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Get nice labels for your containers!

rslotbrslotb NetherlandsMember Posts: 9

Hello everyone, 

I’ve been working, on and using, a piece of software that generates labels that show what Lego parts are in a container. It creates images like this:

 

When building with my collection, I want to be able to find parts quickly, and for that, I wanted labels on my containers that clearly showed what parts are in it. I initially did this by hand in image editing software and part images from Peeron, but I quickly found it was very laborious to do well by hand.

Reason being that I wanted as little whitespace between the parts as possible, which will cause the part images to be as large as possible. 

I’ve included a more examples of the generated labels below:



I’m considering making this available as a service. If you would be interested in  this, please let me know. I’d like to start some sort of beta program. 

Thanks,

Remco. 

Fizyx77ncaachampsBrixfan02Bumblepantscaterham7mnbvcThanos75Mynatt

Comments

  • buggysdadbuggysdad USAMember Posts: 4
    I'm interested. Can you show a sample picture of how this looks on the containers?
    gmonkey7677ncaachamps
  • rslotbrslotb NetherlandsMember Posts: 9
    Sure, included a picture of the grey bricks, with the container below it.

    That container,  with technic beams, has a separator. So for that, I generate two labels, and join them when printing. 
     


    Fizyxmithridate
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 737
    Looks good.  Assuming you can select which parts go on a label and customise the size for different containers etc?
  • rslotbrslotb NetherlandsMember Posts: 9
    Yes, I can make any size label, as long it's rectangular, and can be printed. (i.e. my printer will only print up to A4 size).  
  • omniumomnium Brickenham, UKMember Posts: 768
    It's good to have options. And yours looks like another useful option.

    FYI, @henrysunset has a similar set of labels in his site. He uses a label printer for his system.
    http://brickarchitect.com/labels/

    Personally, I "just know" where everything is in my setup. Except when I can't find something ;-)

    FowlerBricksdatsunrobbieM_BossBrixfan02Mynattmithridate
  • allthenamesaretakenallthenamesaretaken CanadaMember Posts: 9
    omnium said:


    Personally, I "just know" where everything is in my setup. Except when I can't find something ;-)

    That;s what I do and unfortunately I've misplaced entire bags and containers of one type of part that way. Still can't find my bag of barrels.
    omnium
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,811
    omnium said:

    FYI, @henrysunset has a similar set of labels in his site. He uses a label printer for his system.
    http://brickarchitect.com/labels/


    It'll be interesting to see this one though, as from what is written it appears that a user can select what they want on the label and the software sorts it. So rather than using lots of labels and wasting (label) space for multiple part bins, this might be more useful.
  • omniumomnium Brickenham, UKMember Posts: 768
    edited March 2018
    @CCC, I agree. It's good to have options.
  • rslotbrslotb NetherlandsMember Posts: 9
    omnium said:

    FYI, @henrysunset has a similar set of labels in his site. He uses a label printer for his system.
    http://brickarchitect.com/labels/


    It'll be interesting to see this one though, as from what is written it appears that a user can select what they want on the label and the software sorts it. So rather than using lots of labels and wasting (label) space for multiple part bins, this might be more useful.
    Yes, I find this works better if you use larger containers with multiple part types. Also, the labels are in colour. And can be printed on any printer. My containers have grooves for the labels, so I just use photopaper that I cut to size using a ruler and a knife.

    But I know you can also buy sheets of stickers to print on. That could work as well. 
  • rslotbrslotb NetherlandsMember Posts: 9
    There seem to be a few people interested. If you want to try this out, please send me a private message with:

    - The dimensions of the label you want (in millimeters). 
    - For up to 5 containers:
        - A list of maximum 15* parts, with per part the lego part number (e.g. 3001 for a
           2x4), and Brickset colour name. (or just a single colour per container). 
    - an email address I can use to contact you. 

    You'll get a PDF with the labels you requested. 

    *the software can deal with more parts, but the computation time increases greatly with each part added. 

    Of course, any suggestions are welcome. And tell your friends!

    I'm away next week so it will be a while, but I'll monitor this thread. 

    Thanks,

    Remco.

  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 737
    @rslotb Depending on how popular this turns out to be, you could find yourself printing labels for folk 24/7!  Wouldn't it be easier to distribute the software (with limited functionality if required) so people could try it for themselves?  I'm sure if it was any good then people would be willing to make a small donation to unlock a "full" version, I certainly would.
    mnbvc
  • tsitsi Member Posts: 34
    sticker with 6160 different parts:



    dutchlegofan50mak0137
  • rslotbrslotb NetherlandsMember Posts: 9
    dmcc0 said:
    @rslotb Depending on how popular this turns out to be, you could find yourself printing labels for folk 24/7!  Wouldn't it be easier to distribute the software (with limited functionality if required) so people could try it for themselves?  I'm sure if it was any good then people would be willing to make a small donation to unlock a "full" version, I certainly would.
    Sure, and that would be an interesting problem to have :-) I am not a fan of distributing software nowadays. If only because I keep tweaking the algorithm. But I am considering making it available as a service. I can put together a website for people to issue requests automatically. But before I do that, I want to make sure people like the labels. 


    Fizyxsid3windr
  • rslotbrslotb NetherlandsMember Posts: 9
    tsi said:
    sticker with 6160 different parts:




    Nice, and thanks for the link. So that's from a site that sells a sticker pack. Interesting!
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 737
    Given that I often chop and change what parts are in any container as quantities change, using the service may be a little restrictive for me.
    Might give them a try though if I can pick a few containers that have multiple parts in as the labels do look really nice. 
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    rslotb said:
    I’m considering making this available as a service. If you would be interested in  this, please let me know. I’d like to start some sort of beta program.
    If by "making this available as a service" you mean upload the image files for people to download and use as they would like, I'm interested.
  • rslotbrslotb NetherlandsMember Posts: 9
    alaskaguy said:
    If by "making this available as a service" you mean upload the image files for people to download and use as they would like, I'm interested.
    Well, not quite, I mean:
    - you go on a website.
    - specify/select your label size.
    - you specify what parts you want on it. 
    - the software calculates the 'optimum' layout for that label.
    - you get a PDF with one or more labels. 
    - then you print the labels yourself. (or possibly you get them by mail if that is what people would want). 

    Having said that, I see no harm in making some standard labels available for download. I would imagine the grey one (in any colour) is quite useful, but I doubt people have a container with exactly the transparent yellow parts that I do.  


    RonyarM_Boss
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    edited March 2018
    Well, not quite, I mean:
    - you go on a website.
    - specify/select your label size.
    - you specify what parts you want on it. 
    - the software calculates the 'optimum' layout for that label.
    - you get a PDF with one or more labels. 
    - then you print the labels yourself. (or possibly you get them by mail if that is what people would want).
    Oh...yeah...I wouldn't be interested in that. I'm sure some would...just not me.  I'd just want high-resolution images that I could use for whatever.  Then I could just use images as I needed them, size them on the fly for whatever I'm doing, etc. PNG format with transparent background would be way more functional for anything I'd want to do than a pre-sized, pre-determind PDF file (or stack of PDF files) would be.  Definitely no need for any software...just an organized directory tree full of PNG files, .zipped up and available for download would do....ideally with the image name being the standard/accepted part name or number.

    That would let me use them for labels (as you suggest), or larger-sized labels (to cover an entire box), or put on a poster with other stuff, or any number of other things. Much more flexible than being constrained by pre-determined decisions and some software interface that can't anticipate my need of the day.
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,258
    alaskaguy said:
    Well, not quite, I mean:
    - you go on a website.
    - specify/select your label size.
    - you specify what parts you want on it. 
    - the software calculates the 'optimum' layout for that label.
    - you get a PDF with one or more labels. 
    - then you print the labels yourself. (or possibly you get them by mail if that is what people would want).
    Oh...yeah...I wouldn't be interested in that. I'm sure some would...just not me.  I'd just want high-resolution images that I could use for whatever.  Then I could just use images as I needed them, size them on the fly for whatever I'm doing, etc. PNG format with transparent background would be way more functional for anything I'd want to do than a pre-sized, pre-determind PDF file (or stack of PDF files) would be.  Definitely no need for any software...just an organized directory tree full of PNG files, .zipped up and available for download would do....ideally with the image name being the standard/accepted part name or number.

    That would let me use them for labels (as you suggest), or larger-sized labels (to cover an entire box), or put on a poster with other stuff, or any number of other things. Much more flexible than being constrained by pre-determined decisions and some software interface that can't anticipate my need of the day.

    Why are you here?
    mithridateSumoLego
  • rslotbrslotb NetherlandsMember Posts: 9
    alaskaguy said:
    Oh...yeah...I wouldn't be interested in that. I'm sure some would...just not me.  I'd just want high-resolution images that I could use for whatever.  Then I could just use images as I needed them, size them on the fly for whatever I'm doing, etc. PNG format with transparent background would be way more functional for anything I'd want to do than a pre-sized, pre-determind PDF file (or stack of PDF files) would be.  Definitely no need for any software...just an organized directory tree full of PNG files, .zipped up and available for download would do....ideally with the image name being the standard/accepted part name or number.

    That would let me use them for labels (as you suggest), or larger-sized labels (to cover an entire box), or put on a poster with other stuff, or any number of other things. Much more flexible than being constrained by pre-determined decisions and some software interface that can't anticipate my need of the day.
    I understand. To a degree, what you are looking for is already available, from Bricklink, Brickset, or Lego themselves (spare parts / pick a brick). But maybe they are not high-resolution enough?

    The sticker sheet linked to above could perhaps also suit your needs.  

    There's nothing really special about the parts images I use, I created them based on the LDraw files. But unlike those on Bricklink, mine are consistent with respect to  brick/stud sizes, rather than the brick being scaled to fit a particular size. 

    I guess I could make those images available, but it wouldn't be a priority. 
      
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