Inventables Community Forum

Apps in Easel: Vectorizing images

Today we are taking the first steps to creating an environment for external developers to build apps on top of the Easel platform. Our goal is to get people making faster than ever before by creating a system of specific, useful and easy to use design tools. By allowing anyone with an idea and programming chops to dive into Easel and create a custom design tool, everyone in the Easel community benefits.

Almost every design tool out there is general: designed to meet the requirements of many, many uses. Generality means complexity, and complexity means difficulty, especially for newcomers. Instead of one-size-fits-all, we want to create an ecosystem of specific, easy-to-use apps, accessible directly within Easel, that can help you get from idea to design faster than has ever been possible.

As our first example app we turned to a highly requested, but tricky problem: vectorizing images. Our app is simple: just upload an image (or choose one from the web). You can use the “Threshold” and “Invert” options to change the way the image is vectorized. Notice that the image is turned into black and white, the “Threshold” determines the cutoff level.

Here is a very quick demo video. There will be more documentation to come.

We are going to start by releasing this only to beta-testers who request access. You can request access by entering your email here: http://eepurl.com/bpWeRH

What we are looking for from beta testers:

  1. Try out our first app! We want to know if it works well, what you are using it for, etc. Please reply to this thread with screenshots (good or bad!) and let us know how we can improve the experience of using the app itself.
  2. If you are interested in developing apps, reach out to us! Put your email on this list and we will let you know as more documentation is available.

Sign up here for access!

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just signed up and cant wait.

This is awesome! Excited to see all the apps that will be created!!

Is this a different beta from the two-stage cut beta?

Edit: I guess so! :wink:

Wow, I just imported a jpeg image and the vectorized image looks great. It was very easy to do. Much quicker than importing the image into Inkscape and vectorizing it there (hoping the parameters were correct) and then importing the image back into Easel.

Thanks!

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Yea same here tried it on some images of the internet worked great. Havent tried to cut them yet as my xcarve hasnt arrived yet but looking forward to using this ALOT.

Signed up for testing. I’m not a programmer at all, but I do have quite a bit of experience swearing at Illustrator and Inkscape while trying to vectorize stuff. :smiley:

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Given the right image, this is awesome!

What kind of images are you trying out?

I pulled in an image of my car into another project I was working on to test…

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I just completed a test cut of my first vectorized image in Easel and it came out pretty good. I need to pay more attention to the depth of the cut, but other than that it works very well.

As soon as all the bright people in this group start creating new apps for Easel this is really going to be a game changer. I see special apps for sign engraving, lithophanes, photograph etches, PCB’s, 2.5D cutting …

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Nice job @AllenMassey that looks great. You did it so quickly too!

What other kinds of apps are people excited about?

DRAG KNIFE APP!!! I’m sure this third party app plugin system will help this come to life!!

3D/V-carving.
Gear-maker/designer.
Drill-option.

but to be honest, the apps you did’nt expect are the most awesome ones often;)

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Definitely v-carving, and the drag knife would be excellent also!

This is yet another exciting development from you guys at Inventables! I can’t wait for my machine to get here!

Second for the gear designer.

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Make that 3 for the gear designer!

Emory

There is a great gear generator with SVG export at: http://geargenerator.com/

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As a developer I’m really happy to hear about this. Being able to build the tools to build the end result always feels great. :smile:

I’m assuming that eventually Easel will have a published API we can hang apps from?

As for apps I would like to see?

  1. V-Carving (and the related engraving side)
  2. Another vote for the gears (I love http://geargenerator.com/)
  3. And a similar to gears, a “digital joints” app that allows addition of carvable joints to projects for things like box making. see: http://www.flexiblestream.org/project/50-digital-wood-joints (and more on the subject: http://makezine.com/2012/04/13/cnc-panel-joinery-notebook/)
  4. Some form of measuring tool that allows accurate placement of features and accurate sizing of said features.

This is exciting news, I am really glad I took the leap to get an X-Carve, it seems the whole ecosystem gets better and more exciting everyday.

Cheers

Ian

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