Enchanting Images with Inky Lines, A Pi-Powered Polargraph #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi
Maker/Artist John Proudlock gets some great results with his InkyLines project.
A hanging plotter, also known as a polar plotter or polargraph, is a machine for drawing images on a vertical surface. It does so by using motors to control the length of two cords that form a V shape, supporting a pen where they meet. We’ve featured one on this blog before: Norbert “HomoFaciens” Heinz’s video is a wonderfully clear introduction to how a polargraph works and what you have to consider when you’re putting one together.
John starts by providing an image, usually no more than 100 pixels wide, to a Raspberry Pi. Custom software that he wrote evaluates the darkness of each pixel and selects a pattern of a suitable density to represent it.
The two cords supporting the plotter’s pen are wound around the shafts of two stepper motors, such that the movement of the motors controls the length of the cords: the program next calculates how much each motor must move in order to produce the pattern. The Raspberry Pi passes corresponding instructions to two motor circuits, which transform the signals to a higher voltage and pass them to the stepper motors. These turn by very precise amounts, winding or unwinding the cords and, very slowly, dragging the pen across the paper.
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