demonstrating some sounds on the tape machine and using the mouse pos function



Distance responsive rate limiter

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Last week I made a rate limiter that has a fixed millisecond value for when to send G codes.

Now working on a rate limiter that looks at the average distance traveled and adjusts send rate based on distance value…

You can see the commented out beginning of a loop to get distance

Smoothing values

I’m now working on smoothing the values taken from the mouse position in pronterface. I made an average of the last bunch of values but the machine is still very jumpy… I think because it’s getting new coordinates too often.

I think the next thing I will work on is taking a reading of coordinates every tenth value or so, and then averaging those by a small window.

Working with Pronsole/Pronterface


After working a while with adding simple commands to pronsole, I dipped into the gui world and added the ability to pull mouse coordinates from a window in pronterface. I mixed in “G1 X” and “Y”, then send all of that to the serial port. I can now control the printer XY motion with the position of the mouse within the “viz” section of the pronterface window.

Its very jittery, I think I will work on averaging the values to smooth out the motion

Working on software for machine control

I’ve been working with my friend Lucas on some control software for 3D printers. We have started hacking the open source tool called pronsole/pronterface/printrun, a collection of python scripts which tell a 3D printer how to move and act. We have added some very simple commands to the pronsole interface, such as a command which makes a circle when given the text “circle” followed by a space and then a number which denotes a radius.

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We are now working on adding a function that will listen to a streaming data input and then immediately write G-code to the printer to allow a more live control of the machine.

My interest in adding functionality to pronsole stems from a project I’ve been working on which is to adapt the 3d printer platform for use as a tape machine where there is a tape head at the intersection of X and Y axes and the bed of the printer is laminated with magnetic tape.

In explaining this tape machine project to my professor, I was said that I want to be able to control the printer platform in an immediate way, more like a musical instrument than a printer and he said “oh, so you want to DJ the printer”. And it really is a similar transition from printer to instrument as it is from turntable as player to turntable as instrument.