Lightplot: the 3D Robotic Light Painting System

Ben Cowell-Thomas shows off his amazing Lightplot, a 3D robotic light painting system.

Lightplot is a robotic 3D light painting system. Animation is exported from 3DS Max, and imported into the Lightplot software which then drives a robotic arm to draw the models in the air. The software also controls a DSLR camera to take long exposure photographs of each frame of animation.

The project grew from early experiments with Lego NXT and robotics. It currently comprises a custom built robotic arm controlled via Phidgets boards, which are driven by a stand alone Windows application written in C# and Microsoft .net. The exporting software is written in Maxscript within Autodesk 3DS Max.

Make sure to check out his website and watch the video of how the entire setup works.  Here is a pic of the Lightplot rig:

Really great work!  Here is another of my favorite demos:


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