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New tool for creating simple algorithmic tracks  

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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 83
July 7, 2018 10:29 am  

I recently became aware of some open-source developments that are both exciting to see, and also useful for Sisyphus owners! "ZenXY" is an open-source hardware project for creating 2-axis Cartesian (XY) plotter mechanisms using 3D printed parts. And "Sandify" is open-source software for creating path files for XY machines that use "gcode" (an industry standard file format). The cool thing about Sandify is that you don't need to be a coder to use it - you can simply use the web-based tool to generate different algorithmic paths. The resulting gcode file can then be downloaded to your  computer. But  - this file is a list of X-Y points, not Theta-Rho, which is the polar format used by Sisyphus :(. So I contacted @Markyland (who created the wonderful "Sisyphus For The Rest Of US"), to see if he could write a quick conversion utility. Within a day he sent me the program and this pic! If you want to experiment with Sandify paths on Sisyphus, you can download Markyland's conversion tool here. Just double click on the "jar" file once it's downloaded.


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(@fofer)
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Joined: 7 months  ago
Posts: 7
July 7, 2018 12:25 pm  

This is very cool, thanks!


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 Mark
(@markg)
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Joined: 7 months  ago
Posts: 15
August 1, 2018 11:03 am  

This looks pretty cool, looking forward to playing with it a little.   (And it works on Mac! 🙂 )

Thanks Bruce and @Markyland.


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(@crsolomon)
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Joined: 7 months  ago
Posts: 1
November 13, 2018 12:15 pm  

Sadly the tool from Markyland referenced above has been deleted from the link. 


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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 83
November 13, 2018 12:20 pm  

@crsolomon - I'll ping @Markyland and see if we can put it in a more permanent place...

 


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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 83
November 13, 2018 1:15 pm  

@crsolomon - Here you go:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/ajx849lm00bdq1i/GCodeToSisyphus.jar?dl=1

Thanks @Markyland!


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(@jeffeb3)
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Joined: 4 weeks  ago
Posts: 5
November 16, 2018 10:23 am  

Hello Sisyphus!

I just updated the sandify webpage. I added "any sided" polygons and "any points" stars. I also tweaked the layouts and theme a little. The polar coordinate output is next on my list (although I do this in my spare time, and my list is constantly changing 🙁 ).

I also plan to eventually add a way to add custom shapes or even write turtle programs to draw unique designs that we (polar and rectangular) users can share.

If anyone has any other ideas of simple shapes I could add, or different transforms I can apply to the shapes, I'd love to hear them. I enjoy writing this tool, and seeing the output on my little zen XY.

I'll probably respond quickest if bugs and feature requests went in github:

https://github.com/jeffeb3/sandify/issues


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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 83
November 16, 2018 3:02 pm  

Hi @jeffeb3!

This is awesome - nice work! If/when you do get around to polar output, I'd be glad to help if you have any questions. Wish list:

  • remember to keep accumulating Theta; 2Pi radians (360 degrees) is not equal to 0, though it's in the same theta axis position
  • please force scaling so everything fits in a circle of radius 1
  • output for "thr" format is each vertex: (float)theta radians <space>(float)rho dist from ctr (0-1)<new line>
  • please force first and last vertex to have rho  = 0 or 1

Looking forward to it!!

 


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(@jeffeb3)
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Joined: 4 weeks  ago
Posts: 5
November 17, 2018 11:31 pm  

I just pushed a new version that should make life easier on the "round tablers" here :).

Select the "Polar Machine" and you can set your machine size (radius in mm), or just leave it alone, because the coordinates will scale to your machine. Selecting "Force Endpoints" will let you draw smaller things, and it will just dart out to the outside edge instead of scaling everything.

Then, when saving the file, select the Theta Rho format instead of the GCode format.

I don't have a sisyphus (I have a rectangular machine), so please let me know if there are problems. You're the guinea pigs for both the polar machine settings and the theta rho format.

Also check out the circle lobe parameter and the star ratio parameter. They are new too.


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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 83
November 18, 2018 9:46 am  

@jeffeb3 - OUTSTANDING!!!

I just tried it, and it worked, right out of the box! I chose polar table, and since I am partial to infinity signs :), I selected circle shape with 2 lobes, looped it, grew and spun it (each loop), forced end points, and voila. I've attached a screen shot from my dual monitor PC, which shows the Sandify screen and parameters, the thr file opened in a text editor, and the resulting track's thumbnail on our app GUI. I also attached a preview of the track showing its vertices, and a messy plot of it on the 22" table sitting next to me (I was too excited to run erase first).

I (and hopefully a whole lot of others) have a lot more experimenting to do, but my first feedback:

  • please auto-include a '#' character at the beginning of any comments in the file (I was surprised its absence in my file's header didn't break it).
  • may want to either increase the vertex density (sampling), or allow user to choose it. (or maybe you already have that by user entering table radius?)

The SANDIFY web-app is at: https://jeffeb3.github.io/sandify/

This post was modified 3 weeks  ago 4 times by Bruce

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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 83
November 18, 2018 9:48 am  

Well, looks like only one attached file per reply:

SANDIFY track maker now saves Sisyphus thr files directly.


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(@bruce)
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November 18, 2018 9:49 am  

TRY IT 🙂

 
This post was modified 3 weeks  ago 2 times by Bruce

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(@jeffeb3)
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Joined: 4 weeks  ago
Posts: 5
November 18, 2018 11:28 am  

Talking about that comment:

Did you write that sentence in the save dialog? 

The long story with that is the dialog was meant for any gcode you'd want to run first. Something like a home command or setting the speed. I expected that section to be either blank, or actual commands, or comments written with the user adding the comment character.

If there really is no reason to have a pre/post for thr, I could either rearrange the dialog to not offer it, or make it clear that it's only for comments.

Another user expressed interest in having the settings added as comments at the top of the file. I will do that soon.


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(@jeffeb3)
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Joined: 4 weeks  ago
Posts: 5
November 18, 2018 11:32 am  

Talking about the resolution. If we can pick something that makes sense, then I'd rather not have it as an option. I'm trying hard to not write a manual 🙂

Maybe something like Rho/3000 would make more sense? I could compute the xy resolution for given machine parameters. It seems a little excessive to have less than 1mm resolution, but if the machine can handle it, then maybe it's conservative to just have too many points.


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(@jeffeb3)
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Joined: 4 weeks  ago
Posts: 5
November 18, 2018 11:36 am  

And finally, Bruce, thank you for the encouragement and the initial testing. It's great to see the pattern in real sand. I'll always smile when I see my creation used by strangers. It keeps me motivated.

I'll be honest, I made the circle lobes to mimick the infinity symbol on your logo :). It's not quite two circles connected by two lines. Maybe I'll manually add that the way I did for the vicious1 logo.


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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 83
November 18, 2018 1:01 pm  

@jeffeb3 Ah, yes that makes sense for g-code. But with Sis, the only command options in a thr file is just another vertex position to travel to. Fine to leave it to the user to put the '#' in before a comment.

This post was modified 3 weeks  ago by Bruce

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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 83
November 18, 2018 1:03 pm  

@jeffeb3 I'm not sure your current settings need improving, but my guess is for much larger fields, more verts would be better. If anything, vert number should be proportional to the field radius, or maybe the square of the radius.

This post was modified 3 weeks  ago by Bruce

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(@bruce)
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Joined: 8 months  ago
Posts: 83
November 18, 2018 1:06 pm  

And finally, Bruce, thank you for the encouragement and the initial testing. It's great to see the pattern in real sand. I'll always smile when I see my creation used by strangers. It keeps me motivated.

@jeffeb3 And my thanks to you, and others like @markyland, who have put your time and energy into making it easier for others to compose for Sisyphus! I can't tell you how thrilling that is for me to see.

This post was modified 3 weeks  ago by Bruce

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