Making Christmas cards with a Lego Robot


Ho, ho, ho, merry christmas!

It appears the festive time of year has crept up on us again bringing with it much joy and panic. Panic about procrastinating to buy presents until Christmas Eve. Which is someone what of a tradition in my family. Christmas is not only a time for panic and running around shopping centres madly in a fit consumerism, it is also a time for us who enjoy making stuff to show our skills by indulging in some festive hacking/making.

Well sadly our house is not big on christmas lights so that was pretty much out of the question as a source of electronic engineering entertainment (EEE). Besides, the world record for home christmas lights is just up the road in Forrest so I could hardly compete. It’s a solid 50mx20m mat of RGB lighting!

So with no RGB lighting fun to be had I looked around my desk and spotted my old Lego
CNC hiding in a corner. Time for some robotic christmas card decorating!

The first thing I did was cut up some paper for some test cards. I just cut sheets of A4 paper and then folded the two pieces in half. Which made nice little card sized test pieces.

Christmas cards are largely about effort. Buying a christmas card from the shop is about a 1 out of 10 in terms of effort. Making a really nice handmade card like the one’s my sister makes is about a 9 out of 10. Making one with a robot that you built yourself? I award myself a 10 because I am so modest. Even though mine will have precise pen patterns on them my sister’s will still be better. They’re amazing.

So let’s get started with some cool sharkfin patterns. Not exactly sure what they have to do with christmas but they’re easy to draw with some simple maths. Now I’m really sorry but I can’t show you the code for these drawings. Not because this is a secret closed source project. No it’s because wordpress.com doesn’t suppourt  .rcx file type uploads. The sharkfin pattern is basically go across and then back then make it a bit thinner then go across and back etc….

Early on in the printing of a sharkfin pattern.

Early on in the printing of a sharkfin pattern.

So I made some adjustments to the maths of the pattern so it printed larger and eventually I managed to print a nice upside-down sharkfin card. The merry christmas was added by me.

 

Do give you an idea of the scale of the machine here’s a pic showing it on y desk next to my laptop:

Stay tuned for some cardboard ones…. I’ve also got to make some more festive patterns….

 

 

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