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This is the CylinDraw, a new tool that lets you easily create incredible art on any kind of cup!

CylinDraw essentially does 2 things: It can engrave & it can paint. And it is highly adjustable so it can do those 2 things on any kind of cup. (tumblers, wine glasses, mason jars, shot glasses, mugs with handles, or any cylindrical object tapered or not under 3” diameter & 11” tall).

This is a large body of work and there is a lot to cover, so the introduction & demonstration video is a good place to start.

If you want to be the first to hear when kits become available then visit the project homepage and enter your email address.

As a painting tool, we have experimented and perfected techniques for drawing on multiple types of materials and coating the end result to make it dishwasher safe. (Though we have more to learn here to be sure. There is a world of markers and coatings out there to choose from to continue experimenting with!)

As an engraver, CylinDraw is an order of magnitude less expensive in terms of upfront/operating/& maintenance costs when compared to a rotary laser engraver, while offering better ease of use and equivalent drawing resolution. (CylinDraw operates at 0.2mm wide stroke, lasers are 0.1-0.5mm.) Engraving is also a safer cleaner process than laser etching since fumes and fire are not a factor. Lasers must be vented to the outside because of chemical byproducts (smoke), while mechanical engravers only create physical byproducts (microparticles) which can be contained with a shop vac.

But of equal importance to what it does, is how it does it.

Cool hardware is still a useless brick without software, and if the software sucks then its an irritating brick. But get both things right and using the tool becomes such an effective process that you can start taking it for granted. That’s when you know it has improved your life and that was the intent. Every aspect of this tool is designed to make the user experience painless, because I think computers should just work so you can focus on the art!

CylinDraw software is all-inclusive. It can convert any bitmap image like a photo or screenshot into a vector graphic (SVG) and then into a drawing-in-progress in minutes. Most drawings are doable in under an hour.

The system automatically makes assumptions on your behalf to streamline the process. A few examples:

Multicolor jobs self sort the colors by brightness so you don’t smear light colors with dark ones.
Optimized drawing paths using a honed greedy algorithm.
Automatically updating the feed & speed (steps-per-mm) to account for varying cup diameter.
Automatic connection to the tool when the USB cable is plugged in. A happy beep tells you all is well.
Separate user interfaces for separate functions so that all the information on screen is relevant, and the only controls you have are the ones you need.
No internet-of-things planned obsolescence security nightmare nonsense. CylinDraw operates entirely without internet access.
Custom ‘JOB’ files (machine readable g-code files) use an .svg extension so they can be viewed as thumbnails or in a browser.
Another interesting thing to note is that it does not use grbl. The software and firmware was written from scratch to best meet the unique requirements of this device. (grbl takes up a lot of space on Arduino & it is more complex than I need for some things, which was a hinderance for adding features I needed. So starting from scratch was the easier choice.)”

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