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facade printer by sonice development
apr 30, 2010
facade printer by sonice development


‘three stones’ tests monochrome
shading by filling these various geometric shapes

facade printer
is a software controlled inkjet printer that creates images
on an architectural scale. developed by german product designers
martin fussenegger, michael haas and engineer julian adenauer. the
system
‘prints’ images by shooting individual dots from a distanced position
varying
from 5 meters to 20 feet. ‘facade printer’ features a two axis turn
table and
an air pressure printhead.



‘facade printer’ system

the printer is equipped with an industrial PC which is running the specially programmed
printing software. the machine is operated by touchscreen. artworks can be loaded from
USB-devices in the file format SVG. with an integrated camera, photos of the printing area
can be taken and overlayed with a printing preview. this way position and scaling can be
adjusted optimally on site. the distance to the wall is measured by infrared-meter and entered
manually. the printing software calculates the driving coordinates regarding both the perspective
and the ballistic distortion.

a paintball system was converted into a printhead to shoot the colour balls onto the wall.
the two axis turn table places the paintball marker via stepper motors and gears. before
printing an integrated laser displays a bounding box of the artwork to verify the precise
position on the wall. in case of malfunction or danger printing can be paused anytime.

a ball tower conveys the gelatine encapsulated colour balls to the
marker. here they
are
accelerated to a speed of 200km/h and finally burst on contact with the
wall, leaving
their coloured contents. a coloured dot of 5 to 10 cm diameter occurs on
the wall.
the busted gelatine shell falls down to the ground where it can be
removed, or left to
decompose naturally by the rain without residue. the colour qualities
differ from each
other gravely considering UV stability or dripping characteristics.
thus, colours can either
bleach out within a few hours or remains visible for several months.

for fussenegger, haas and adenauer, ‘facade printer’ is a large scale
communication tool.

the print aesthetic and method are distinguishly different from
conventional print and
advertising techniques. artworks are applied onto the walls directly,
like the drawings
of a magic pen.


demonstration of facade printer


a portrait of reformator jean calvin on the backside of of a church in hamburg´s center


‘crab pincher’ was the first attempt in testing multiple colour printing.


process showing a build up of six different coloured layers


the total print has the size of 5 x 2,3m and made up 2.200 colour balls. the
colours used were cyan (195 dots), dark blue (185 dots), orange
(280
dots), pink (130 dots) and red (1430 dots) and printed at a distance
of 4.7 meters.


wall of the wilhelm liebknecht bibliothek at kottbusser tor,


‘facade printer’  at stroke, an annual three-day street art festival in munich


currently, the printer is capable of a maximum print distances of 12 meters and maximum print height of 8 meters
with shooting frequency of 5 dots per second


removing paint after demonstration

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