A Wax Coupler for EggBot

This tiny little thing is a new EggBot accessory that we call the Wax Coupler. Not because it’s made of wax (it’s CNC machined aluminum) but because you can use it to attach an egg to the motor that turns it, using wax, like so:

 

Aside: why is the base of the egg black? We’ll get to that below.

Once the egg is attached to the Wax Coupler, it provides a rigid attachment point that provides secure coupling between the egg and the motor. More importantly, the coupler+egg assembly can be removed from the motor and put back in place, without losing registration.  In machine tool terms, you might describe this as the process of attaching an egg to a rigid mandrel.

 

Wait– why would you want to do that?

Hardware 1 Pysanky eggs

Let’s go back a few steps. Last spring we introduced our Electro-Kistka for EggBot. A kistka is a hot-wax pen used in the traditional wax-resist and dye (batik) method to produce colorful eggs in the fashion of Ukranian pysanky, and this one is designed to work with a computer-controlled EggBot.

At the time, we noted that this process introduces a new problem, that of re-indexing the egg within the EggBot, after taking it out for dyeing:

It is harder than it looks.  While two-tone eggs are straightforward, we have found it to be challenging to precisely reposition an egg after removing it for dyeing. Thus, it takes considerable patience and experience to produce multicolor eggs with good registration between subsequent color layers.  We’d be interested in exploring better ways to do this.

Kistka-brush 7

One method that we tried (shown above) was to dye the egg in place, by brushing it without removing it. The results were mediocre: it worked, but the dye layers were subdued and blotchy. We also looked into a somewhat wackier method of dying the egg in place, by standing the EggBot on end, and using a collapsable bag of dye.

Which brings us to the proper solution: To attach the egg rigidly to a repositionable coupler with beeswax. Doing so allows us to take out the egg and dye it (coupler and all) and then easily index it back into the EggBot.

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EggBot in Budapest

Kitti in Budapest has a thoughtful blog about her EggBot. She’s posting her experiences, modifications, and challenges. She is putting up designs on Thingiverse, starting with the Hungarian Folk design shown above.

My first design was inspired by my Mom. I told her about my plans to draw something in Inkscape to be printed on an egg later. She immediately ask if I am planning to do a Hungarian folk pattern.

We’ll be looking forward to seeing what comes next!

GeekDad on the EggBot

EggBot on workbench with daughter at computer

Mark has posted a nice writeup at GeekDad about receiving an EggBot as a birthday present:

It was the perfect gift for a GeekDad–something I wasn’t expecting and might not have bought for myself, but is so much fun that I wish I’d bought one years ago.

30 valentine ping pong balls

He used it for his daughter’s preschool:

In almost no time, I had a box of 30 Valentine’s ping pong balls for her to take to school. Her teachers were fascinated when they saw them and I was told had been debating whether we had somehow hand-drawn them all. The head teacher asked my daughter how we made them and she naturally replied: “No, a robot drew them!”

EggBot holiday project roundup

It’s close to the holidays, which means people are pulling out their EggBots and getting creative. Last year, we posted a set of holiday designs and some tips for working with ornaments. Here are a few projects we’ve found this year.

Erin Ruppert made this lovely “First Christmas” ornament. The gold ink looks great on the clear ball.

Erin also made ornaments with ornaments on them, which somehow seems fitting.

Lotte made an ornament for her mom at FABKlas, a maker education program.

The folks at FABsterdam made this Mario ornament.

MAKE Ventura used gold Sharpie markers on a matte finish ornament to great effect. Other makerspaces are playing with their EggBots, too. The Johnson County Library in Kansas is doing Eggbot ornament tutorials in their makerspace.

Chris Lynas took the EggBot to “work and school Christmas fair raising money for charity – result: £200 in under four hours!”

Fran marked up eggs for a family igloo making craft party.

Lastly, our friend Miguel engraved glass ornaments with his EggBot.