Eggbot

We started a new project this school year – an EGGBOT! An EggBot is a robot that draws on anything round like eggs and ping-pong balls. I think EggBots are cool because it can draw so many designs. My favorite design is either the map or the maze. (They were both drawn on ping-pong balls.)

This is how it works: You put an egg in between two suction cups. One of the suction cups has a spring on the other end so it will hold tight. The other suction cup has a stepper motor on it. It spins the egg around. There’s another stepper motor that’s attached to an arm, and the arm goes to the right and left, kind of like a windshield wiper, but it’s more precise and can stop at any point. A servo motor is attached to that arm, which moves the second part of the arm up and down to control when it should write.

We don’t think it will be that expensive to build, but we don’t know yet for sure. I’m on the accounting team, but we’re waiting to hear how much the parts cost from the BOM team.

You maybe wondering why it can draw on eggs because eggs are not round. Even though the circumference pole-to-pole is not round, the circumference across the egg side-to-side is round, and if you pull the suction cup that has the spring on it, the egg will fit.

It can draw all sorts of things, like dragons, mazes, maps – things like that. It can pretty much draw anything if you program it the right way. It can print something about 75mm in diameter. You design something with Inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org) or some other drawing program like that, and then you use 3D printer software to send the message of what it’s going to draw to the EggBot.

We’re not done making it yet, but not counting ordering all the individual parts and waiting for them to come – not counting that – we’re done with the frame. That took about one hour, so I think the whole project will take about three hours. It also took some time to print some of the parts, and to figure out what parts we needed and then to place the orders for the parts.

It’s made out of printed parts, hardware supplies, and electronics. The electronics are a motherboard, and two stepper motor controllers. The other servo motor is a lot easier to control, so it’s just controlled by the Arduino motherboard.

The club adviser suggested the idea to build an EggBot at the start of the school year because he thought it would be fun to build. We thought it would be fun because it’s a robot that can draw on eggs and ping-pong balls! It also has parts that we can print from the 3D printer we made last year, and we made one at home in the past, so we had some experience on how to do it. We found the instructions on http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:20398.

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