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.
The first challenge was finding a way to print on round surfaces. Luckily, in our previous R&D experiments, we had played the with quirky EggBot, a printer that lets you print on eggs (yeah, you read that right). We knew that, with some work, it was possible to use that mechanism to print on a “normal” round object too. The Eggbot producers did not agree, stating on their official wiki:
“No matter what you do, EggBot will never produce good results on a tennis ball. Golf balls are okay, though.”
But those words only fueled our creativity and made us move forward.
They 3D printed some custom couplers to hold the tennis balls and wrote some custom software to streamline the printing process, and then printed on hundreds of tennis balls.
It’s springtime, the season when eggs traditionally get their moment of glory. In the Egg Contest we want to see what happens when you scramble up your creativity with this theme. Any and all entries highlighting or featuring eggs (or egg-like creations) are eligible.
Jiri Zemanek from Prague sent in this fabulous video of eggs decorated using the EggBot, some with markers, and some with the Electro-Kistka.
Various patterns are generated in Matlab using mathematical equations similar to ones describing Spirograph (or harmonograph) and Phyllotaxis. The patterns are calculated in such a way that when rotated under a stroboscopic light of suitable frequency or when recorded by a camera, they start to animate. It is kind of zoetrope— early device for animation. … Eggs are rotated at a constant speed, special for each pattern, by a brushless motor. No computer graphics tricks are used in the video.
A Utah Teapot is an ideal design for a geeky ornament. For this one, I generated a vector stipple drawing from a photograph of the source object for this digital design icon. There are certainly many other ways to create a Utah Teapot ornament, including, of course, 3D printing.
Our friend Fran has been making holiday ornaments with the EggBot and writes:
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have finally gotten to be able to use the Pilot Gold/Silver Markers.
She suggests dividing the drawing into layers so that after each layer you can take the pen out to shake it to keep the ink flowing. We’ve added her tips to the wiki page about choosing pens for the EggBot.
If you have other tips for which pens you like to use or for working with ornaments, we’d love to hear about them!