Muralizer prints art on the wall

Arduino Craft & Design Robotics

Josh writes in to spread the word about the Muralizer verticle surface printer/plotter project – which is hopefully a kit in the making –

t’s a drawbot that takes SVGs as input, letting you print vector graphics really big. The project was started at noisebridge, San Francisco’s hackerspace, earlier this year, and we got a prototype going (a bit of video is up on the page).

I’d love to bring this piece of open hardware to the community as a kit, but need some help to do so. Inspired by the success of MakerBeam, I set up a kickstarter page. It would be great if people could pledge even a little bit to help make this tool available to artists (and those of us who want to be artists but are better at soldering than painting).

This could foreseeably give artist’s assistants a run for their money (do they even get pay?) More on the project’s planning and development can be found on Kickstarter & the Muralizer blog.


Hektor – The spray painting robot

16 thoughts on “Muralizer prints art on the wall

  1. Rhys Sage says:

    $200 for a kit this simple? Highway robbery.

    I love the “I quit my day job to focus on community…”

    Perhaps this was a bad decision.

    1. Seth says:

      For an arduino, motors, controllers, and various pieces parts (pulleys, string/line, and more) I don’t see why thats so crazy, not to mention the software to control it. If you think you can save money on the kit and bring costs down then why don’t you help him find a cheaper source for parts?

      And if he want’s to do something hes passionate about good for him, I’m ready for my existential crisis any day now…

      1. Josh Myer says:

        Yeah, these things are surprisingly expensive at first. Right now, the motor controllers alone are $150 (Gecko makes really nice parts, but, man, do you pay for it!), much less everything else. If I was selling it at cost right now, it’d come out to something like $300, without shipping or any cost on my time.

        As I get the costs down, the target $200 price point will be coming down, too. I’m not in this to make as much money as possible, I’m in this (and other ventures) to make something really cool while keeping myself fed and housed.

  2. Tom Nichols says:

    Actually, AS220’s DrawBot has been around since early ’08 I believe and Shawn has been selling kits since April:

    1. Josh Myer says:

      Tom: The AS220 kit has always looked awesome! Especially the enclosure: pure laser-etched hotness. I wish it was actually available for sale, though: it’s never been available the few times I’ve looked at their website, which may be a bad omen for Muralizer’s market…

      Random fun fact: when we started Muralizer, we looked for drawbots, and AS220’s didn’t come up in our list. It wasn’t until a month or two ago, when I started playing around with Muralizer again, that I stumbled across their design. Given that they’d solved most of the same problems we had, I felt kind of like an idiot for not having googled the right things back then. It’s too bad there’s not a centralized directory of all hackerspace projects in the States/World =)

  3. Collin Cunningham says:

    I’m finding that sourcing parts strategically to lower final cost is surprisingly challenging. As soon as one supplier lacks a necessary part, you have another shipping charge, different lead times, etc to deal with – and then comes another, and so on …

    @Tom – thnx! i searched for that to no avail

  4. aw says:

    The drawbot sounds like it needs to be pre programmed with the drawing. If he were to allow control through serial and the use of a default serial plotter driver that would make it a lot more functional.

    Cost I don’t know, but I certainly find this interesting. :)

    1. Josh Myer says:

      It actually is a serial plotter, though it’s using a slightly custom plotter command language. I have to admit, part of the fun for me has been in implementing a plotter, which I first bumped into in High School, and immediately fell in love with.

      Most drawbots are preloaded, which is a lot less interesting to me. Tristan Perich can do freaking amazing things with a preprogrammed drawbot, but that’s in large part because he’s a wicked clever dude who’s tuned in to the Atmel wavelength. The rest of us want to use inkscape to get to a vector file and then plot that =)

      Like I said, the cost is pretty darned hard to meet right now. With a less fine-grained motor controller, I’ll probably make good headway, but it’s a total speed/precision tradeoff. Like all engineering projects, it’s just a matter of building a few options and then refining the best of them all. In this case, they’re slightly spendy motor controllers.

      It’s been a great project to hack at, and there’s been an incredible amount of interest. I really hope I get enough support to make it happen. If nothing else, I’ll produce kit versions of the current product (which are going to be about 2x the target cost).

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