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Zach Frew’s Liquid Lite Brite creates low-res art out of liquid dye

Zach Frew’s Liquid Lite Brite creates low-res art out of liquid dye

from arduino.cc

As a child, chances are you came across a Lite-Brite at some point. The toy consisted of a light box with small plastic pegs that fit into a panel and lit up to form a picture.

Drawing inspiration from that, mechatronics engineer Zach Frew thought “it would be cool to make a robot that consumes a digital image and outputs a watercolor painting.”

What he came up with as a “first step along that path” is a homemade liquid handling workstation to dispense and mix a CMYK dye solution in a 384-well microplate “canvas.”



Liquid distribution is calculated with the help of a Python script that takes a 24×16 pixel image as input and assigns each pixel an RGB value. The “printing” is handled by the common RepRap configuration of an Arduino Mega and a RAMPS 1.4 shield, plus a PCA9685 expander chip.

The X, Y, and Z axes move via stepper motors and rails, while color mixing is accomplished using five servo-actuated valves. A stepper-driven peristaltic pump is employed for liquid placement, producing low-resolution yet no less beautiful art. You can read more about the aptly named Liquid Lite Brite in Frew’s blog post

If you're interested in making your own version, PMD Way has you covered with a huge range of parts including Arduino Mega compatible boards, PCA9685 driver boards, a wide range of LEDs, and more.

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