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Yesterday we showed you how two creative people were using an industrial robot arm to do some light painting. The results were really cool, but the hardware was simply out of reach for most people. However, Ekaggrat has come up with an interesting way to use existing 3D printers to make light paintings in 3 dimensions.

Your standard 3D printer is already capable of moving in 3d space, an already accepts Gcode to tell it where to move. Ekaggrat noted that there are a couple extra spots on his built in arduino in the printer he is using that can be used for things like turning an LED on and off.  So, he installed an LED at the extruder and set out to create a bit of custom code to tell the printer when and where to shine its LED.

He’s using grasshopper and rhino, just like the folks did with the industrial arm, but he has written a bit of custom code to make everything easier to pull off. With the code, which he offers for free, you can drop any model in Rhino and export the proper gcode to paint your picture. Just set your camera to a long exposure (typically “Bulb mode”), and print your light painting!

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Caleb Kraft

Community Editor for Make:
I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I’d always love to hear about what you’re making, so send me an email any time at [email protected]


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