Category Archives: EMSL Projects

Evil Mad Scientist Valentines: 2017 Edition

2017 valentines

Today we are releasing our newest set of “Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. This is our fifth year, and fifth set of cards: The 2013 set had six equation-heavy cards, the 2014 set was a set of six symbol-heavy cards, and the 2015 set included love, hearts, and arrows. The 2016 set featured Pluto’s cold heart, and the perfect card for your robotic expression of love.

This year’s set features relativity, atomic orbitals, exponential growth, an LC resonator, and an epsilon delta declaration of love.

You put me in an excited state

“You put me in an excited state.”

Roses are red...

Roses are red. Which does suggest that they’re moving away from us, quickly.

Epsilon delta proof

While this sounds much like an “epsilon delta proof,” it lacks the logical rigor that we would normally associate with one. It’s more of a postulate, really.

Limit of sin(1/x)

“You make my heart feel like sin(1/x)….” If your heart isn’t jumping yet, you’ve probably never tried to graph that.

exponential

The original title for this one was “my love for you grows exponentially.” But hey, your valentine is smart (or you wouldn’t be sending these kinds of valentines): Let them do the math.


2016 valentines

You can download the full set here, which includes all 30 designs from all five years (a 1.5 MB PDF document).

As usual, print them out on (or otherwise affix to) card stock, personalize, and [some steps omitted] enjoy the resulting lifelong romance.

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.

Introducing the AxiDraw V3

We are pleased to introduce the AxiDraw V3, a new generation of our flagship writing and drawing machine.

This new AxiDraw has been redesigned from the ground up for high performance. It features smooth rolling wheels on custom aluminum extrusions, specially designed for high stiffness and light weight. Its sturdy, rigid construction gives it finer quality output and in most applications allows it to operate at up to twice the speed of the previous AxiDraw, which it replaces.

As with the previous version, AxiDraw is a simple, modern, precise, and versatile pen plotter, capable of writing or drawing on almost any flat surface. It can write with fountain pens, permanent markers, and other writing implements to handle an endless variety of applications. Its unique design features a writing head that extends beyond the body of the machine, making it possible to draw on objects bigger than the machine itself.

AxiDraw V3 is available to order today, and begins shipping next week. See it in action and learn more on the product page.

AYAB: A new interface for vintage knitting machines

Machine knitted versions of the AYAB and the Evil Mad Scientist logos

AYAB — All Yarns Are Beautiful — is an open source hardware and software project that provides an alternative way to control the widely-loved Brother KH-9xx range of knitting machines using a computer. There are other hacks (such as Img2Track, Knitic and electro-knit) which work with certain machines in certain conditions. The AYAB interface works with all Brother KH-9xx machines except the KH-970.

AYAB control board

We’ve just launched a new interface board for the AYAB project. They’ve written about it on their site, and you can read the product details on our store page for it.

Historically, these machines were programmed with semi-transparent picture cards which were scanned by the machine line by line. For later machines, you could enter a pattern via lots of tedious button-pressing. Some models had an add-on gadget that connected to your vintage TV.

Knitted image of Live Long and Prosper hand gesture

With the AYAB interface, you can provide an image of up to a 200 pixel (or needle) size from your computer. The control is done by an Arduino-compatible microcontroller board, which replaces the vintage control board. We are excited to be helping to bring new capabilities to these beloved machines.

WaterColorBot & fabric markers

Quilted bag with geometric patterns drawn by WaterColorBot

Laurel Pollard posted a quilted book bag she made using WaterColorBot with fabric markers to draw designs made using Beetleblocks. Her technique:

iron freezer paper to back of fabric to stablize, tape down. Use Sharpie ‘Stained’ fabric markers.

AxiDraw in the Wild

We’re excited to see so many people sharing what they are doing with the AxiDraw. Here are a few examples we’ve found in places like twitter and instagram.

We’re going back to pen and paper with our logo, with a little help from the EvilMadScientist #Axidraw. A video posted by Spies & Assassins (@spiesassassins) on

Spies & Assassins have been trying out different writing implements.

NO/R has been trying materials like leather (above) and canvas.

#envelope #casualcalligraphy #axidraw #wedding #invitation #jimandpamforever A photo posted by Bonnie Kingdon (@penandletter) on

Bonnie Kingdon posted this elegantly addressed envelope.

this #axidraw and #sharpie #tinfoil print was first designed by Aldus Manutius in 1499!

A photo posted by adam sontag (@ajpiano_official) on

Adam Sontag posted several marker drawings on foil.

Moritz Stefaner discovered StippleGen, our stippling program.

Box with creature drawn on it using AxiDraw

Miki is using AxiDraw to create custom packaging.

Keep all these great pictures and videos coming! We always enjoy seeing the creative ways people use our tools.

National Week of Making: WaterColorBot in the Tinkering Studio

watercolorbot collage

This week for the National Week of Making, the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium is celebrating with a WaterColorBot and Beetleblocks workshop.

WaterColorBot always brings unexpectedness and whimsicality to your design. Here, getting the outcome does not become the end of your project. You feel you want to try more. Whether it is revising the code, tweaking the WaterColorBot setting, or replacing the brush, you are making a small but important adjustment for you. You find yourself in an eternal loop of iteration!