Released by  

This post is a brief alert to announce the final (updated, v.1.1) release of the F.A.T. Lab’s QR_STENCILER software. This tool is a free, fully-automated utility that converts QR codes into vector-based stencil patterns suitable for laser-cutting. The QR_STENCILER is described in full detail in our 19 July blog post.

The newest version of the QR_STENCILER adds the following functionality:

  • Options allowing both black-on-white and white-on-black (“reverse”) stenciling;
  • A graphical user interface with checkboxes and sliders from the ControlP5 library;
  • Rounded corner options (including both circular arcs and Bezier curves);
  • Precompiled executables for Mac OSX, Windows and Linux;
  • Vector path simplification for improved lasercutting.

Moreover, the QR_STENCILER can now be downloaded from the following 3 locations:

Thank you for your interest in this project, and happy stenciling.
The F.A.T. Lab staff

Released by  

Yep, it’s a QR code stencil generator! The F.A.T. Lab is pleased to present QR_STENCILER, a free, fully-automated utility which converts QR codes into vector-based stencil patterns suitable for laser-cutting. Additionally, we present QR_HOBO_CODES, a series of one hundred QR stencil designs which, covertly marked in urban spaces, may be used to warn people about danger or clue them into good situations. The QR_STENCILER and the QR_HOBO_CODES join the Adjustable Pie Chart Stencil in our suite of homebrew "infoviz graffiti" tools for locative and situated information display.

The QR_STENCILER loads QR code image files, and exports vector-based PDF stencils.

CONTENTS

ABOUT THIS PROJECT
QR codes are a form of two-dimensional barcode which are widely used to convey URLs and other short texts through camera-based smartphones. A variety of free tools exist to generate QR codes (such as the Google Charts API) and to read them (such as TapMedia’s free QR Reader for iPhone app). Our QR_STENCILER is a Java-based software utility which loads a user-specified QR code image — from which it then generates a lasercutter-ready, topologically correct stencil .PDF. As Fred Trotter has pointed out, QR codes contain stencil islands in unpredictable configurations. QR_STENCILER automatically detects and bridges these islands, using thin lines that are minimally disruptive to the highly robust QR algorithm. It does so through the use of two basic image processing techniques: connected component labeling (sometimes called blob detection) and 8-connected chain coding (sometimes called contour tracing). QR_STENCILER was created with Processing, a free, cross-platform programming toolkit for the arts.

Closeup of stencil corners and islands
Closeup of a QR code lasercut in 1/8"-thick fiberboard. The QR_STENCILER automatically thickens corners between squares (left) and generates "bridges" to connect stencil islands (center). The level (amount) of island bridging is user-adjustable.

Accompanying the QR_STENCILER are the QR_HOBO_CODES (see below), a set of 100 lasercutter-ready QR stencil designs created with the QR_STENCILER software. These stencils can be understood as a covert markup scheme for urban spaces — providing directions, information, and warnings to digital nomads and other indigenterati. We present these as modern equivalents of the chalk-based "hobo signs" developed by 19th century vagabonds and migratory workers to cope with the difficulty of nomadic life. Indeed, our set of QR stencils port a number of classic hobo annotations to the QR format ("turn right here", "dangerous dog", "food for work") as well as some new ones, with a nod to warchalking, that are specific to contemporary conditions ("insecure wifi", "hidden cameras", "vegans beware").

Classic hobo signs
Examples of 19th- and 20th-Century "hobo signs". Sources: Fran DeLorenzo (left), Wikipedia (right).

DOWNLOAD & INSTRUCTIONS
QR_STENCILER has been tested in MacOSX 10.6.8, but (since Processing is a cross-platform toolkit) it should work in Windows or Linux as well.

  1. Make yourself a QR code image which embeds a short piece of text. GoQR.me, Google and Kaywa all provide free online QR generators. To reduce the complexity of the stencil, we recommend generating your code with the shortest possible texts, and with lower levels of error correction (L-level or M-level). At the same time, we recommend generating QR code images with more pixel resolution, such as 500x500px; for QR_STENCILER, the ideal input image has a “grid size” of about 20 image-pixels per QR grid-cell. (See this QR code for an example; it has 23-pixel grid-cells in an overall image size of 540x540px.)
  2. Download QR_STENCILER.zip, and unzip this to a folder. The QR_STENCILER is also available from this Github repository.
  3. Although the zip includes compiled executables for Mac, Windows and Linux, we recommend running the QR_STENCILER from the Processing development environment. Download and install the Processing development tool. The QR_STENCILER works with Processing v.1.5.1 or later.
  4. Put your QR code image in the folder, ‘QR_STENCILER/data/’
  5. Launch Processing and open ‘QR_STENCILER.pde’
  6. Press ‘Run’ (Command-R) to start the stenciler.
  7. You will be prompted to Open your QR code image. (A default “hello world” QR code will be opened if none is provided).
  8. After opening the QR code image, the program will generate a stencil .PDF in the ‘data’ folder. Note that there are some options (checkboxes, sliders) which you can use to alter the generated stencils in various ways, including (for example) generating “reverse” (white-on-black) stencils.
  9. The .PDF can be opened in your favorite CAD program, for laser-cutting materials like cardboard, delrin, MDF or acrylic. If you need to find a lasercutter, consider Ponoko.com, which ships anywhere. You can also Google ‘lasercutting service‘ to find a bureau near you, or check the Architecture or Design departments of your local university. (Of course, you could always print out the PDF on paper if you prefer to cut the stencil by hand. Cheap!)
  10. For non-permanent outdoor marking materials, we recommend Erwin Strait-Line 64908 powdered chalk; black spray chalk; black finger paint; and Crayola Sidewalk Paint.
  11. After marking your stencil, test it with a QR code reader, such as TapMedia’s free QR Reader for iPhone app.

The QR_STENCILER loads QR code image files, and exports vector-based PDF stencils.
More photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

LICENSE
The QR_STENCILER software is provided "as is", without warranty of any kind. QR_STENCILER is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to distribute, remix, and modify QR_STENCILER, so long as you share alike and provide attribution to FFFFF.AT. The repackaging of QR_STENCILER as or into commercial software, is expressly prohibited. Please note that QR_STENCILER also enjoys protections under the GRL Repercussions 3.0 license. More details about QR_STENCILER’s license and warranty can be found in the preamble to its main code file, QR_STENCILER.pde; for other uses, please contact us. The 100 QR_HOBO_CODES and their respective stencils are hereby dedicated to the public domain.

QR_HOBO_CODES


25-minute wait
png | stencil

assholes
png | stencil

bad coffee
png | stencil

bad food
png | stencil

bad tempered owner
png | stencil

bad water
png | stencil

be alert
png | stencil

be quiet
png | stencil

be ready to defend yourself
png | stencil

beware pickpockets
png | stencil

bike thieves
png | stencil

boring
png | stencil

broken meter
png | stencil

camera perverts
png | stencil

camp here
png | stencil

cars ticketed
png | stencil

caveat emptor
png | stencil

changing table
png | stencil

cheap drinks
png | stencil

check cashing
png | stencil

civilized place
png | stencil

contraception available
png | stencil

cops active
png | stencil

cops inactive
png | stencil

danger
png | stencil

dangerous homophobes
png | stencil

dangerous neighborhood
png | stencil

dishonest scalpers here
png | stencil

dog
png | stencil

food for work
png | stencil

free doctor
png | stencil

free out-of-date food
png | stencil

free wifi
png | stencil

get out fast
png | stencil

go straight
png | stencil

good cheap food
png | stencil

good coffee
png | stencil

good for a handout
png | stencil

good to kids
png | stencil

good veg-burger
png | stencil

good water
png | stencil

GPS is incorrect
png | stencil

great dumpster
png | stencil

habla espanol
png | stencil

has showers
png | stencil

help if sick
png | stencil

here is the place
png | stencil

hidden cameras
png | stencil

high-fee ATM
png | stencil

hold your tongue
png | stencil

insecure wifi
png | stencil

it’s fake
png | stencil

just ignore him
png | stencil

keep away
png | stencil

keep going
png | stencil

kind family
png | stencil

lax oversight
png | stencil

look down
png | stencil

look up
png | stencil

lots of outlets
png | stencil

mean to children
png | stencil

nice bathroom
png | stencil

no bathrooms
png | stencil

no changing table
png | stencil

no fee ATM
png | stencil

no outlets
png | stencil

no pets
png | stencil

no privacy
png | stencil

open late
png | stencil

over-priced
png | stencil

over-rated
png | stencil

owner gives to GOP
png | stencil

owner has a gun
png | stencil

perverts
png | stencil

pissoir
png | stencil

Plan B sold here
png | stencil

prostitution sting
png | stencil

scammers
png | stencil

sleep in barn
png | stencil

speed trap
png | stencil

stay low
png | stencil

strong phone signal
png | stencil

talk religion
get food

png | stencil

tell a hard luck
story here

png | stencil

test market
png | stencil

those aren’t real
png | stencil

toll road
png | stencil

tramp camp
png | stencil

tramps arrested on sight
png | stencil

turn left here
png | stencil

turn right here
png | stencil

unexpectedly good coffee
png | stencil

unsafe area
png | stencil

use gloves
png | stencil

used frying oil available
png | stencil

vegans beware
png | stencil

well guarded
png | stencil

will give to get
rid of you

png | stencil

work available
png | stencil

worth saving
png | stencil

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
QR_STENCILER was created by Golan Levin and Asa Foster III with support from the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. Thanks to Ben Fry, Andreas Schlegel, Marcus Beausang, Neil Brown & Judy Robertson for the terrific code they have made available online. A tip of the hat to Fred Trotter, Jovino, Ric Johnson, le Suedois, Patrick Donnelly, David J. Burden, Matt Jones and others who have gone down similar or related paths. Additional thanks to Andrea Boykowycz for creative input. Some of the QR_HOBO_CODES are adapted from or inspired by designs presented elsewhere by Fran DeLorenzo and Cockeyed.com. "QR code" is trademarked by Denso Wave, Inc.

KEYWORDS
Barcode, QR code, stencil, QR code stencil, graffiti, grafitti, graffiti research, graf technology, street art, culture jamming, tactical media, urban messaging, locative media, situated visualization, contextual computing, lasercut, laser cutter, digital fabrication, template, chalk signs, chalk, spray paint, spraypaint, fffffat lab, hobo culture, hobo signs, warchalking.

Released by  

We present the design of an adjustable lasercut stencil pattern for pie-chart graffiti.

An Adjustable Pie Chart Stencil

The pattern includes a complete set of re-arrangeable letters and numbers.
Changing the stencil’s message and pie-chart percentage is straightforward.

Demonstration of the Adjustable Pie Chart Stencil

The stencil has a few noteworthy design features:

  • The letters are designed to be held in place with adhesive tape.
  • The pie chart pointer is held in place by an adjustable-tension bolt and wing-nut.
  • A small cutout arrow indicates which portion of the pie chart is described by your text.
  • The perimeter of the pie chart is etched with 100 tick-marks, making it easy to adjust.
  • The letters (a new stencilized version of Trade Gothic) preserve correct character widths and are provided in proportion to letter frequency (e.g. ETAOIN SHRDLU).

Here are the stencil designs (Illustrator CS4 .PDF format):

Complete fabrication info (including high-res photos) is available here. If you’d like to make one for yourself, you’ll need:

  • 1/8″ (3mm) thick sheet material, suitable for lasercutting. I used MDF, but acrylic is fine.
  • A one-inch 1/4″-20 bolt, wing-nut and suitable pair of washers.
  • Scotch tape or masking tape (to hold the letter in the stencil)
  • 1 quart-capacity Ziploc bag (for storing the letters)
  • Spray paint
  • A laser cutter!

Acknowledgements
This four-hour Speed Project was developed by Golan Levin with support from the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Thanks to Asa Foster III for production assistance.

Creative Commons License


Released by  

Obama redraws the greatest hits and your favorite selections from the #000000book library of GML tags, in the Obama GML Playa by Golan Levin & Jérôme Saint-Clair.

To view the Obama GML Playa go to http://graffitimarkuplanguage.com/obama-gml-playa

Built with Processing, 2010 / Source code: Playa.zip
Uses the new Processing GML Library GML4U by Jérôme Saint-Clair and Toxiclibs by Karsten “Toxi” Schmidt. White House photo by Pete Souza (Government Work).




Tags: , , , , , , ,

Posted on September 6, 2010

by

12

The expressions published in this site are all in the public domain. You may enjoy, use, modify, snipe about and republish all F.A.T. media and technologies as you see fit.