This year, we decorated our eggs using Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories’ Egg-Bot.
I picked up the kit from EMSL a few months ago. Roger and I put it together over a few evenings. Software installation is relatively easy (for an X11 app) and usage is quite easy.
The assembly, no surprise for an EMSL kit, was a breeze, with a extremely well written and illustrated assembly manual. Seriously — EMSL kits are the best kits I have ever assembled!
The Egg-Bot can draw on pretty much anything round that is smaller than a tennis ball; eggs of all types, light bulbs, golf balls, Christmas ornaments, and — even — fruit (I used a lemon for test purposes).
The trick is finding a marking instrument that is appropriate to the target surface. For eggs, Sharpies work quite well, but Bic Mark-It markers are too runny.
Precisely, the Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers, 5 Colored Markers(37675) works very well. Regular Sharpies do not; too fat. However, EMSL has various accessories available, including an “extra wide” pen holder (ordering that very soon!).
For test purposes, a pencil works well enough and can generally be erased.
When the Egg-Bot is drawing anything with curves or diagonal lines, it is almost musical in the way the various stepper motors play different tones.
Finding various bits of art proves quite easy. Basically, any random SVG based illustration will work with a bit of scaling and tweaking. Google’s Image Search can narrow the search by file type.
Alternatively, Inkscape uses Python as an extension language and I was able to whip up a programmatic image generator in just a few minutes.
As well, there are some hacks that involve replacing the pen with an engraving tool (a pecker type engraver). Might have to explore that!
Programming? Robots? Assemble something cool with my kid? Produce awesome designs that make the non-technical happy? Infinite repository of art easily searchable? Easy to use? Worth every penny!