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?
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.
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.