So this is the real star of v1.2: The norwegian pixel.
- Save your source image as a greyscale PBM or PGM file, and put it on the SD card. Note that GIMP saves PBM files as 2 colour dithered files, so you need to export as PGM to get it to work there. Photoshop just saves in whatever format the image happens to be in, so make sure you convert to grayscale (not RGB or indexed) before saving.
- Put the SD card in the PolargraphSD and turn it on.
- Open the controller and drag a selection box where you want to draw your picture. For one reason or another, you do need to have an image loaded before you’re allowed to drag a selection area. I just noticed that. But the image you load is nothing to do with what you’re drawing.
- On the roving tab, click set roving area. This tells the machine where you want it to start.
- Click draw norwegian… and enter the filename of your image file.
Click trace outline and the machine will quickly draw an outline of where the image will be. The image will be scaled so that it is the width of the rove area, regardless of how tall that works as being. So really the height of the rove area is irrelevant.
- Choose the amplitude (row width) and the wavelength, and hit submit to send the command off to the machine.
- Wait many hours.
I haven’t done an awful lot of testing of this, but the initial results are beautiful.
HOWEVER, I have noticed one issue – there are regularly spaced breaks in each row, some more obvious than others. This is because of the way the beaded cord slips on the sprockets, and it’s a problem I actually expected to see before now. The issue is that the beaded cord is not manufactured to very close tolerances, so the sprockets are rarely a perfect size. It means that each beads-worth of rotation, there’s a little slip while the beads pull taut into the teeth.
There isn’t really a solution as far as I can see, as long as there’s even a mismatch between the circumference of the sprocket and the length of a piece of cord with the same number of beads, there’ll always be a little period where it falls forward.
Note that I think it’s only a problem for machines with beaded cords – if you use reels of thread and smooth bobbins, you’ll be fine.
–EDIT I goofed a bit with the various firmwares, and half the stuff didn’t work. I’m a bit puzzled how I didn’t notice, but there you go. Anyway, I’ve fixed a bunch of stuff, so if you had problems with the newest stuff, give it another shot.