Just Launched a Beta for Our Jewelry Assembly Management System

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My wife  Maria designs and makes fashion jewelry, that she sells at Baloka.com.

She loves to do one-of-a-kind,  but for the type of products she makes and the price points she has, one-of-a-kind ‘s are not a good business model. After several discussions we agreed that she will produce copies of her designs when she gets orders.

That is all good. However, what happens when people order a design she made a while ago, let’s say a year ago. Well, does she know where did she get the findings, the beads and other materials? Probably not. You see, she sources her materials from anywhere she finds something interesting that calls her eye.

Well, that is why I decided to help her making a program to record the materials and related info (picture, vendor, component URL, etc), and include notes and instructions, so she can replicate her own designs.

Talking to other jewelry designers, we realized that most of them face with the same problem, so we decided to make a public beta. Thus, people can download the program and provide feedback to improve it.

We plan to have several iterations while in Beta, making sure we take into account the feedback from jewelry designers that join the beta program. Once the beta is over we plan to offer the program at a very attractive price point, so it will be accessible to (hopefully) all interested designers.

The nice thing about this is that non-jewelry designers that have heard us (my wife and I) talking about it, believe it can be adapted to other markets as well. Humm. maybe this is my future:)

Anyway, in case you want to check the application go to Baloka Product Assembly Management – Beta.

Let me know what do you think?

 


Drawing Stars and Bursts in Actionscript 3 (Flex 4) Using Simple Trigonometry

Stars and Bursts

Yesterday I showed how to create regular polygons using a simple formula. Today I will show how to extend that to draw stars and bursts as well.

Looking at the image above, we can see that to do a 4-point star we need to identify the same initial 4 points Po, P1, P2 and P3 than the ones needed to draw the 4-side polygon (square) shown on the left. For the star we need to set an inner radius that will control the position of the points P1’, P2’, P3’ and P4’. And then the formula becomes:

For point i, where i is an odd number,
Pi.x = radius * Math.sin((180 - 360*i/n + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);
Pi.y = radius * Math.cos((180 - 360*i/n + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);
And, for point i, where i is an even number,
Pi.x = innerRadius * Math.sin((180 - 360*i/n + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);
Pi.y = innerRadius * Math.cos((180 - 360*i/n + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);
Where is n is the number of sides of the star multiplied by 2.

Hence, the odd points are defining the outer points of the star, while the even points are defining the inner ones. Then, all we need to do is to draw lines from P0 to P1, from P1 to P2, …, and from Pn-1 to P0. As in the case with the regular polygons, I included a variable _initRot in case you want to position the initial point at some angle other than 0.

As you probable guessed from the title, this can be easily expanded to draw bursts as well. A burst is similar to a star but instead of connecting the point with straight lines, the outer points are connected with curves and the inner points are used as controls points to draw quadratic Bezier curves.

The image below shows a regular polygon (pentagon), a star and a burst with similar parameters.

The green circle is generated using the radius and the blue circle using the inner radius.

We can add some additional parameters to make this little application cooler. For example, we can rotate the inner circle (blue) and move the inner points for the stars and bursts accordingly to produce some nice results as shown below.

For point i, where i is an odd number,
Pi.x = radius * Math.sin((180 - 360*i/n + _innerRadiusOffset + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);
Pi.y = radius * Math.cos((180 - 360*i/n + _innerRadiusOffset + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);
And, for point i, where i is an even number,
Pi.x = innerRadius * Math.sin((180 - 360*i/n + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);
Pi.y = innerRadius * Math.cos((180 - 360*i/n + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);
Where is n is the number of sides of the star multiplied by 2.

Additionally, we can shift the center of the inner circle to produce some odd results. Check the video below for some of the figures that can be created changing parameters dynamically. You can also play around with the application (below the video). Or click HERE to open it in another browser tab.

Get Adobe Flash player

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 

In this version I added the capability to drag each shape around as well.

In the next post I will show you how to extend it even further to allow drawing some fancy arrows.

Do you have some ideas of other stuff we could do with this? If so, please share on the comments.


Drawing Regular Polygons in Actionscript 3 (Flex 4) Using Simple Trigonometry

Regular Polygons

A while ago I wrote on this blog about how to draw polygons in Actionscript, by clicking on the stage and adding points dynamically. As I said in my last post, the blog was hacked and I decided to start fresh.
Today I am showing a little application that allows the user to draw regular polygons. The user can change most of the parameters of the polygons, such as number of sides, color, stroke, etc. To allow those changes, the polygons are created using a simple formula.

From the image above is clear that to make a triangle starting from a center point, one needs to put a point P0 at x = center.x and y = center.y – radius. Then, draw a line to the next point P1, which should be at (in Actionscript):

P1.x = radius * Math.sin((180 - 360*1/3)*RADTOANGLES);
P1.y = radius * Math.cos((180 - 360*1/3)*RADTOANGLES);

Then, draw another line from P1 to P2 (the last Point), where the position of P2 is:

P2.x = radius * Math.sin((180 - 360*2/3)*RADTOANGLES);
P2.y = radius * Math.cos((180 - 360*2/3)*RADTOANGLES);

And finally, draw another line form P2 to P0 to close the polygon. As you can see from the images above, the formula can be generalized to any regular polygon as:

Pi.x = radius * Math.sin((180 - 360*i/n + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);
Pi.y = radius * Math.cos((180 - 360*i/n + _initRot)*RADTOANGLES);

Where i is the point number, n is the number of sides on the Polygon. I included a variable _initRot in case you want to position the initial point at some angle other than 0.

The example below is done in Flash Builder (Flex), but it should be simple enough to implement the same formula in JavaScript or any other language.

Get Adobe Flash player

 

Click HERE if you want to try it in full size (not constrained to the space provided in the blog).

In a future post, I will show how to extend the formulas to enable creating stars and bursts in addition to regular polygons.


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