Building the Bricasso Lego Mosaic Printer

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Building the Bricasso Lego Mosaic Printer

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Jason Alleman, aka JK Brickworks, has done some very impressive Lego projects over the years, but this might be his coolest yet. Introducing the “Bricasso,” an all-Lego mosaic printer which can scan a piece of art and then re-create it using 1 x 1 multicolored Lego plates. In this 4-part video series, Alleman shows you how he went about it.

I love how he divided up the series, how each video presents the basic design challenge for that stage of the build, how he solved it, and what build challenges need to be overcome in the next installment. Jason writes about the project:

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It is built entirely using Lego parts. It first use the EV3 color sensor to scan the source image and save the data on the Mindstorms unit. It can then print multiple copies from the saved image data. The 1×1 plates used for ‘printing’ the mosaic are supplied using a gravity feed system and the printing head is simply a 1×1 round plate that can pick up and place the 1×1 plates.

I had originally hoped to be able to scan any type of image and have the program pixelate it based on the colors of the plates in the supply. Unfortunately the EV3 color sensor is nowhere near precise enough to be able to do this. I resigned myself to require pre-pixelated images to be scanned.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn

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