Marty McGuire

Posts Tagged unicorn

Fri Jan 14

Baltimore Node logo (Unicorn)


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This work is licensed Creative Commons - Attribution.


I felt that it was about time Baltimore Node had a Unicorn-plottable logo! You can learn more about this awesome hackerspace at

I’ve attached all the files I used to create the G-Code for this thing, which tells the story of how you can make your own:

  • node_logo.svg - Start with the SVG logo available from the Node wiki.
  • node_logo.eps - Use Inkscape to export an EPS file, making sure to convert text to paths.
  • node_logo.dxf - Use pstoedit as described on Tony’s 2D-to-3D post - - to create a DXF, with simple line approximations of curves. I also ended up using some scaling:

    pstoedit -xscale 18 -yscale 18 -dt -f dxf:-polyaslines node_logo.eps node_logo.dxf
  • node_logo.gcode - Use from GitHub to convert the DXF into Unicorn G-Code.

I used Pleasant3D for its excellent G-Code preview capabilities to check that everything looked reasonable, find a good scaling, etc.


  1. Load node_logo.gcode up in ReplicatorG
  2. Line up your pen as shown in this image:
  3. Build!

You may need to flip axes, etc.

I also don’t have any of the niceties like pen registration tests or multi-sheet printing in this G-Code. Feel free to add your own!

Sun Jan 9

Sticky Notes - Unicorn Banner Plotting

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This work is licensed Creative Commons - Attribution.


Decorations in a pinch!

Note: This script is designed to work with the MakerBot Unicorn Pen Plotter:

This Python script takes your message and turns it into G-Code which prints one character on each page of a pad of sticky notes. It makes use of mifga’s tricks for pen registration and page-changing.

There are configuration options at the top of the file, so tweak them to make things work best for your bot and your needs.

This is a work in progress. Fork it and make improvements on GitHub!

Ideas for improvements:

  • Fills and/or cross-hatching
  • Deploy this as a web service
  • Clean up the code :)


Generating a Banner

You’ll need Python and Pycairo and its dependencies:

On Ubuntu, this is as easy as:

sudo apt-get install python-cairo-dev

You can then run the script with:

python 'Your Message Here' > out.gcode

Printing Your Banner

  1. Attach a pad of sticky notes to your build platform. Scotch tape is good.
  2. Center the build platform at 0,0, so the pen is over the center of the pad.
  3. Open your G-Code file in ReplicatorG and click “Build”.
  4. Watch the pen as it does its registration test and make sure it touches the center of the pad.
    1. If the pen is too low or too high, or the pad is not centered, now is the time to fix it by hand. Feel free to click “No” and restart the build to redo the registration test.
    2. If the pen is in place, click “Yes” and watch your first letter appear!
  5. When the letter is finished, you will be prompted about retrieving the print.
  6. Remove the build platform and take off the top sticky note.
  7. Replace the build platform and click “Yes”
  8. Repeat steps 4-8 until your message is complete!