

The precious metals used to repair the dishes are used to trigger sound or light, encouraging the participants to connect with the dishes in interesting ways. There’s much more detail on this intersection of craft and electronics over in Vanessa’s post about the workshop.

Signal Generator Musical Instrument

Our friend Arjan van der Meij made this charming musical instrument from a signal generator, a servo motor, an Arduino and a processing program. He wrote an instructable for it so you can build one, too.

Signal Generator Instrument

He also wrote about his experience with the project in Dutch on makered.nl. Projects like this one, that started with a question (“Why don’t you build a machine to do it?”) are great for learning new skills. I often get asked what things someone should get for learning electronics, and my answer is usually that the first thing you need is a project that you want to make so that you’ll have motivation to research what you’ll need.

3d printed knob adapter connected to servo motor and signal generator

Arjan wanted to learn tinkercad, and used this project toward that goal by modeling the knob adapter he’d need for connecting his servo to his signal generator knob. Even if you don’t want to make a musical instrument from a signal generator, this project may provide inspiration for trying out new techniques.

Fractals with AxiDraw

Paul Butler wrote a tutorial on Fractal Generation with L-Systems and posted some example code with the output plotted by AxiDraw.

Fractal tree drawn by AxiDraw

The tutorial is also available as a Jupyter notebook with runnable code.

555 Storage Ottoman

Ottoman (closed)

Ross wrote in to share his project:

I saw the 555 footstool on your site a while back, and wanted to build one a bit larger that provided space for storage and also didn’t require CNC. Enclosed are photos of my 555 storage ottoman, built from 1/2 and 3/4 inch plywood. … Thanks for the inspiration, and hope you enjoy the photos.

Ottoman (open, with magazines inside and magazine on lid)

Thanks for sending the photos and letting us know about your build! It looks great!

Robotic Art Contest 2017

The second annual Robot Art contest Is in its final lap:

The Robot Art 2017 competition will be running between now and May 15th when more than $100,000 in awards will be given to the top painting robots. Winners will be determined based on a combination of public voting, professional judges consisting of working artists, critics, and technologists, and by how well the team met the spirit of the competition – that is to create something beautiful using a physical brush and robotics.

You can help by voting on the artwork now!

Robert Dering: Batik Egg Artist

Daniel Clifton wrote up a nice article at 101highlandlakes.com about Robert Dering, a retiree who makes batik dyed eggs he gifts to people in his community. The article talks about the process of making them, including using an EggBot.

He started batik egg coloring about 15 years ago after Martha Stewart demonstrated it on her TV show. (Dering said it’s a bit embarrassing to admit he watched the show, but he pointed out he was retired and you never know from where you can learn something new.) The first few were terrible, but he continued, improving with each one.

“I’m still improving,” he said.

For most of those years, he used a small, hand-turned lathe designed for batik egg coloring to pen on a design. It was a bit tedious. But recently, he came across a mechanical device called the EggBot, which does that step for him using a computer program. The program frees up Dering’s creativity. He simply scans a photo or a design into the computer program, which adapts it for the EggBot, which, in turn, draws it on an egg.

There ends the time-saving. Now it’s back to the dying, waxing, and washing.