Melanie Allen Log

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Welcome to the log for Melanie Allen (Goldfishlaser)

Main Dev Machine: Acer Predator Helios 300

Recent Results

See D3D Plotter Log

Sunday, November 22, 2020

So, I've been trying to make a squiggledraw holiday card for awhile now using an image of Marcin and two associates. At first, I got a fairly good image, but then low, it was because I was using a very large picture. Squiggledraw is great on large high resolution images, but it's more of an art to make smaller images work. I'd definitely remove any background and make the image higher contrast.

In my case, for my 5 x 7.5 cm holiday greeting card, I want the image to be 2.25 x 4.5 cm.

So I resize the image to this BEFORE plugging into Squiggledraw. HOWEVER, I'm finding that what squiggledraw exports is not the same size as the dimensions of the original image. I actually had to use an image that was significantly smaller. And then it was kind of hard to see the detail on the squiggle image while I was working on it.

So... for some reason trying to save squiggledraws as gcode today is leading to crashing. Try to save holiday card with squiggledraw- crash. Save the rest of my holiday card gcode- fine. Saving as svg in either case, fine. Save the squiggledraw as gcode by itself- crash.

It worked before so, this is very perplexing.

Meanwhile, I've uploaded the Holiday Card Template: If you save this svg into your templates folder, you can create holiday cards with your desired image. To replace the text, just make sure you've downloaded Arvo and use the outline text instructions

Hm. I'm a little confused about my card dimensions right now... Why is this so small? Seasonsgreetings3.png

Saturday, November 21, 2020

I am likely taking the day off today, but I was looking through my to-read list on Goodreads and noticed there were books relevant to OSE. I've decided to prioritize reading these (over the other 250 titles in my list...). Thought they might be interesting to fellow OSE. Let me know if you're reading one and we can book club it. They're as follows:

The below I just want to collect as a group related to agriculture... prior to getting land I'll want to read these, but it's not so urgent at the moment:

Thursday, November 19, 2020

This looks interesting:

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Made an OSE Logo plotter file and worked on some wiki edits.

A clip from some content that might also be interesting to readers of log, on the topic of maintenance of Open Source projects:,

Sunday, November 15, 2020

This is interesting:

I tried it out and it looks like it should penplot just fine? It was easy to insert our start code as well. By design there aren't any pen lifts.

Potential for abstract greeting cards, or archival paper and sell as art.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Working on greeting card tute: worked on greeting card with graphic and greeting card with squiggledraw method and editing the recording of the stipplegen method


Squiggledraw method card crashed, too many squiggles. Need to reprocess image.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Greeting card designing Made this: Ose tractor logo.png and Ose universal rotor icon.png I made a template so that I can easily make logos. I tried to make a pen_plot template as well, so that it's easy to pen plot the logos. Something didn't quite go right with the save.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Spent time today reviewing the materials I made so far and planning the finishing touches. This time applied towards the time I accidentally prelogged.

I believe the plan was to be finished with the OSE Greeting Card construction set today, but in reality I need another week. This is partly due to not allocating the full 10 hours the past two weeks.

Halloween is one of my most beloved holidays so perhaps I can be forgiven for a more bacchanalian nature the past couple of days. Fun fact: my birthday is next week.

This new SVG editor in the browser tool is cool (MIT license) (Another way to make art for pen plotting)

This also is interesting: (I'd like to look into this for pen plotter flow)

This is pretty neat: (Just cool as far as teaching people to git, and D3 is also something I've been interested in). Which reminded me, I wanted to check on whether threejs could become a pen plot source and came across this cool project.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

There were a lot of panels on the topic of ecology or related topics in this year's Ars Electronica Festival:

I'm exploring the interesting people and topics.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Today I focused on recording the StippleGen tutorial. It's more than just using StippleGen, I show how you can use the GIMP to try and edit images so that the stipple effect captures details that it might not otherwise. As I say in the tutorial, it is somewhat of a "radical contour" technique that you apply to the face. It's a bit o an art. I am sure there are different ways to approach this, but it's a method that makes sense to me. Because of that, this tutorial is taking a bit longer. Especially since stipplegen is very processor heavy and takes forever to render.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Axidraw Control has a layers feature that I thought I could use to design a greeting card in layers, and then print them separately. However, it doesn't seem to work ahead of time. You have to somehow be connected to the pen plotter. It makes sense... although I'm not entirely sure how well the Axidraw Control panel works with the D3D universal.

So, Inkscape, unlike Illustrator, is very svg-centric. Therefore, they haven't yet implemented a feature like artboards which would be nice for a project like greeting cards where you have a cover and then inside material. I experimented with the idea o using layers as artboards, and in the end, I decided it's not the way to go.

The best method is to just create a project folder, and save your svgs separately all at the beginning, cover, inside material, back cover. This way, you're not having to hide anything, and you're not having to rename things, as you do if you try to use the layers as artboards method. And, besides, the back cover might actually be the same for a lot of the cards, if not all of them (I'm thinking the open source ecology logo and maybe the tag line).

So in conclusion, I decided the method of using layers still only makes sense if you're making an art where it actually would be layered together, rather than the greeting card case where you are printing the layers in separate areas with no overlay. The drawbacks outweighed the benefits.

Hm. I added a back cover and inside material to the Thank You card I worked on last time. I tried to fill in the open source ecology logo with hatchfill, so it would print black, but I can't quite figure out how to get the holes to work. But if I just select the holes and hatchfill them, it can be white. so maybe that will work for now.

Having some github technical difficulties. I guess I didn't set things up quite properly. Perhaps now is a good time to switch to gitlab as I have been wanting to do anyway, but I'm done working for the day.

File:Ose logo penplot.tar.gz

Monday, October 26, 2020

Aha, it turns out there were some check boxes that needed to be selected for audio to record (specifically in the Mic section of Voko screen "Monitor of Built-in Audio Analog Stereo and built-in Audio Analog Stereo). Interesting! I don't remember having to do that manually before, but we're good to go to record some tutorials again now.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

ENTRY 1: I initially planned to work from 10a-6p on templates and tutorials. I was thwarted when I accidentally fubared the filesystem of my laptop. Fortunately, I was able to restore my laptop using an OSE Linux 2 disk. I had to reflash it, because for some reason the one I had from before didn't work. My love for technology only goes one way.

Before, I had a dual partition, but now my entire laptop is partitioned with OSE linux 2. However this took most of my day to resolve, and well, I also ended up napping while I waited for the ISO to download.

ENTRY 2: Having went through the tedium of downloading the ISO directly multiple times at this point, I wanted seed them as torrents. I did a trial run and tried to torrent the old laptop to the new laptop but it didn't quite work right. It also seems to be a PITA to find working torrent trackers. I will continue to try to do this as I think it will be worthwhile, however, I think I am done trying that or the day. Perhaps I will set up my own Torrent Tracker? Side note: It's funny how many people think using torrents for ISOs is a joke XD

Entry 3: Wow, I am just having a bad day. I was filming a demonstration of how to add a free Google Font to your project for penplotting. The font installation went splendidly, but when I went to install the KM-Laser extension, something didn't go right. :-/ Which, maybe it is for the best because, even though I checked and had my microphone input turned to about 58%, absolutely no sound was recorded -_-. Instead, I updated the OSE Fonts wiki with text instructions.

Entry 4: I have fully removed the KM Laser extension from Inkscape. I thought it might have been causing a conflict with the Axidraw extension. I no longer think it's the case. There seems to be something a bit screwy with the Hershey text tool included in Axidraw. Hm. I originally skipped replacing the Hershey text fonts when I first added the extension, but then when it didn't work, I tried replacing them. I think this was a mistake because the Render > Hershey text tool now doesn't work. Although I forgot to test it before messing around. Hm. I will see if I can fix this without starting from scratch again. This is important to know if I'm going to recommend people use the Axidraw extensions.

lol. I am going to reinstall again.

Entry 5: OK, I am back with a fresh install. First thing I did was check if Render > Hershey Text worked now- and it did. Makes me think, yeah, installing the Axidraw extension and replacing the and hershey svgs breaks it somehow- so don't do that. Ooh, I didn't notice these other Open Source Ecology themed backgrounds before. I've switched to this cute one with a mushroom. Very autumnal OK I reinstalled Axidraw extension but I deleted SVG fonts and did NOT overwrite Yes, the Hershey text extension for Axidraw doesn't work because of this but the NATIVE hershey text extension is not broken if you do this. And you can use the other Axidraw extensions, such as hatchfill.

Entry 6: Added videos to Generating G Code for the D3D Universal Plotter with Open Source Software and did a bit of rearranging of topics. Need to figure out what's wrong with the audio because (1) realized in retrospect I did lose a lot of video footage when I broke the old OS and (2) I had a few more videos planned than I originally realized. Note to self: Marcin had been glad about my idea of a metatutorial on making tutorials so I should take some time to do that if possible.

I didn't mean to double log my time editing the wiki today, but the menu is in a different time zone than me and so sometimes I accidentally log my time on the wrong day, but I needed my hours to count toward this week. :/ BUT I am sure that I will need to do more wiki edits throughout next week as I add more videos and instruction, I can just pre-commit to at least 2 hours of wiki editing next week... I wasn't going to log all the B.S. from my OS messing up, but I decided to because... it seemed fair... and it did happen in the course of performing my duties.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Just making a quick note that for the next two weeks goal is the following: COMPLETE THE OSE GREETING CARD CONSTRUCTION SET Create templates and instructional videos on how to use them for the following types of greeting cards--

  • General Audience
  • Thank You,
  • Congratulations,
  • Get Well Soon,
  • Wedding Invite
  • Birthday Party Invite
  • Happy Holidays,
  • Happy Birthday,
  • Happy Mother/Father/etc Day,
  • Happy Anniversary,
  • Valentines

OSE Audience

  • Extreme Build Invite
  • Workshop Invite
  • Machine Icon Based Valentines (time permitting)

Ideally there will be a mixture of Image customization, Text customization, and Works Out of the Box. Current end goal is for the template set to be available automatically with the OSE Linux version of Inkscape. Prior to the release, templates will be available for download on Gitlab. Marcin envisions eventually having an application available that will automate the process.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Dedicating my 11AM-7PM to pen plotter activities (and motor building as a reprieve from the screen)

Note: I subscribed to Mksurgey's (a noteable pen plotter artist) patreon and there are a lot of very cool techniques within. I think it would probably be unethical for me to open source document those since he has it behind a paywall on purpose, but I can use the techniques to create things for sale in the Open Source Everything store. However, I guess I shouldn't count any time spent learning those techniques as OSE development? So I am putting off spending too much time learning them until I get back on track meeting my hours.

As far as why I haven't been meeting the 10 hr goal lately- I've been having a bit of an issue regulating my sleep lately. It confused me a bit and threw off my schedule such that I didn't end up apportioning the correct amount of time/feeling too tired/lethargic when I planned to work. I seem to be returning to something I can manage- although I am waking up absurdly early these days, I am at least waking up and going to sleep at the same time, and can therefore be predictable to myself and able to set appropriate goals.

When I look at other people's tutorials vs. my tutorials, I have to admit I feel mine are a little lame in comparison. Particularly as I am supposed to be an expert at such things- and I am. It makes me acutely aware of where I'm falling short. But I have never actually made video tutorials before. And theory is different than practice. So I am hoping to continuously improve them...

Hm, something is wrong with Hershey Text. Lots of errors and Inkscape crashes. Will fresh install Inkscape... There are other things screwing up with Inkscape too, that have been for some time. If I'm using a tool, and I use an arrow menu to go up or down, the fourth or fifth time I click the arrow, it will act as though I am holding it down and will not stop proceeding.

Ha... Oops. I reread the build instructions from the 3D printed motor and realize now that I did not need to print so many coilwinders! That's a bit of a pity unless anyone wanted to buy the 3D printed parts from me (i.e. if I then printed more of the other parts and sold kits). But I'm not sure there's a demand... probably the whole point of such a design is that people don't have to buy from anyone. But if anyone else wants unicorn princess themed 3D printed motor parts kit, I'm your gal!

I'm so nervous that I won't wind the wire around the coil right that I think I need to attend a workshop. So I'll keep my eye peeled for the next one.


  1. Created Thank You Card -- (recorded process, was a bit hectic and may require significant editing)

Up next: reupload Hershey Text instructional, record video about places people can learn pen plotting techniques and get inspiration

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Time to record some tutorials~

Note: Drill and starter bit kit arrived today. :D Still waiting on the epoxy.

Warm up: .5 hr- tried to get a xaos fractal to pen plot. Didn't quite look good, so will need to revisit

.5 hr- plot optimization comparison video prep

.5 hr- fix sound (reviewed these instructions -,, Note- Noise Removal from Sound

{Note to self - add video on popular pen plotter artists TODO}

.5 hr - complete plot optimization tutorial

1 hr - edit audio on clips according to this tutorial, Axidraw extension lets you plot individual layers. So I'll make a tutorial on this as well.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Entry1: Ugh, my axles arrived yesterday, and hole in the rotors I printed didn't fit on them. It's just barely too tight. I can probably fix this with drilling or something. I certainly don't want to have wasted all this plastic. Unfortunately I don't have a drill and will need to acquire one from a friend (or maybe it's time to buy. Drills are pretty useful after all. Perhaps I can find one secondhand). Printing the encasing right now...

Entry2: WELL maybe you don't quite need a drill. I find that if I just repeatedly jam and twist the rod in there, it starts to shave away a bit of the plastic enough that I can get it on there. I imagine this tight fit is by design... NOTE: I should have worn gloves to do this because (1) it would have helped with the grip and (2) It appears I kind of cut up my hands a bit. Oopsies. Also, I shouldn't have tried using a hammer, because apparently that was enough to alter the width of the bar so that now the end I hammered no longer fits on the fidget spinner bearings (+, the twisting motion seems key. hammering didn't help get the rod in there at all)...

Entry3: Encasing fits great. I'm starting to get excited at seeing it come together. When the epoxy arrives, it'll be time to start assembling....

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

I realized today that there isn't an Exploded Part Diagram for the motor... I can do this. I used to make Exploded Part Diagrams all the time when I worked at TOTO. I'm gonna go ahead and do that next working session. Currently printing out coilwinders. Hm. It was pretty cool when this one dude set up a database for the Spare Parts sheets. It would be cool if there was maybe a LibreOffice Base BOM database for everything in the construction set.

I'll be back to pen plotting tutorials and experiments soon, I've followed a lot of accounts and it's really amazing what the possibilities are.

I initiated a channel sync with Odysee, so my tutorials and other videos will be available on the LBRY platform soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

It's hard to insert the bearings in the stators. But it was also hard to insert them in the sample fidget spinner I was sent. The plastic bearing covers seemed to help with the insertion for the fidget spinner. It seemed to be slightly easier to insert them in the stator I accidentally printed upside down. I watched a video the other day that I'm trying to find that talked about how to make things fit together easier.

This motor is similar to Dirk's but has an "iron core"

Rotor actually printed nicely today.It wasn't that much support structure after all. I'm surprised the circles aren't a tighter fit. Maybe it's to allow for more glue. I need to get some epoxy.

I'm printing another Stator now and then will print another Rotor.

I'd like this motor to power some sort of art project, an automaton or something. Not sure what form it will take yet.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Note to self to read during dev time: and (the latter is said to discuss the process of making gcode that goes to a specific spot, for purpose of water coloring, but also relevant for printing in layers)

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Dirk said the purpose of the lip is to serve as a washer. Therefore, I'm going to go ahead and try to print it because I don't want to have to worry about getting washers. You'd need a 1mm thick washer if you don't want to print the lip.

Gearing up to spend 4 hours on tutorials- rerecord Stroke and Hershey Text videos, stipplegen, working with photos (holiday card), bezier line drawing, adding svg export to found processing generative art.

OK, ended up spending a couple more hours looking into pen plotting projects and generative art making-- videos added to playlist Interested in spacefilling curves as a pen plotter "photo filter" to offer, and for art prints

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Recording tutorials!

Made an account on MyMiniFactory today. Wow, so many more things to print here...

Created a bonus tutorial video on 2d to 3d art

My way works for lots of things, but I think this way may work for some things I haven't figured out: (Might be worth getting this plugin preinstalled)

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

I've flipped the stator upside down and am going to try and print it that way. I'm not sure if it still needs supports, but I'm going to try and do it without supports.

Result- Success- Beautiful Stator

Image Gallery

I am not going to print the rotor as is. It seems to have an unnecessary lip on it which causes it to need of a bunch of support material- which I don't want to have to do. So I am going to remove the lip before I print it.

But first, Inkscape tutorials. I keep putting them off, it's go time.

Readers of Log may be interested in Dirk van der Kooij project on using discarded refrigerators as input for 3D printing #preciousplastic

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Magnets I ordered for making Dirk's electric motor arrived today. I have the rods, copper wire, spinner bearings, and the brushless motor.

Printing with Proto-Pasta Nebula filament @200*C ex, 60*C bed on Creator Pro, coilwinder print: 28 minutes, 1.98 meters Tried printing everything else once- all of them failed. Trying again with auto supports and brim. Tried printing the stator (2 hr 56 min, 8.65 meters), but the brim was impossible to remove without damaging it. However, I wonder if I can just sand paper it down, and fill in some of the chipped parts somehow. I've never really looked into the details of support generation, so maybe I'll research this before trying the print again.

Readers of Log may be interested in Lex Fridman's interview with Manoilis Kellis .#integratedhuman

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Unfortunately, I fell ill Wednesday and Thursday. Then yesterday, I had car trouble and had to address that. I'm not feeling too well today either, but I will try to spend a few hours on tutorial videos, but unsure if I'll have the energy to make up all of them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Did a bit of reading, rereading, and sharing of information in the wiki relating to projects on transportation, power, and GVCS at large. Getting better at explaining the project vision, its relationship to other projects, determining where people's interests should be directed, and knowing where to find the answers to questions. Hoping to have another tutorial recording session tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Recording and rerecording tutorial videos Added Spirograph tutorial to playlist-- Unlisted video of another spirograph on ncviewer--

1) realized that if you have a square plotter, one template is enough, but if you have a rectangular plotter, it's a good idea to have a horizontal and vertical variant (this will improve instructions for address-a-letter) 2) want the videos to show results first before getting into instructions 3) Hopefully will be faster upon rerecording. 4) Whoops- Processing doesn't need to be downloaded, it comes with Linux OSE 2. Will revise instructions.


Accidentally logged for Monday, but worked a bit on trying to prepare ascii art that plots

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Read materials by Generative Hut (Generative Hut uses some proprietary software in their tutorials but some of the information was still useful) -> Looked into Observable for SVG art-making and further into Processing/P5.js for art making

Tomorrow will focus on making tutorial videos-- will try to cover all the basic topics by end of day.

As a side note have also been spending time: practicing model building in openscad and freecad, reading up on some, catching up on Precious Plastic project, and have attempted to point interested folks in the Discord to areas of the OSE wiki that can help them get situated.

Cartesio is interesting -

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Learning advanced pen plotter techniques. Meditating on direction to take the plotter tutorials.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Reinstalled AxiDraw extension today, now I can use both KM-Laser and AxiDraw for hatchfill. Added tiled SVG example to pen plot repo. Experimenting with images from Recording videos~

Research for tomorrow:

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Init Instructionals Playlist -

Rapidly iterating. There are definitely some issues with sound, but I'll replace the bad ones over time. Just ramping up and conceptualizing the playlist experience.

Need to update docs accordingly--

Pen plotter has 3 cm offset, not 4mm offset

Offset cuts off only the x<3 strip. Everything else is ok. So we have about 5x6 inch working area.

If you use a region about 4.8" by 6", all of picture should fit. Center is good.

120x150 mm. Origin in the picture is at the rear right part of bed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Created an invitation to a tea party, added to repo Would upload here, but even compressed is too big


Finally got around to adding myself to Dev page.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Practiced making hatch style gcode with memes, installed and experimented with SquiggleDraw. Updated wiki. Uploaded to Github. Recording attempt.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Plotter files are too big for the wiki server: Contain a letter M, address a letter, a hatched portrait, and a line art.

Uploaded the files to github- will upload future art there--

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sunday, fun day. About to put in a little more than a full-time day! Hopefully this power session will be very fruitful. Goals:

  • I probably need to do a bit more research on pen plotting code and the Inkscape tools for it.
  • Highest priority is nailing down the "known good files" for each module of this workshop. So my first task will be adding the start code and pen offset setting to the candidates for new known good files.
  • Send the candidates for known good files to Marcin, update the wiki. a
    • Marcin has specifically asked for some line plotting.
    • Update the wiki with: proper start code, settings to account for pen plotter offset.
  • More planning and recording instruction. Hopefully will record the vast majority even if there are still some open questions.

Entry 1- Realized I have been mixing up the concept of stippling with pointillism. Here is a video of an AxiDraw pen plotter doing a stipple technique. Interesting though right? AxiDraw software is under the GPL-2.0 License Reading this amazing tutorial: Stipplegen

I really like this pen plotter test file: (This plotter runs on GRBL) Axidraw installation instructions.

Amassed quite a catalog of things to view, so just added to my Youtube playlist for things I use to learn for Pen Plotter documentation.

Entry 2 - [This video] explained why I've been seeing two different procedures when it comes to Stroke to Path. Inkscape tutorials prior to the release of Inkscape version 1.0 will have an old deprecated sequence:

  1. Path -> Stroke to Path
  2. Path -> Break Apart
  3. Path -> Union

The new sequence that should be used instead is:

  1. Path -> Stroke to Path
  2. Object -> Ungroup
  3. Path -> Union

Entry 3: SquiggleDraw is interesting and is released with Unlicense License (Public Domain) It is dependent on controlp5 which is licensed under GNU Lesser GPL. Hershey Text is included in Inkscape 1.0 via Extensions > Render > Hershey Text. This tool convert outline fonts into stroke fonts. More helpful font information:

This tool is under MIT license and can help you easily get an SVG of a signature- KM-Laser gcode plugin for making hatsch infill in Inkscape: ( GPL-3.0 License )

Monday, September 1, 2020

Took the day off, but I've been thinking about uploading the videos I make to LBRY as well as YouTube. Noticed there's been previous discussion here at OSE Lbry_Collaboration.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Got a little behind yesterday. The Inkcut plugin I looked into is interesting, ( My cursory look at it is that it works with SVGs and we're looking more for something that transforms bitmaps so...

The address gcode keeps throwing errors so I am going to do some systematic testing of procedures so that we can really get to the bottom of this... it will also be useful if we need to troubleshoot the results that people have during a camp and determine if someone missed a step, or why something may happen one way instead of the expectation.

Hoping things go smoother on this fresh new day. Hopefully can get at least a few test files by the end of it.

Inkscape Diaries

Entry 1: OK, so firstly, At the bottom of the screen there are messages telling you what you've selected and what options you have. It turns out, you sometimes need to select all and ungroup things multiple times! You want to see a message that looks something like "{%n} objects selected of type Path in layer Layer 1. Click selection to toggle scale rotation handles". You don't want to see a message mentioning a Group or anything else. That's when you know you're done ungrouping. Then when you select all and use Union, the message will say you have "Path {%n} nodes in layer Layer 1. Click selection to toggle . . .". But despite that I'm still getting 50%. So checking my gcode settings...

Entry 2: Oh. Inkcut IS preinstalled. Seeing what it does. I tried using their instructions but I got an error that there wasn't a file open? Man, sometimes I feel like an error-magnet.

Entry 3: I notice I can open my .ngc files with something called CAMotics. My ngc files look very good! it is drawing in a very logical way and the pen up is there. I wonder why I can't save it as .gcode!

Entry 4: Norweigian creations tutorial says he uses the cylinder tool instead of the default tool. I will try this.

Entry 5: Cylinder tool did not resolve problem. Noticed another user has posted a similar error, but unfortunately no one answered that user's question. But I have seen it work before so I know there must be a solution. About to send my file over to Linux OSE v1 and see whether I get the same error saving the same file.

Entry 6: Replicated error on other machine. That means, it isn't the Save As gcode settings that are the problem, because I used exactly the settings that were already working before. But then the .ngc file itself seems to work with Camotics. But what is definitely happening is some variable that we need for inkscape to do its gcode save is missing. Interesting... interesting...

Entry 7: INTERESTING. I skipped the gcodetools part and just Save As gcode because in this video, he doesn't use that extension: Some the instructions on the Inkscape wiki also didn't have the gcodetools instruction. Maybe I've been wasting hours for a pretty silly reason?

The gcode file saved and opens in CAMotics. There are some errors but it seems to plot? Test files at

Updated wiki

Saturday, August 29, 2020

BTW Yesterday's successful OSE Linux 2 installation was logged to OSE_Linux_Laptop_List#Acer_Predator_Helios_300

Plan-- Saturday plan: hour 1-2: Find out what went sideways with the address text gcode. See if I can get "pen up" to appear. Have suspicions. Send new gcode to Marcin for testing hour 2-3: Look into Ray Log suggestion of Inkcut plugin. Also examine [Matthew's source code] to see what is the principle behind it and whether it can easily be taught/replicated. hour 3-4: Plan video, workshop, maybe record intro

Sunday plan: {Assuming results from testing are good} hour 1-2: Finalize wiki instructions hour 2-4: Record video Time permitting: Upload workshop to ReadtheDocs/Sphinx (else do so during he week)

Note-- Side project when time permits/waiting on blocks: Convert Belize CEB Production Handbook by Aidan Williamson Log to ReadtheDocs/Sphinx

Friday, August 28, 2020

Entry 1: Couldn't get it to work on virtual machine... weird but ok. Figured I'd just run it live on the Acer and install it if things were looking ok (having backed up my current native OS)..... but. Live usb using Rufus didn't work- "no bootable device". huh. Live usb using YUMI didn't work either- same error "no bootable device". argh. Well, what if I put another OS on YUMI, will I be able to boot into it? Have a debian live iso handy. Trying now.

Entry 2: Ah, well apparently Secure Boot was turned back on even though I turned it off before. Guess it happened in the latest update. Tried turning it off again (the process has slightly changed) but got the same error message. WTF.

Entry 3: Figured I'd try my YUMI drive in the Dell to see what would happen. When I tried to run OSE 2.0, I got the error message

find --set-root %iso%
Error 15:( File not found

When I tried to run Debian- it worked. So that's interesting.

There's a stack exchange question/answer that suggests that CDFS is case sensitive and everything in \boot\grub\menu.lst needs to be edited to uppercase. I think I may do this and try to run it in the VM again, just to see what happens (even though I didn't see the error in the VM).

Entry 4: Did not find a menu.lst file. :(

Entry 5: Noticed the note to turn off "3D Graphic Acceleration" in bios. Trying that in VM.

Entry 6: Virtualbox has 3D Graphics Acceleration turned off by default. sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get upgrade, sudo apt-get upgrade -fix--missing, try to install again. Hash Sum Mismatch. Tried installing something else... Hash Sum Mismatch. So found the stack exchange for this and tried

sudo rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/* 
sudo apt-get update
E: The repository 'cdrom://OSE Linux 2.0 Beta _Neowise_ (20200816) focal Release' does not have a Release file. 
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default. 
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

I will raise this issue with the dev.

Entry 7: Feedback from dev-- (1) use to flash the drive (2) Check the md5 sum using instructions @

Entry 8: I MADE A ROOKIE MISTAKE. They probably weren't working because its the NTFS NOT FAT32. I get it mixed up sometimes. In other news interesting and informative plotter results!

Entry 9: On the now NTFS drive I flashed it with Balena as advised. This was successful. By the way, I had already done these steps, but here's a good video if anyone else is installing Linux OSE to a windows computer: These are the exact steps I did prior. You just want to make sure you're **not** using a FAT32 formatted disk. And even if you've turned off secure boot before, check again because apparently after updates they will just turn your secure boot back on.

It was easy to partition my drive from the installer, so I actually kept my other operating system. I was planning on over-writing it, but might as well since I had the option. Now I can get back started on the work!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Entry 1: Assignment received- begin instructional videos for 3D plotting workshop. Will be installing OSE Linux 2.0 Beta to a Virtual Machine on my Acer, as I have the old Ubuntu version on my Dell (and that machine's camera and mic don't work anyway). Downloading and installing the iso to my VM was easy peasy. {Note from the future: I hadn't realized I just booted into a live thing. Was wondering why I hadn't been prompted to set my username/password but didn't think much about it) Was a little surprised it didn't have cheese, which is how I like to test my webcam and mic cause it's the easiest.

Got an error starting kdenlive. Got the error Missing MLT Module: Avformat (ffmpeg) required for audio/video. Documentation said this meant I needed to install ffmpeg package, but I had the latest version. Clicked OK and it started, but may need to look into this further.

Was looking for vokoscreen and noticed in Sound & Video "Install Multimedia Codecs", which sounded like a good idea to me, but I got an error on installing that...

E:The repository 'cdrom://OSE Linux 2.0 Beta _Neowise_ (20200816) focal Release' does not have a Release file.

Then a prompt tells me I have to "remove" software but then it's actually a request to install libravcodec58=7:4.24-1ubuntu0.1. Click continue then a hash sum mismatch? Unfortunately I didn't have copy and paste capability at the time, but when I tried it again, I got this instead- Very long output.

Anyways, we shall see if these things cause problems. But vokoscreen proved my cam and mic are working in my VM (which I expected). If I have any trouble using kdenlive on this machine, I can always just use my other machine, but I kinda think it's gonna be fine.

Entry 2: It wasn't fine. Can't start the recording. I suspect the cause is related to the earlier error.

Entry 3: Well I was running it live, might as well install it all the way and see if it fixes itself. Ah- need more disk space (minimum 43.2 GB).

Note to self:

Also, I didn't notice in the [OSE Linux] wiki that it recommends not to use a Virtual Machine, but it's fine really.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Received new assignment to do while awaiting plotter results-- working with the files for the motor -- to make STLs from the assemblies &+ to repo. Entire task completed in approx 1 hour.

Thursday, August 18, 2020

Entry 1: Today I decided to have a go at make gcode that addresses a letter. Strangely, seeing the dashyness happen again, as I was seeing with the pointillism. Something about how I'm doing this must be off. Time to experiment.[30 min]

Entry 2: Took another look at the known good file and realized it looks dashy too. Not sure why I didn't notice. So I sent the file to Marcin to see if it's right. [15 min] If this file is right then I know I have the instructions correct.

Looked into this: When I opened the file in NCViewer, the area was huge and rendered waaaay off the bed. But... I think the dot part was probably right and I think I know what the pointillism file should generally look like.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Logs are great. I read my logs almost every day and it really helps me to get back going where I left off. I might start doing it for my day job, heh. Today I had the idea to envision Sphinx/Read the Docs 4 OSE project an instructional design project rather than a documentation project. Basically, it would be a great way to make Workshops- package related wikis, google docs, videos, files, lessons plans etc into one-stop-shop self-contained courses. I wouldn't mind the opportunity to put my ISD skills to work! We'll see what feedback I get from my collaborators.

The first course could be the Inkscape to GCode lesson. Readers may be interested to learn about the history of instructional design.

Oh- and I sent my first test gcode to Marcin today. Am anxiously awaiting the results.

AAAAAND while waiting I realized that I had missed a... pretty critical step. As such my gcode was probably more suited for a cutter or something... it would have been easy to spot. I remember I had gotten a little confused/mixed up between gcodetools and gcodeplot and which I needed.

Now that I actually have the ability to save as a pen drawing that's good, but there are more things about the file I created that I'm unsure of. It doesn't look like what's rendered looks like dots at all, but dashes. But I kinda want to see it, to see what actually happens... I wonder if making a different sized clone would change it or if I accidentally stretched my SVG at some point? Tomorrow I want to just do a rapid run through of all the steps again...

Monday, August 17, 2020

Took "the weekend off" I suppose, installed Debian 10 to a VM because I needed it to contribute to a friend's project. It was harder than it needed to be, but booting my VM with a live iso and then installing from there worked when nothing else did. It was a fun experience to practice working with the Read the Docs/Sphinx documentation workflow and make a few pull requests to someone else's project for once. Michael Log has suggested I (and other power documenters) consider using it for OSE, so it isn't entirely unrelated.

I also got myself a PGP signature so that people who communicate securely can reach me. I'll update my bio with it soon.

Read a few logs and wikis, and eased myself back in with some prefatory instructions about using the plotter to address an envelope. Did a few other edits to make the wiki more DRY.

It was a hard day at work but if after some rest I can put together some Inkscape to GCode files, that's my next step. I think I read somewhere there will be specific instruction for rendering text, so we shall see.

Note: rabbit trail from?to? OSE Business Models causing discovery of was cool.

Came back for another round of wiki edits. Didn't notice before that Using_Inkscape_to_Generate_Gcode#Sample_Files had examples of "known good plotter files". I had been wanting to see something like this, so I am happy to find it so I can compare the files I'm creating.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Not related to official work, but downloaded total Totalext.fcstd from D3D Universal 3D CAD and printed them on my Flashforge. Looks like I also need spring tensioner and the spiral linear bearing? I think everything else I'm supposed to buy, but I haven't looked deeply into it. Was really just wanting to have something useful printing. Note to self:

Friday, August 14, 2020

An hour looking into inkscape, trying to get a nice pointillist picture, and adding some notes to the wiki. Should probably shift back to the addressing an envelope procedure to get traction and learn about working with text.

Another hour and achieved pointillist rendition of open hardware icon using

Later will complete the steps for exporting as gcode.


Another hour and we have gcode! Wonder if it works?


I keep trying to stop working and get back at it. Edited wiki for a half hour. Generating_G_Code_for_the_D3D_Universal_Plotter_with_Open_Source_Software

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Early morning work on the wiki. Added "create a template" instructions. [1 hr] Took 15 minutes during lunch break to do a few more edits [.25 hr] Thinking about pointillism, email Marcin [1 hr] More work on wiki [1.5 hr]

TO-DO- Using inkscape to make a plottable version of this envelope template:

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Managed to squeeze in an hour of working on my wiki after hanging with the girls.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Note: Instructionals Template Note: Joe Log for D3D info Little behind on the day job. Only able to spend a few moments. Link to new wiki:

{Accidentally submitted this to the level-of-effort graph as tomorrow. For some reason, if I select "today" option, tomorrow is usually selected. But with how often I do work in the midnight hours, we can't expect use an overly strict version of day...}

Monday, August 10, 2020

A couple more hours spent researching and planning. Reading wikis and content by previous developers, work around D3D printer, etc. 1 hour figuring out questions for Marcin about how I should go about this.

   # So first, verifying I should be doing this work in the wiki? Or should I be producing a google doc instead, or even dozuki? 
   If wiki {

Wiki on your work log, where you link to any assets you produce. Use what's easiest, If instructionals, Google Presentations are convenient.

   You mentioned Jessica's Log, where I found her notes and a link to the wiki Using_Inkscape_to_Generate_Gcode.
   This seems to be a natural place to document everything you requested, but I need to significantly overhaul this page to do so. Is that ok? 

You need to significantly overhaul, so it's just easiest to start where she left off, and start another page.

       If ok {
       My plan would be to make these instructions about Inkscape to Gcode very clear. 


       Then I would likely add sections on using the Gcode with the plotter (including the examples you mentioned above with the mailing a letter) and sections on using it with 3D printers. }
       else { Would it be an article such as "Making Gcode from Inkscape for D3D Universal Plotter". Or even more specific "Using D3D Universal Plotter to Address Envelopes".  };

Specific is good. Definitely "Generating G Code for the D3D Universal Plotter with Open Source Software". As if you were to teach that in a STEAM Camp - so it should be interesting and useful.

Then you can do specifics:

1. Converting any bitmap image to plotting with the D3D Unviersal Plotter 2. Using Inskcape to Generate Logos for Plotting 3. An open source toolchain for producing OSE-Branded greeting cards with the D3D Universal Plotter. 4. How to make pointillist pictures using the D3D Plotter. 5. How to address regular mailing envelopes withthe D3D Universal Plotter - so we can do this for real, including OSE branding etc. 6. Can you think of other really compelling uses that you would like to add? These are the top 5 I can think of.

   else { How should I make the docs and how will they be deployed? };

Content first. So whatever format, such as wiki and Google. Then we can use them for various purposes. But at best - use our Instructionals Template:

Take a look at a recent example -

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Notes: for viewing gcode. Using Inkscape to Generate Gcode 1 hour research and planning

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Last night I was having a grand old time with my Dell and Linux OSE. This morning however (technically noon) I had some issues booting up.

It seems Ubuntu had as hard a time waking up as I did. I'm not sure if it's superstitious, but while the laptop was asleep I added a second monitor. I restarted many times, and each time the crash either happened before or after the login screen. I removed it, and that was the time it worked. Upon launch a prompt let me know a system error had been detected. Well, I'll certainly be backing up everything.

Uuuum, yeah not superstitious. When I reattached my second screen my display was immediately tanked. It looked like everything transformed into a rectangular jigsaw pattern. OK Well fine I don't need a second monitor that bad. Especially when I have two laptops..... It just seemed like it might be a fun time.

Quick note that I have previous experience with a portion of this project. This coaster is a design I took from PNG to Inkscape (gcodetools) to DXF to OpenSCAD to STL. So a very similar process, except this is 2D for the pen plotter.

Asked the discord where I might find blogs of the folks who have been doing all the great branding and such. With a little help from Eric I was able to find much of what I needed. Recommend Jean-Baptiste Log to future documentation helpers.

Lots of wiki reading. [2 hours]

Friday, August 7, 2020

Begin study D3D Pen Plotter in preparation to provide full quality documentation of the process of generating gcode that is compatible with D3D Universal.

Toolchain: gcodetools, inkscape, FreeCAD. D3D Universal

TO-DO: Extract necessary insights and material from Jessica Log and wiki

Produce written documentation 1. Example create a drawing 2. Example address a letter 3. Example make a circuit 4. Example make a point picture

Produce updated screenshots

Test documentation

Produce gcode examples

Test gcode examples

Produce video documentation

Package into lesson plan

Watched Manufacturing Change and Using Open Source Tools for Broadasting. Realized I have a perfectly good Dell laptop that I could try to install OSE Linux to. I had Linux Mint on there. I haven't used the laptop in awhile because it is kind of old and stuff. But for this purpose... I think it should work. I had the videos going while I went through the process which had many wait times *synergy*.

The first time I tried to use my Rufus disk, there was a crash. So it booted into the live version. Things were crashing all over the place so I restarted. The second time, things seemed to go just fine. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I think you definitely need to use the option to install your updates during installation. So this is exciting- no more live disk. I was soon after prompted to upgrade my Ubuntu version. I ran apt-get update and apt-get upgrade after getting an error message about not having the latest version of snapd. Installed gcode tools extension for Inkscape.

I got a little confused when the instructions said "Execute python". After you've unzipped your file you are in " /usr/share/inkscape/extensions/". You need to cd to gcodetools-master before "python" works. I had to use sudo as well. [2.5 hours]

Thurs, Aug 6, 2020

Considered and discussed possible projects to begin on with Marcin. [1 hour]

Wed, Aug 5, 2020

Uploaded Developer Test Video

1) Installing Linux I tried various methods of creating a live USB of linux, and the one that worked for me was Rufus. I was unable to successfully create a virtual machine, so I used the live boot. [4 hours]

2) Learning FreeCAD Overall I spent 20 hours learning FreeCAD with 15 hours being direct effort at building the cube.

3) Documenting Work I spent about 2 hours probably documenting my work. I did not always successfully migrate footage to my SD card before things like system crashes so some parts are undocumented- including signing my initials on the cube and adding the screw (I have yet to use the screw to assemble)

The hardest part was building the cube. We are supposed to submit this test at the end of the 2 weeks but it isn't quite right. I would greatly benefit from a mentor. Because I intend to assist on the Documentation Team, I am hoping that this submission will be suitable. If not, then I will learn more about how to contribute outside of being a Developer and try again later.

Score: 80

Using Linux: 100

Learning FreeCAD: 60 (did not align parts, did not insert screw)

Documenting Work: 80 (did not capture all of video, and sometimes at fault of my own)

[1 hour]

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Perused social media channels, reviewed Wiki materials, watched OSE videos. [3 hours]

Monday, August 3, 2020

Spent a half hour trying to build the cube. Something I'm not understanding about using alignment. May need to rewatch some videos. Considering creating my cube video without perfectly creating the cube and detracting points for what I haven't learned. Since I'm trying to be on the documentation team, I wonder if that will fly. [0.5 hour]

Sunday, August 2, 2020

More time spent trying to build the cube. Unhappily, the system crashed and although I have my FreeCAD files I hadn't moved over my vokoscreen footage to SD so they are lost and will have to be redone. I now understand what I'm doing enough that I can get the cube shape in a short amount of time. It is now time to move these parts carefully into the desired shape, insert the screw, and add initials to the face. I am taking a short break and returning to work for a second session. [3 hrs]

Have made some progress in approximating the shape. Need to add proper constraints though. Signed a face with my initials. Lost the video of that, but I think I'm going to have to redo the whole thing for the video anyway. A little confused about the specifics of getting a "1 inch bolt". Have... a bolt. [2 hrs]

Thursday, July 30, 2020

More time spent trying to build the cube. While in the process of understanding how to transform and rotate the tubes, they became very distant from one another. Rather than give up and try again, I went through the tedious task of rejoining them. This process helped me practice moving things around in space anyway. I am pretty close to being able to competently move objects around. I predict it should come pretty quickly in my next session, and then I will just need to add my initial and the screw, which I am pretty sure I understand how to do. Here is a screenshot of the progress on the cube up to this point: [2 hour]

Monday, July 27, 2020

Video Cover Letter [1 hour]

Sunday, July 26, 2020

... I spent another 4 hours trying to build the cube, but there must be something I'm missing because my expectations keep not aligning with what happens. Sometimes when I change the perspective view, parts just disappear in what seems to be a random way to me. I'm able to copy, rotate, move, delete generally, but sometimes I seem to be forbidden to place things or rotate things the way I'm intending to. I understand the general purposes of each of the work benches and what the tools are supposed to do. Just putting it all together consistently seems to be a lot of trouble and the menus sometimes behave erratically as far as I'm concerned. Hopefully when I return to this, things will go more smoothly. I'm sad to not meet the deadline I set for myself to finish this today. I may be able to do another session of work later but I'm not sure. I do feel like I made a lot of practical progress, just not enough that I successfully have made the cube. I uploaded a video of about where I am in FreeCAD ability. [4 hours]

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Created YouTube playlist: OSE FreeCAD 101 videos and other videos watched for Dev Test They're in order of how I watched them. I understand the FreeCAD materials are meant to be absorbed within an hour or something like that. This is logical, but I have an atypical attention span. Here are my impressions of the materials:

(1) Tutorials 1 & 2 - AMAZING love them. They are definitely critical to my success at the project. Sharing them to anyone I know trying to get into FreeCAD. Love the fast pace, which surprised me at first (despite the explanatory text). (2) FreeCAD 0.16 (5007) TH13A - Assembly2 - The mouse animation at the beginning confused me and the lack of sound made me think something was wrong with my audio settings. This video does show the assembly workbench. Learning by just watching can be good, but I gotta admit, I prefer videos with verbal explanations. (3) (4) FreeCAD Programming - This was an exciting video to me. I definitely would like to get to the point where I'm programming with FreeCAD. This video shows the potential and how to get started very well. (5) Use the Draft Rotating tool - Like Sarah, whose log I got this from, my first challenge getting started at building the cube was getting the parts orientated, this video helped with that. (6) 5 Ways FreeCAD will annoy you - This video helped me to understand that it isn't me that is a little confused by this UI...

These materials combined with the sample developer test videos is going to lead to my success. [4 hours]

Friday July 24, 2020

I tried installing OSE Linux to a virtual machine. It didn't go well and an error window came up saying "Sorry, Ubuntu 16.04 has experienced and internal error". After closing the window, clicking on anything was unresponsive. I waited awhile and this was still the case so I shut it down.

Decided to give the live OSE Linux another try. I am using Freecad v 0.16 rev 6712 Also my version of OSE is specifically Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS 16.04 xenial

Everything went well. It seems all the crashyness has abated. Now I can begin my real concentration on the materials, applying the FreeCAD tutorials to the 8 hole tube file. I watched a video Sarah shared in her log and added it to my materials to use as I complete these tasks. [2 hours]

Wed July 22, 2020

Started Phase 2 of the Development Test. Further studied FreeCAD materials and downloaded the 8-hole tube to get started.

FreeCAD repeatedly crashed as I attempted to create the cube. At first, it crashed when I would import the file to the project. Then I ran apt-get upgrade and apt-get update. To be honest, there was an error when I initially ran these that I had to resolve, and I should have made a note of it but I didn't. After doing so, FreeCAD no longer just crashed because of adding the file to the project. Instead it would crash when I switched work benches. I will do a better job documenting everything going forward, I just didn't want everyone to think I was a punk because of all the problems I was having so I had planned to pretend like they didn't. [4 hours]

Tuesday July 21, 2020

Completed Phase 1 of the Developer Test. Installed OSE Linux to thumbdrive and booted it up. I used Rufus to make the bootable OS in a Windows System because when I tried to use my Ubuntu Studio environment and associated tools I had trouble mounting my USB drive.

I did a test screen recording while studying FreeCAD materials, but it was lost when I restarted the environment. [4 hours]