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Lightplot is a robotic 3D light painting system. Animation is exported from 3DS Max, and imported into the Lightplot software which then drives a robotic arm to draw the models in the air. The software also controls a DSLR camera to take long exposure photographs of each frame of animation.

The project grew from early experiments with Lego NXT and robotics. It currently comprises a custom built robotic arm controlled via Phidgets boards, which are driven by a stand alone Windows application written in C# and Microsoft .net. The exporting software is written in Maxscript within Autodesk 3DS Max.

[via The NXT Step]

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal



  1. miroslava von schlochbaum says:

    i needed a bit more than this:

    …to draw the models in the air.

    to judge what was going on. so following the link, and, yes… it seems most likely that it is instead “drawing the models” on the wall, or whatever opaque object comes first (no intervening smoke or mist — think “laser light show” circa late 70s without the marijuana). not that this isn’t an interesting project(!), but a bit more clarification conveyed would always be appreciated.

    1. spaceman says:

      Actually, he has a 2d version and a 3d version. The pictures in the summary show the “on the wall” version. In the article, it shows the 3d version which uses a light on the end of a stick which is moved through space while a long-exposure camera takes images. It’s certainly not real time, but the images are created “in the air”, per se.