Boxed Reprap Design 0.3

Here's screenshots of latest version of the boxed RepRap design I've been working on. It has some major differences from the last version, such as a completely mobile toolhead platform, and a fixed bed. The electronics were also moved on top instead of underneath.

First an overview shot:

A 50*50 cm acrylic door covers the front. The upper front panel hides the electronics, and can have holes added for status LEDs and the like.

The top also contains the plastic feedstock, and has room for additions (such as a small dust extraction system for milling for example). The heat generated by the electronics and the ATX power source is fed into the box, to help keep up the ambient temperature to enable warp-free printing.

The above picture shows the Y assembly, sliding back and forth on skateboard bearings running along aluminum L beams.
The X assembly.

And the Z assembly, without mounting holes for the toolhead yet. I was thinking of some kind of automatic head switching system, but decided to just build for manual switching using wingnuts to start with.

In total, the effective work area is around 30*30*15 cm, and the external dimension is around 50*60*60 cm.

I've got the tools and materials (although the Plywood I got is a bit bad quality - don't use class C and D plywood for this kind of projects), so I'll start cutting up and putting together the pieces now.

Flowpaint 0.2 released


Last weekend I released version 0.2 of Flowpaint, my open source paint program project.

Here's the short summary:
Flowpaint version 0.2 is now released! It adds undo, detailed parameters for brushes, a 'recent brushes' - feature, dramatical speedup by dynamically compiling code, and a new set of default brushes. In addition tablets with pressure are now supported also with the Java Webstart version. Flowpaint is still in Beta phase, use with care.
And here's the full release announcement and download links.

I was demonstrating it live at a comics festival in Tampere on the weekend, in between manning the Pirate Party table there. It was a nice event, with a quite good match between the target audience of Flowpaint and the people there (our table was in the room for independent and self-publishing comic artists).

There's several features I'd like to add that I think could be useful for editing comics in Flowpaint. One such is the ability to compose one picture with several frames that show other pictures that are updated when the original pictures are updated. This concept could also be used for things like brush strokes textured with a picture. In addition, tools like procedural brushes or images could be utilized for creating picture components once and re-rendering them with different parameters to quickly create unique detailed backgrounds (simple examples would be a forest or city composed of randomly placed tree / house outline images).

First I have to get more of the basic features implemented and working though. Layers and picture loading are being requested in the poll on the Flowpaint homepage (the results from the previous poll are archived in the wiki). The rendering quality is also lacking, brush strokes look a bit jagged, and there's some artifacts when a brush stroke turns. I'm going to extract the rendering logic into a separate library, Rasterfun. It will allow loading and displaying Flowpaint images also in other (Java/Scala) applications. One other usage for it could be to render fractal / procedural landscape heightmaps for games (such as my Skycastle project) - in this case Flowpaint could be used as a map editor. This requires defining a good file format to represent Flowpaint images in.