Sandypi

Hi, I’m Luca. I just registered to the forum but I’ve been following since I printed my mpcnc almost 2 years ago now. By following v1 on instagram I got to know the zenXY project and I got in love with sand tables. Now I’ve built one (not really a zenxy but I got inspiration from it) and I’ve been sniffing around a little bit now. I got to know sandify through the forum and I’m using it a lot for my table. The thing I was missing was a software to manage the table on the long term. Of course mine is not that original as an idea but I have been looking for a while for a good project to start programming again after some time.

So for the last two months or so, I’ve been working on this program (running on Windows and raspberry at the moment) that (in my unrealistic dreams) could become the “Octoprint clone” for sand tables.
Octoprint is good if you want to print one file at a time, but starting a drawing for a sandtable everytime can be boring.

The idea of my project is to create something that can feed the table periodically or even continuously. You prepare the drawings, load them to the software and choose how they should be done or when they should be done.

This as a first step: if the project gain some interest in may be possible to create something like a social network (read as “thingiverse” maybe) on which it’s possible to share the drawings or drawings playlists to which the table can connect and download a fresh drawing (lot of ideas here: something like topic playlists, most voted drawings, “discover weekly” (of course from spotify) or even more)

After all these words: I would like this project to become a community project. I don’t have enough time (and for sure knowledge, I’m not a professional programmer) to bring it along on my own.

The project is built on flask (python, html, css, js) because I think a web app for this will be more flexible (in order to connect to the table from a computer or a smartphone without the need of dedicated apps). Unfortunately my knowledge on web programming is quite basic (but for sure improving) so for sure some front-end expert could be a game changer here.

At the moment the project is more like a demo than a real software but I can give you the github link and a picture.

Please, let me know what you think about this.

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I really like this idea. And I think the colors and look are great!

There’s no reason this can’t run on any Linux system, and I’m guessing it would also work on Mac, not just windows. But I’m not going to spend the money to confirm that :slight_smile:

I’m really into this. I need to sit down and really dig in to understand the ins and outs. I have done quite a few flask/js projects in the past, and I wrote sandify in react-bootstrap, pure js. It was an adventure, but I am much more comfortable with the workings of Python.

I also sort of maintain (sort of because I am always apologizing for how late I am) and I think something like that would work, but I am wondering if a better choice would be to just have this in a docker image that can easily be installed on any pi. IDK. Anything where people have to run commands on the command line is going to intimidate a large fraction of potential users.

Regarding the social networking/pattern sharing. I think that would be great, and I would really hate to make it :smiley:. It seems like a ton of work, and a lot of server side stuff that doesn’t sound very appealing at all. I would love to find a service that we could use as a backbone to take a lot of the security/costs/back end concerns away, like imgur, and then just create a neat front end that did some of what you’re asking for (ratings, recommendations, browsing, etc). Unless you think we could get a bazillion users and sell it to face book. Then I would consider spending a few weekends on it.

Anyway… This is epic, and I really like it. My machine is in pieces right now (I am printing some parts for it as I type this). But I definitely need to attach a pi to it and try this out. My machine runs grbl (esp32 grbl), so it would be a good stretch to see what needs to happen to accommodate that.

Very excited about this. You’ve named it, and got a color scheme. That’s the hardest part.

4 Likes

@bobnik, Check this out.

Great idea. Thanks for doing this.

I don’t have a fully functional sand table yet, but I do have the basic mechanics working. I hope to get an actual table built this winter.

I was thinking I would probably want a way to cycle randomly through a number of patterns I liked, but I was just thinking of a simple shell script or command line python program. This is WAY better than anything I could produce.

2 Likes

Thanks! I’m happy that the project can be interesting.

I’ve heard about it but I never used it. For sure everything that make the project more accessible it’s welcome.

Exactly what I was thinking :rofl: My hope is that by the time the project is mature enough to create the website an expert will show up to help :wink: (for sure a bazillion users would be nice :laughing:)
I’m sure you can find some orrible stuff in my code but my entire life is “learning by doing”. If you see something completely wrong just tell me :wink:

At the moment the gcode sender is pretty rough. I’ve tested it on marlin only and it is working but is not much reliable. When I have some time I will start to put down a list of things that can/must be done so that anybody with will can start doing something.

The colors where the easy part… Just googled for “zen color palette” :laughing:

I don’t know your programming level but I’m not an expert… It is not that difficult, it is just complex because it’s not plain python but you need to work also with web programming. Still there is work to do on the python side: if you want there will be for sure something to do there.

Of course any idea or suggestion is welcome. I think we can use this thread more or less like you are doing for sandify.

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The project looks interesting. Sisyphus (my sand table vendor) ships with a phone app that lets you upload patterns, organize them into playlists, share them with the “community” and send them to the table. So I guess I’ve been spoiled lol. If you want, I can send you some screen caps, but honestly I think the app is frustrating to work with.

As a software engineer and recent contributor to Sandify, I will say that getting your project up and running on Github and posting updates, however modest, is a great way to attract the attention of like-minded and technically-proficient individuals to help.

Good luck!

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