Revisiting my dot-matrix EV3 Lego printer

This photo shows v3.0 of the Viper Printer.

This year I decided to revisit the dot-matrix Lego printer that I first built and programmed in 2017. The original design was the result of a lot of iterating, but it still had some significant problems. I wanted to try again, with a focus on eliminating errors and printing very consistent images.

You can download .LXF and .IO models of v3.0 of my LEGO printer, plus Python code for the printer, from the Viper Bots’ GitHub repo.

Keep reading to learn more.


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Morels and more

A few of the morel mushrooms I bought at the farmers market.

This morning I saw morel mushrooms at the Ferguson Farmers Market. I had to buy them.

It goes back to an experience I had last year.

It was March. For the kids’ spring break, we asked Aunt Marcy and Uncle Ken if we could stay a few days at the clubhouse near Clearwater Lake, and they said yes.

The weather was cool and the lake was high, but that was fine by us. We just wanted a safe escape from the pandemic with no worries of running into other people.

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A tree for Jadzia

We pose for a photo with Jossie, Rochelle, and Kai at Jadzia’s tree in January-Wabash Park.

We were surprised and pleased to learn that the Ferguson Swim Team had arranged to dedicate a tree in Jadzia’s memory at January-Wabash Park. Earlier this summer, they also made a team T-shirt to honor her.

This morning, the Parks and Recreation Department held a short dedication ceremony for three families’ trees at the Ferguson Community Center. Afterward we went with Jadzia’s friends Jossie and Kai to see the tree at January-Wabash. It’s positioned on the hill overlooking the water slide at the pool, not far from where Yoli and I liked to sit with Jadzia when we watched home swim meets. Keep reading to see a short video.

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Sunflower fields

Jadzia loved the “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” soundtrack. As we were preparing for her funeral, I learned that “Sunflower” was one of her favorite songs.

Like some of her siblings, she might have complained before going out to Columbia Bottoms to visit the sunflower fields. But once we got there, I’m sure she would have appreciated it.

I wish we had her in these photos.

Jadzia’s obituary

Jadzia Renaud

Jadzia Marie Renaud was welcomed into the kingdom of heaven on June 24, 2020, at the age of 14.

Jadzia was born Aug. 24, 2005, and attended the STEAM Academy at McCluer South-Berkeley High School, where she was a member of the mock trial team, book club and theater. She was a beautiful young woman remembered by teachers, friends and classmates as an inspiring leader, a person of honesty and integrity, wise beyond her years.

Jadzia was an artist, sketching illustrations daily in notebooks, sometimes sharing them with friends — but only very occasionally giving her parents a peek. She loved to sing and recently learned to whistle.

Jadzia was a scholar who loved the Ferguson-Florissant PROBE program. Twice, she was the district-wide spelling champion. In 2017 she reached the sixth round of the Post-Dispatch regional spelling bee finals.

She was a programmer, a tinkerer, and a founding member of the Viper Bots, a robotics team at Vogt Elementary. Her team was recognized on the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives in 2016.

She was all this and so much more.

Jadzia is survived by her parents, Joshua and Yolange Renaud (nee Zegarra Antelo); her loving siblings Ludivine, Josie and Joseph Renaud; her grandparents Joseph and Anita Renaud (nee George), and Hector Zegarra Barron and Lucila Antelo Flores; her great-grandmothers Janice Renaud (nee Becker) and Paddy Kuncas (formerly George, nee Lawrence); and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, teachers and neighbors in St. Louis, Texas, Bolivia, England and around the world who cared deeply about her.

Services: Visitation will be held Tuesday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Grace Church, 2695 Creve Coeur Mill Road, Maryland Heights, MO 63043; followed by a service at 1 p.m. Interment will be private at Memorial Park Cemetery. The service will be live-streamed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFa0Qh0lzq8

When Jadzia was very small, she was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder which affected her heart. She lived with this condition all her life, but never let it define her. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to The Marfan Foundation online at marfan.org.

Grieving over Jadzia

I took Jadzia to see the Blues victory parade. She was pretty excited to get to be part of it,

This blog was created to tell the story of our family. And it is with great sadness that I must write a post I never dreamed I would have to write.

Jadzia, our beloved oldest daughter, died in her sleep last night.

Jadzia was 14 years old, and very much looking forward to her quinceañera in August, her sophomore year of high school this fall, and so many other dreams and plans.

We weren’t ready to lose our dear girl. We are grief-stricken and figuring things out.

To everyone who had some part in Jadzia’s life, we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for the love you showed her, for the care you gave her. We know you share our sorrow.

Corona chronicles: Violet lemonade

Ludi tells the story:

One of my favorite creations I’ve made so far this year was Violet Lemonade. I first saw it when one of my friends posted about it on social media. It looked really cool and we had all the materials to make it.

To start, I picked enough violets to fill a mason jar. Later I made a violet syrup. Once I mixed the syrup into a pitcher of lemon water, the color changed and it was a pretty purple.

It tasted very good, just like normal lemonade with a hint of… I don’t quite know how to describe it. I almost want to say it had a hint of watery ground pepper.

It was very good, very pretty, and very time-consuming but overall it was very fun to make.

Corona chronicles: LEGO egg spinner for Easter

Our EV3 version of the LEGO Easter egg decorating machine.

Like so many others, the Renaud Empire has been staying put at Renaud Manor.

With Easter approaching, I came across a link to directions to build a LEGO egg decorating machine

As soon as I saw it, I knew our half of the Viper Bots (Ludi, Josie and Joseph) would be interested in giving it a try.

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