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Ultraviolet printer creates glowing text


MAKE subscriber mtbf0 used a MiniPOV kit to create this rather sweet UV printer –

This is a video of a phosphorescent text display that needs a name. It’s a minipov3 board with uv leds. It has a built-in 5×7 font and room for over 900 characters of display text. When passed over a phosphorescent surface it deposits glowing strings of text which then, slowly, fade away. The firmware provides simple examples of the use a timer interrupt and powersaving features on an attiny2313.

Hmmm … UVPOV? … miniPOP(persistence of phosphorescence)? POGlow? Whatever it ends up being named, it would likely make for intriguing art installation – the fading text adds a somewhat eerie ‘living’ quality to the message. The AVR source is available for download from Google Code.

In the Maker Shed:
Makezinepov Crop
MiniPOV kit

12 thoughts on “Ultraviolet printer creates glowing text

  1. diggum says:

    A few years back, I spent several days/weeks teaching myself PIC microprocessors and basic electronics so I could build my own POV device. While everything seemed okay, there was never any POV effect. I tinkered for days tweaking timings and adjusting fonts to no avail.

    I had used UV led’s that I’d picked up from eBay as they were really a beautiful color. It was only later, after exhausting myself and burning out 3 PICs that I figured out the wavelength of the UV was probably too long to get the POV effect. Swapping the LEDs for boring old Red ones fixed the thing on the first try.

  2. sburlappp says:

    Leaves a trail of words, hmmm….

    Call it “Snail Mail”.

  3. UV LEDs says:

    UV is actually a shorter wavelength, but it may not be able to achieve a pov affect because of how human eyes are sensitive to it.

  4. Jude says:

    Random International does this kind of stuff. They made a similar device a few years ago as a prototype for a paint-roller printer. They’ve used the UV version for art installations and similar, as well.

  5. diggum says:

    thanks, Jude. of course it’s a shorter wavelength. my bad.

  6. Ed says:

    How about echGlow (ek-glo) printing as a combo of glow and echo? Hmm, perhaps ek-glo would be easier to write and say anyway.


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