author
3Instructables538,442Views291CommentsEdinburgh, UKJoined March 22nd, 2009
Like everyone, I like making things. I'm currently a computer programmer by trade, which I adore, but I like building physical things when I can. I like pottery and lino cutting and photography, and I love the seaside, and the smell of hot solder. I have a few years of formal design training and design a small range of 3D printed jewellery, and a couple of other products I'm behind.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine3 days ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Do you mean the white wire with the power jack socket on it? It's the wire for the power supply.It's fastened into the EXT_PWR (external DC power input) screw terminal. It's simply an inline power socket jack (something like this: https://www.rapidonline.com/truconnect-std-2-1mm-dc-power-line-socket-20-1066).Unless you use that power input terminal, the motors will run off the same power source as the arduino and the logic on the driver board, which means it might reset itself when there is high current draw. (see https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-motor-shield/power-requirements for an explanation.)

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine1 week ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Adam, thanks for your comment - I'll see what I can do but that's a serious piece of work and pretty unlikely.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine2 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Thank you! What a nice message, so great to get feedback and I love that you found the instructable useful :)Happy scribbling!

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine2 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Hi Jake, what does your pen width test look like? I assume you've already done this since you've tried everything :)Have a read through https://github.com/euphy/polargraph/wiki/Empty-pixels and see if that sheds any light on the subject. Roughly speaking, make the grid very large, and see if it makes any difference.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine2 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    I'm sticking to my first guess: Power supply issues! It might just be a faulty Arduino, it might be a less capable USB power connection. Really difficult to say. Is your pen lift servo motor wired up in both cases (the working case, and the non-working case)?Does the pen lift work?

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine2 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Good to hear :)

    Ok. The error that describes the exact thing you're getting stuck with - you really should have led with this."You probably won't get any detail in this"(Literally a description of what the problem was - no detail in the pixel.)"Max density for pen size 1.0 row size 14 is 1"(With a pen size of 1mm, and a grid size of 14, the max density range you can express is 1. There is only room to express one level of darkness in the pixel.)Simply put, the pen is too large. The grid is too small.https://github.com/euphy/polargraph/wiki/Empty-pixels

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine2 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    If there's no difference between the computers (they have the exact same default.properties.txt), and you're making the exact same moves, then I can't imagine why something could be different. Is there any chance the machine (the arduino) is resetting? The pen drops and lifts automatically when the machine resets ... and it would explain the whizzing. Keep an eye on the console while it does it, also the LEDs flash when the machine resets... Any chance?

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  • Euphy made the instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine2 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Hi, so if I set up my controller like yours, and I choose "solid square wave", then I get the exact same issue. Each of the commands are of the form C05,xxx,xxx,10,0,END. That means a pixel 10 steps square, with a brightness of 0 (ie full black).Can you show my a portion of your command queue?If I choose "variable frequency square wave" I get a preview that shows variable pixels:I'm not saying I don't believe you've tried it ... but give it another shot please.Select area, Render pixels, Variable frequency square wave, Generate commands, take a screenshot, including a segment that shows the "render pixels" window, and a portion of the command queue please.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine2 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Interesting. If "draw outline" isn't working, it should be giving you and error instead - might be visible in the console in the Processing IDE if you use that, or it will show up at the far right, in the error log (like the error shown in your picture has). I'd expect it to say something like "line not on page, skipping it" or some such.Straight line functions like "draw outline" or "move pen direct" check to see if the pen is on the page before moving, and will block the move if the start OR end of the line isn't on the addressable surface of the machine.Commands like "move pen", "set home" and most of the pixel styles do not do this check, so they can be used to send commands that don't make sense, and the machine will still...

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    Interesting. If "draw outline" isn't working, it should be giving you and error instead - might be visible in the console in the Processing IDE if you use that, or it will show up at the far right, in the error log (like the error shown in your picture has). I'd expect it to say something like "line not on page, skipping it" or some such.Straight line functions like "draw outline" or "move pen direct" check to see if the pen is on the page before moving, and will block the move if the start OR end of the line isn't on the addressable surface of the machine.Commands like "move pen", "set home" and most of the pixel styles do not do this check, so they can be used to send commands that don't make sense, and the machine will still try to execute them.The C25 error is annoying, but harmless, it doesn't prevent anything else from working, so I'm assuming the machine spec is successfully uploaded. If you pop up the console with ctrl+c, then reset the arduino with the reset button, what does it say when it boots up? It'll normally list it's size and specification. Make sure that's the same as what you've got in your machine spec.

    That problem of whizzing off the top of the machine can be caused more than one way:1. Uploaded machine spec isn't correct. The machine has the wrong idea about the size and shape of the surface, so "set home" indicates the wrong location.2. Not doing set home.You can test the setup easily by selecting a wide area and doing a "draw outline".

    Does this problem occur with all pixel styles? Remember one of the pixel styles is "shade solid" which does not do any variation in the shading.Does it occur if you quadruple the grid size and set the pen size to be very small?

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine2 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Hi I'm not sure I understand your question. It looks like you've done a "render pixels". The red lines who a preview of the commands that are in the command queue. What's the problem? What are you expecting, what actually happens?

    Sometimes this can be a power supply problem, where motors draw so much power that they cause the arduino to reset. But this is usually if you're trying to power the motors from the USB power.With an Adafruit motor shield, the servo motor (the pen lift) runs off USB power, regardless of whether you are using an external PSU or not. So sometimes a malfunctioning servo can cause a reset like this - or the servo plugged in the wrong way around!

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine3 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Drawing looks great though! Is the little dot at the end of each line just a pen bounce?So this is a puzzle. It's true that it's possible to burn out a motor driver - though it's hard to do. It's possible that you can have a bad Arduino, (or more likely - a bad USB cable). I know that sounds pretty unlikely, and you'd think it will either just work or not work, but I've seen a new USB cable fix weird problems before.In the software, there is nothing that can really "be broken". It is possible in principle for the firmware to get corrupted somehow, but it'd be fixed by re-uploading the firmware. You probably already have tried that, if not, try it.However! You aren't alone: There is a problem that's been reported a few times - https://github.com/euphy/polargraph_server_polarshi...

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    Drawing looks great though! Is the little dot at the end of each line just a pen bounce?So this is a puzzle. It's true that it's possible to burn out a motor driver - though it's hard to do. It's possible that you can have a bad Arduino, (or more likely - a bad USB cable). I know that sounds pretty unlikely, and you'd think it will either just work or not work, but I've seen a new USB cable fix weird problems before.In the software, there is nothing that can really "be broken". It is possible in principle for the firmware to get corrupted somehow, but it'd be fixed by re-uploading the firmware. You probably already have tried that, if not, try it.However! You aren't alone: There is a problem that's been reported a few times - https://github.com/euphy/polargraph_server_polarshield/issues/9#issuecomment-288594697 now this person is using the Polarshield variant of the codebase, but it's quite similar and both versions are probably susceptible to whatever's going on.There's a thread here http://www.polargraph.co.uk/forum/polargraphs-group2/troubleshooting-forum5/busy-message-after-initiating-controller-thread476/ that might be relevant too.The bad news is that in this person's case, and in the other case that he mentions on the forum, "it fixed itself". The creator of the github issue noted that his mmPerRev had been loaded incorrectly (it was nan), and so other calculations based on that number didn't work. It'll be worth checking yours too.So, lots of words, no real help. Some things to try:1. What happens when you turn the machine on, and connect to it using the Arduino serial monitor? 57600 baud. You can post the output of the arduino here.2. Disconnect the motorshield completely to take it out of the equation.3. Re-upload the same firmware as you did before.4. Re-upload the machine spec that you did before.good luck!sn

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine3 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    You can modify the position and size of the page on the SETUP tab.You can modify the home point position on the SETUP tab too.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine3 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Hi I'm not sure I understand your first question.2. There is a physical limit to how fast motors can accelerate and move. 1200 should be very possible though - the arduino can step that fast.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine3 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    In a well-tuned, quite vertical machine, the gondola design you show (designed and built by expert drawbot operator Kongorilla) is just perfect. It is a more balanced and elegant design than the standard Polargraph gondola.The standard Polargraph gondola is heavier and has the stabiliser that prevents it from twisting too much. This makes it more tolerant of angled surfaces, faster speeds, basically you can be sloppier with it, and it'll still run fine. That is my opinion - Kongorilla may disagree though - after all he has experience of both, whereas I've only really used my own design. Send him a note on flickr!

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine4 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by the beginning of the line coincides with the home point.You can do this easily, just "set home", the "pen down", and then "move pen" to wherever you want it. Arrange your artwork so it is over the home point. If that's what you mean!The pause in between each move is exactly as you guessed - it's the time it takes to transmit the next command from the PC to the Arduino.

    The bad news is that the coordinates translation happens in the controller app, not in the arduino, so you _do_ need to convert from cartesian to the native coordinates system before constructing the "move" commands. The coordinates system uses motor steps as it's unit of measurement.Here's a link to the code that does it:https://github.com/euphy/polargraphcontroller/blob/master/Machine.pde#L314-L329Reference for the commands: https://github.com/euphy/polargraph/wiki/Polargraph-machine-commands-and-responsesSmoothness is hard to control with the motorshield because there's no way to adjust the motor power. The only thing you can really do is change the voltage of the power supply, or the motors. Slowing the speed down might help.If you mean smoothness to refer to the pauses be...

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    The bad news is that the coordinates translation happens in the controller app, not in the arduino, so you _do_ need to convert from cartesian to the native coordinates system before constructing the "move" commands. The coordinates system uses motor steps as it's unit of measurement.Here's a link to the code that does it:https://github.com/euphy/polargraphcontroller/blob/master/Machine.pde#L314-L329Reference for the commands: https://github.com/euphy/polargraph/wiki/Polargraph-machine-commands-and-responsesSmoothness is hard to control with the motorshield because there's no way to adjust the motor power. The only thing you can really do is change the voltage of the power supply, or the motors. Slowing the speed down might help.If you mean smoothness to refer to the pauses between commands, then I can't help with that. I'd be interested in seeing a buffered technique to manage the command protocol if you can build one.Other 3D printer and drawbot firmware _do_ buffer their commands, so it's not impossible. They have smaller, more simple commands that are easier to buffer.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine4 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Flat out :) http://polargraph.bigcartel.com/product/polargraph-sd-assembled-tested has the most advanced PolargraphSD product listed!

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine4 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    It's a little old, but it all looks fine to me.I just want to check - you are doing an "upload machine spec" aren't you?Code looks ok, and settings look ok too.

    I'm not positive that I understand your message, but I'll do my best :)The home point is never 0,0, because as you correctly say it's impossible to move there! Your home point is 205mm from the left-hand edge of the machine, and 130mm down from the top edge of the machine.The home point has to be correct, or you'll have distortions - but unless it's _extremely_ inaccurate, you won't experience very large size distortions like you have reported - so just a 10mm error _won't_ cause your problem.I have no insight into whether your drawings are bigger than you expect or smaller than you expect, and what degree. Your current settings (with the "crazy settings"), does it get to almost the right size?

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine4 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    I'm asking you which firmware you used, so I can help diagnose the problem.

    Can you tell me which firmware you used (where did you download it from), and what modifications you made to it?Great looking machine btw!sn

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine4 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    These look correct for a machine using:- Motorshield v1- 200 steps per revolution motors (because the machine uses an interleaved step style that doubles the number of addressable steps)- 20mm diameter sprocketsYou've got to describe a little more about * what you did, * what you expected, * what actually happened.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine4 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    mmPerRev = 37.68stepsPerRevolution = 400stepMultiplier = 1Microstepping is possible with that board, but you'll need to know how to change the code. It doesn't work very well either!

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine5 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Hello,mmPerRev=37.68The rest depends on which motor shield you're using.Microstep is possible, but depends on the motor driver.sn

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine5 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Have just added a couple of pages on the wiki about these underdeveloped and confusing features!https://github.com/euphy/polargraph/wiki/Masking-pixelshttps://github.com/euphy/polargraph/wiki/Bright-pixel-and-Dark-pixelI'm a bit stumped about the compression of the darkness. I can't think where it would occur in the code. Having a different pen width thickness would do it, remember that pen width thickness isn't saved between resets - you've always got to do it manually.sn

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine6 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Render pixel and render vector are entirely different and separate.To render pixel, you load a bitmap image, and select an area of it.To render a vector, you select an area you want to draw in, and "set frame to area". Then "load vector" and choose your SVG. Then "move vector" and "resize vector" to place your vector artwork.Only the area inside the frame (red crop marks at the corners) will be drawn, or be visible in the preview.Click "Draw vectors" to build the commands to draw the vector.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine6 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    You'll just have to try it and see!

    Hi sorry, I've never used this motor and driver myself.First step: Make sure the steppers, and the stepper drivers work outside of Polargraph.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine6 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    The controller software can load SVGs and then sends movement commands to the device one by one.The communication protocol is a bit like g-code, but it isn't the same.There isn't a way to send raw SVG.A motor control board with two L293Ds is a good one to use. If it isn't like this one (http://playground.arduino.cc/Main/AdafruitMotorShield), then you will have to define the control pins and do the motor setup in the firmware yourself.Good luck!

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine6 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Nope, Polargraph doesn't read g-code sorry.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine6 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Great looking set up Mauro, and nice curved lines at least :)Have a look at: https://github.com/euphy/polargraph/wiki/Empty-pix... and see if anything there helps. Good luck!

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine7 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Hi exactly yes, spiral pixel only works on a MEGA-based Polargraph machine, not an UNO-based one unfortunately. There's not enough memory on the UNO for the curve routines!The machine tells the controller what kind of machine it is when it connects, and the controller will only show the features that it knows that machine can actually execute.sn

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine7 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Hurray!

    You need to upload machine spec, and then "set home".

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine7 months ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Hi Dominik! I scratched my head at this one, but I spotted the problem:"Solid square wave" is exactly that, it's solid and there's no shading. It's always at maximum black. All of the others do shading! Marilyn is done with variable frequency square wave.sn

    Ok looks completely different to me - I'm not sure what you're expecting to see?The preview shows the density of each "pixel" as a circle shaded from deep red (high density) to white (low density). The ones that are over the black areas are red, ie high density. The ones over the white areas are white, ie low density (or empty).They are very small, so it's quite difficult to see, I'm not sure why that is, or what controls the size of those indicators.What I believe you'll find though, is that your machine is unlikely to be able to render those pixels very well. For such small pixels, you really need a very narrow pen too. If the machine can't fit much shading into a pixel, it tends to either render everything as blank, or everything as solid (there's a bit of a guide to this h...

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    Ok looks completely different to me - I'm not sure what you're expecting to see?The preview shows the density of each "pixel" as a circle shaded from deep red (high density) to white (low density). The ones that are over the black areas are red, ie high density. The ones over the white areas are white, ie low density (or empty).They are very small, so it's quite difficult to see, I'm not sure why that is, or what controls the size of those indicators.What I believe you'll find though, is that your machine is unlikely to be able to render those pixels very well. For such small pixels, you really need a very narrow pen too. If the machine can't fit much shading into a pixel, it tends to either render everything as blank, or everything as solid (there's a bit of a guide to this here: https://github.com/euphy/polargraph/wiki/Empty-pix... )Do you get any error messages in the error log (to the right-hand side of the command queue) when you press "generate commands"? If you don't, then you might be ok!sn

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine1 year ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    The error is nothing to worry about - just an old command that doesn't do anything any more.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine1 year ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Well, like every arduino program, it runs setup() (https://github.com/euphy/polargraph_server_a1/blob... as soon as it boots.You could put your pre-set list of commands at the end of that procedure.Remember though that you need to calibrate the initial start position of the gondola before any movement will work though.This is usually done using the exec_setPosition() procedure (https://github.com/euphy/polargraph_server_a1/blob... but there's no reason why you can't just copy those commands into setup().Remember the coordinates system that the machine uses internally is distance from points A and B (left-hand spool and right-hand spool), and the units are motor steps.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine1 year ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    You'd need some way of building the set of instructions that would form the text (set of coordinates to move to, lift pen up, put pen down etc), and once you have those it'd be quite easy to sequence them.A series of changeLength(...) commands.

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  • Euphy commented on Euphy's instructable Polargraph Drawing Machine1 year ago
    Polargraph Drawing Machine

    Ok, "this point falls outside the machine" and "line not on the page skipping it".These both mean either:Machine is not set up (do this with "upload machine spec")orHome point is not set (do this with "set home")or both.Every time you change the machine size, or motor settings you must "upload machine spec".Every time you turn the machine on, you must "set home".When you say you "almost made all the adjustments", which ones did you _not_ make?Someone else's configuration file would have their machine size and their motor settings in - how would it be useful to you?

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