Some test patterns, used to calibrated the machine before a print.

Kitty loves art.

Co.Design

Arduino-Controlled Robot “Paints” Like Georges Seurat

We’re not sure whether to think of it as the world’s least efficient printer or the world’s most efficient Pointillist painter.

French designer Paul Ferragut has built a robot that throws a bunch of dots on canvas and calls it art. (That’s also known as the entire career of Georges Seurat.)

The Arduino-controlled Time Print Machine uses an algorithm to “paint” images -- portraits, still lives, you name it -- out of nothing but splotches of ink. Equipped with a felt pen and blotting paper, it works like a CNC-milling machine. Program the machine to render a digital image, and the pen starts stabbing at the paper, varying the amount of time it spends on each dot according to the gray value of the respective pixel; the more time allotted, the more the ink bleeds, and the thicker the dot.

The resulting images can take up to 34 hours to print and look like bad photocopies, each totally unique. We’re not sure whether to think of the Time Print Machine as the world’s least-efficient printer or the world’s most-efficient Pointillist painter. The one thing we know is this: The machine is weirdly hypnotic. We could watch that thing drop ink all afternoon. See for yourselves in the video above. And to commission and/or buy a print, ping Ferragut at mail@paulferragut.com.

[Images via Flickr; hat tip to Notcot]

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