Hello dear reader.

As the ominous countdown clock portends, we're a little over two weeks away from Maker Faire. To date we've completed MoNet's rail lines/easel, its back end (to take submitted pictures and extract color samples,) so the last major piece to finish is its paint pumping system.

To be sure, we've already got the pumps and tubing in place and the brush head is coming along nicely. These next two weekends will be spent entirely on finishing this piece and fixing any last minute issues.

We're so close!

Paint and Paintings

We've shared some test images (yes, they count) in the past, but over this last week we've had a major upgrade to the paint system. Which lead to this:

Baby's first official painting

It's hard to get more descriptive than that - you're looking at MoNet's first official painting. There's a great deal of texture as well, but as Jack noted it's still slinging too much paint.

The result? We're moving to compressed air which will help cut down on the amount of paint being used.

Portrait Portal

Just to recap, we're pausing for a brief announcement.

MoNet's color sampler is up and running - you can go to http://www.projectmo.net/portrait to take/upload a photo and MoNet will turn it into a color map.

Currently the site sends your sample to the color wall instead of MoNet proper, but we'll be switching that over when Maker Faire arrives. Give it a try in the meantime! If you're using a smart phone, the site will prompt you to take a picture and select a color from that.

Thoughts for the Week

A huge piece of this project (or any project worth doing) has revolved around learning. Trying new things.

Over our time with MoNet we've learned a great deal. Case in point, this week we learned that if the paint dries, it ruins the tubes. Fortunately this happened in enough time for Jack to order more tubing, and for us to consider how best to thin the paint to prevent this from happening again.

The current thinking is to go back to our windshield washer fluid trick mentioned a while ago to thin it. Before we do that, however, we're trying different methods of thinning. We're moving to acrylic paints which has the benefit of drying much quicker. Further, we're using a coffee filter to avoid chunks (which didn't help the lines last time) while thinning. Our latest test featured latex paint cut with 30% denatured alcohol - fortunately it dries quicker and cleans easily with water, but unfortunately it's still delivering too much paint. Once the smaller tubing arrives, we're hoping that will take care of the problem.

That's all for this week. Hope to see you at Maker Faire!

Until next time.