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Gertrude: An Led Drawing Machine by Chris McDonald

Craft & Design Photography & Video Robotics Technology

Chris McDonald made this extra-great, 2-axis drawing machine for doing time-lapse photography.

Here’s the info from his website vanita phone company:

Gertrude uses two stepper motors to move an LED in a very high resolution x/y plane. The movement of the LED is photographed using exposures usually between 30 and 90 seconds. Gertrude can either be programmed to “print” a design automatically (“Christopher & Daniil”, the Hell Yup!: Scanlines shots) or controlled live via a joystick (Open&Close portrait series). …more info

II: Christopher & Daniil not talking (pt. 2 in a series of 2)

Hell Yup!: Scanlines 3 (Self-Portrait)

20 thoughts on “Gertrude: An Led Drawing Machine by Chris McDonald

  1. TimW says:

    So glad they made their website easy to navigate and with a wealth of information.

    I like it when MAKE posts projects with at least a little technical detail on how it was made or a hint or two.

  2. not a slave to fashion says:

    Nice elbow patches dude, that’s a better illustrated make than the LED thing.

  3. Peleken says:

    Maybe I’ve got poor reading comprehension or something but, what the heck is this article about? I’ll try reading it again …. nope. Maybe I’ll click the link here for this phone company thingy …. nope. I’m starting to worry guys am I retarded?

  4. Scottward says:


  5. Rocketguy says:

    This seems like self-promoting spam to me.

    The site is primarily about his bands, and there are no references to the machine that I could find, other than one of the above picture captions. If yer gonna post to the make blog, it ought to be.. I dunno… about making things? Real data?

  6. Baxter says:

    Fake machine just to drive viewers to the
    noise filled web site.

  7. asd>F<; says:

    Wow, y’all are haters! Can’t you just enjoy the pictures? Jesus.

  8. asd eff eff eff eff (semicolon) says:

    Oh, and the machine’s not “fake.” Come on, why not troll slashdot instead? :)

  9. hi it's me says:

    definitely real enough, although “fake machine” is a beautiful concept. for proof of reality, come see it in action at this year’s Bent Festival in New York (April 24th to the 26th). i’ll be doing a photo booth there with Gertrude.

  10. Andrew says:

    That web site is the most innovative, original, and useless example of web design I’ve ever seen.

    Sometimes being beautiful is more important than being useful, though, so I’ll give it a pass.

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