Wednesday, 29 Feb, 2012 Technology
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Teens Builds Printer Using LEGO Mindstorms Pieces

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Leon Overweel is a 14-year-old boy who came up with this incredible printer made of LEGO pieces. His creation is called LEGO Mindstorms NXT printer (or PriNXT).

With the help of 3 motors the machine is able to control a pen attached to it. The pen allows drawing different objects and messages. One motor is used to control the pen tool, while the other two control the movements of the pen - one moves it up and down, and the other one left and right.

The LEGO genius equipped his printer with gears, cables and remotes. Gears allow the machine to make fluid motions when performing complex turns and curves.

Touch sensors make it possible to calibrate the LEGO robot, informing the motors where to put down each stroke of the pen. As soon as the drawing is finished a color sensor is activated. It informs the machine to stop.

In order to make a drawing Leon imports a selected picture to Paint.NET for editing. Then he exports it as a .PBM file. The latter translates the picture into a stream of 1s and 0s. After additional formatting, the final picture is formatted with RobotC and transmitted to the PriNXT.

[via Makezine]

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