We recently got a couple of plotters, thinking they would be great machines to take out to events – inexpensive, easy to set up, hackable, and as far as consumables, paper and pens are about the easiest materials to source. Though they’re relatively simple machines, people seem to enjoy watching them work. I’ve been kicking around interesting and interactive uses for them, and remembered seeing SquiggleCam, a web-based implementation of SquiggleDraw. I prototyped a production process today, using a tile from the tile project, featuring our lab mascot Nova.

Side By Side

I snapped a photo of the tile using a webcam, and then tweaked the settings in SquiggleCam to simplify the output. SquiggleCam exports to SVG, which can then be opened in InkScape and sent to the plotter using the AxiDraw add-on.

After a bit of a rough start – the pen needed a adjusting – the end result is pretty nice! The near-term goal is to create on-the-fly squiggle plots of guests at our upcoming ribbon cutting event. A few more tests, and I think we’ll have a smooth and speedy production process and flow.


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