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It’s mesmerizing to watch Pe Lang‘s mechanical artwork in motion, especially this machine that arranges droplets of water on an omniphobic surface. From Triangulation:

Falling objects – positioning systems from 2009-2011 is a custom made machine that adds drops of water onto a special textured surface. Each drop forms into an almost perfect sphere through the surface tension of the water and the omniphobic material. The electronically controlled pipette wanders through a square grid of 21 x 21 drops to form a micro-matrix and returns to the beginning. After approximately 300 minutes, and when the water drops have evaporated, the same process starts again.

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Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.


  • charles webb

    this sort of setup is normally used for dispensing solderpaste onto semi-populated PCBs.
    quite pretty though

  • charles webb

    this sort of setup is normally used for dispensing solderpaste onto semi-populated PCBs.
    quite pretty though

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graeme-Dods/661091818 Graeme Dods

      That reminds me of a task I was given many years ago when I worked for a mobile antenna manufacturer. To test that the process would work without wasting solder paste I used a carton of custard. We had a few delicious failures, accidental ones of course! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graeme-Dods/661091818 Graeme Dods

      That reminds me of a task I was given many years ago when I worked for a mobile antenna manufacturer. To test that the process would work without wasting solder paste I used a carton of custard. We had a few delicious failures, accidental ones of course! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graeme-Dods/661091818 Graeme Dods

      That reminds me of a task I was given many years ago when I worked for a mobile antenna manufacturer. To test that the process would work without wasting solder paste I used a carton of custard. We had a few delicious failures, accidental ones of course! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graeme-Dods/661091818 Graeme Dods

      That reminds me of a task I was given many years ago when I worked for a mobile antenna manufacturer. To test that the process would work without wasting solder paste I used a carton of custard. We had a few delicious failures, accidental ones of course! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graeme-Dods/661091818 Graeme Dods

      That reminds me of a task I was given many years ago when I worked for a mobile antenna manufacturer. To test that the process would work without wasting solder paste I used a carton of custard. We had a few delicious failures, accidental ones of course! :)

  • Anonymous

    one of more amazing factoids in this pretty little drops all in a row business (and yes there are biotech bucks lining up here) is:  the relationship between surface tension and ionic strength (how much salt or buffer is present) is an unsolved problem.  so add a little KCl (and a dash of MOPS) and his beautiful little pearl drop array becomes a puddle.

  • Anonymous

    one of more amazing factoids in this pretty little drops all in a row business (and yes there are biotech bucks lining up here) is:  the relationship between surface tension and ionic strength (how much salt or buffer is present) is an unsolved problem.  so add a little KCl (and a dash of MOPS) and his beautiful little pearl drop array becomes a puddle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Armando-Uribe/653737645 Armando Uribe

    woah, so i went on google and tried to find UTR
    and somehow i landed here

    but im glad i did that was a crazy cool video, overall nice blog man :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Armando-Uribe/653737645 Armando Uribe

    woah, so i went on google and tried to find UTR
    and somehow i landed here

    but im glad i did that was a crazy cool video, overall nice blog man :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leo-Lesniewicz/100000751118152 Leo Lesniewicz

    Rising droplets are interesting too.  This kind of of brings to mind a device I always wanted to build but I know I never will get around to doing.  Back in the 80’s or so I had an idea based on something that I believe I saw in Omni magazine.  They had an article showing some unconventional displays of different sorts and one involved injecting droplets of a colored oil into water, where the drops would then float up to form a pool and be pumped to the jets at the bottom again.  I was thinking wouldn’t it be great if the oil could be injected drop by drop simultaneously from multiple jets at the bottom, the lines of dots forming dot matrix text, which would float relatively intact up to the pool at the top to be cycled through again?  I think the effect would look phenomenal.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PERXL7QX24UGNVTL7WFUCMBNII Aqua Regia

    To me this looks like a pipetting machine found standard in many types of laboratories.

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    Hey,nice post.Well written article.I will appreciate your writing skills.Its great.It’s mesmerizing to watch Pe Lang‘s mechanical artwork in motion, especially this machine that arranges droplets of water on an omniphobic surface.I like this article.Keep sharing with us.

  • http://www.wotever.co.uk/arcade_machines.htm arcade machines

    Hey,nice post.Well written article.I will appreciate your writing skills.Its great.It’s mesmerizing to watch Pe Lang‘s mechanical artwork in motion, especially this machine that arranges droplets of water on an omniphobic surface.I like this article.Keep sharing with us.

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