Stand Alone WaterColorBot?
  • As I am getting more familiar with my WaterColorBot, I am definitely excited about showing it off.  Unfortunately, I currently just have a big desktop iMac and a Chromebook.  

    Has there been any discussion about what it would take to create an Arduino shield with an SD card that could just print existing files?  Or perhaps use a RaspberryPi or Beaglebone black to simply drive the machine- (with no editing or real time capability-just print existing files)?  I imagine the commands to the EBB are relatively straightforward (but I am just guessing out of pure ignorance).  Seems like lots of the new 3D printers are coming out with stand-alone, untethered capability and wondered if the WCBot might have the same expansion capability.  

    Having something the size of a couple of decks of cards (with a Y-splitter on the WCB power supply) that printed files of an SD card would make demos super easy.

    Just a thought - thanks for all the hard work to make this a reality.
  • We have already used the Raspberry Pi method to drive the WaterColorBot, and as compared to the other methods that you've mentioned, I would expect it to be one of the simpler. 

    - For some demos, including at shows and at the White House Science Fair, we had the WCB hooked up to the RPi, running RoboPaint with its API, and receiving data from an iPad.  This solution is complex in a way, but also elegant in a sense, since there's very little at the WCB itself, but you could be sitting with your Chromebook in the back of the room and printing.  We could probably also make a change to allow RoboPaint to open a given file and begin printing upon launch.

    - We've also seen people run the Eggbot, with its Inkscape-based driver right from the RPi. (For example, here: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2013/eggbot-ipad-rpi/ ) It would be just as straightforward to use the WaterColorBot's Inkscape driver, perhaps with a script that automatically launched the files, and started printing them.

    - In addition to these options, it is also technically possible to save a program on the EBB itself, for playback.  While we have done this in some prior iterations of our firmware, it is not currently implemented, and the available space is rather small.  This is likely not one of the best ways to do this, but I though that I'd add it to your list.