The Eggbot Extensions

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eggbottiny.jpg This wiki page is part of the documentation for the Egg-Bot kit. Click here to return to the Egg-Bot overview.
The specifics of this portion assume that you have version 2.1.0 or higher of the Eggbot extensions installed.
Click here if you need help determining which version you have installed.

The Eggbot Extensions || Eggbot Control >>>

Note: This page assumes that you are using v2.1 or later of the Eggbot extensions. For v2.0 and earlier, see the v2.0 extensions page.

Inkscape interacts with your Eggbot through a collection of "extensions" [1]. Inkscape extensions are simply pieces of software that extend the capabilities of Inkscape. Extensions have been so successful that Inkscape now ships with over a hundred. Additional extensions can be provided by third-parties. The Eggbot extensions are a case in point: they are Inkscape extensions provided by the Eggbot community. The primary purpose of the Eggbot extensions is to extend Inkscape by allowing it to "print" to your Eggbot.

To see which Eggbot extensions you have installed, launch Inkscape. Once Inkscape is running, pull down the "Extensions" menu. That will show you categories of extensions which are installed. By selecting the "EggBot" category, you can then see the list of supported Eggbot extensions and select one to use,


If you do not see "EggBot" listed as an extension category, see the Troubleshooting section below.

A second category of Eggbot extensions -- "EggBot Contributed" -- should also appear. These are unsupported extensions contributed by members of the Eggbot Community.

In the pages which follow, each of the following Eggbot extensions will be presented in detail,

  • EggBot Contributed
    • Eggmazing -- Make cylindrical mazes for drawing on eggs
    • Hatch fill -- Generate hatch and crosshatch fills
    • Name Poem -- Render name poems using fonts suitable for use with the Eggbot
    • Post process trace bitmap -- Make Inkscape's "Trace Bitmap" output more suitable for Eggbot plotting
    • Spiral Wrapped Text -- Gently spiral text around and around an egg
    • Stretch -- Circumferentially stretch your drawing for plotting on spherical surfaces
    • Twist -- Sample extension code
    • Your extension here?

The truly awesome thing about Inkscape extensions is that you can write your own and share them with others. The only pre-requisite is learning a language called Python [2, 3]. You can see the source code to the Inkscape extensions by locating the extensions subdirectory in your Inkscape installation directory. Each extension is a file whose name ends with ".py". They are ordinary text files and no special tools are needed to read them. They can be written with a simple text editor.

[edit] Where to find the extensions on your system

Eggbot's extensions to Inkscape are text files. There are two text files per extension: a Python program with file extension .py and a menu description with file extension .inx. The syntax of the latter file is that of XML while its semantics are specific to Inkscape [3]. These files are located in different directories on different platforms:

  • Linux: ~/.config/inkscape/extensions/
  • Mac OS X: /Applications/
  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Inkscape\share\extensions\

[edit] Troubleshooting

If you do not see the Eggbot extension category, then you likely have not yet installed the Eggbot software. Please see Installing software for directions. Another possibility is that you have more than one version of Inkscape installed and you are running the wrong copy. Linux systems may come with Inkscape pre-installed. If you upgraded the Inkscape on your system, it is possible that the newer copy did not replace the older copy and you now have two copies installed.

[edit] Notes

[1] Presently, Inkscape only interacts with your Eggbot hardware through a single extension, "Eggbot Control." The other Eggbot extensions are tools which allow you to produce or modify Inkscape documents for use with your Eggbot.
[2] There are many online Python tutorials including the one maintained by the Python organization, The Python Tutorial.
[3] The Inkscape project provides some limited documentation on writing extensions at their wiki site. See the "Extensions" topic under the "Developer tutorials" section at their main wiki page. Studying existing extensions is a good way of supplementing the material found at the Inkscape wiki.

The Eggbot Extensions || Eggbot Control >>>

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