EtchABot Part 2: Vector and Raster Images

This post describes how to draw vector and raster images on an Etch a Sketch with EtchABot.  As described previously, EtchABot converts an Etch A Sketch to an versatile, easy-build CNC drawing machine.

In image drawing mode, EtchABot receives instructions through the Arduino serial port.  When connected to a computer running software that converts images to a series of drawing commands, EtchABot can reproduce vector (SVG) or raster images.

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TinyScreen Case with Buttons

3D Printed necklace case with buttons for TinyScreen
3D Printed necklace case with buttons for TinyScreen

I just updated the TinyScreen case I’d 3D printed for my new TinyScreen and TinyDuino.  The new version of the case has protruding buttons to help access the two very small buttons built into each side of the TinyScreen.  I also wrote a new Arduino sketch to demonstrate the button functionality.  The sketch displays a 3d rotating wireframe shape, which changes when the buttons are pushed.

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The Joy of Sketchup (CAD for Free)

sketchup_logoI am learning to weld.  I am making a metal frame, and am cutting, drilling and welding stainless steel tubing.  I’d really like the results to be precise, so it seemed like a good idea to model the project before actually laying hands on the metal. I went searching for a cheap (hopefully free) product that would allow me to visualize the project before getting started.  There are a number of free CAD programs available and after reading several reviews, I downloaded a trial version of AutoCad.  It comes with a free 30-day trial period and current students may obtain the program for free.  The software is extremely powerful but challenging to learn, with far more options than I was planning to use.  Since my needs were simple – the design contains only straight lines – I went looking for something easier.

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