facade printer by sonice development
facade printer by sonice development 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

  • Fantastic!!!!

    Brouwer says:
  • every day looking at the orrible gray wall in front of my window I dream to have this gadget!

    Veronica says:
  • I really loved the hand image on the bibliothek wall…

    marCo says:
  • interesting technique, has lots of possibilities, thx for the posting

    issyvivi says:
  • Useful tool. Just a query in the write-up: “varying from 5 meters to 20 feet.” 5m is 16.4 ft, is that correct. Would have thought it would be quite a bit closer, I note further down that 4.7m is used. Cheers d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • Talk about pointillism.

    distilledlaw says:
  • So they hooked up two paintball markers to a computer and turn table? Interesting.

    LoopyDood says:
  • Whole new opportunities for in-office wars 😉

    rembert says:
  • iI WANT ONE !

  • WTF…………… Great……….. Where to buy ahhh????

    ChuCkiE says:
  • Awesome works mate… I Love it!!!
    Two Thumbs Up 😀

    Hasbullah Idris says:
  • this idea is quite good. it also kind of proves that graffiti will never be really replaced. interesting commercial potential, if that’s your thing. commercial advertising displays and graffiti are usually ugly though, but i might consider it for my living space.

    i noticed the 5m to 20 feet too. don’t think it can be effective any closer or farther. not a mistake.

    owlbeyou says:

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