The txtBomber is a high-tech graffiti printer developed by [Felix Vorreiter]. Details are a bit scarce but the video clip after the break proves that this works quite well. [Felix] admits this is Arduino powered but we’re going to have to guess at the rest of the setup from the pictures. He says there are built-in-pens so we’d bet there’s a felt-tip type of thing going on and those look like seven solenoids that actuate them. He posted a picture of the handle side of the device and we can make out two wheels that are connected to LEGO gears. This tracks movement of the txtBomber across a surface in order to synchronize the printing process. There’s no sign of an LCD so it looks like you have to pre-program the messages before you go out into the field.

This is akin to the Chalkbot, but the messages that leaves wash away with the rain. This one seems like it might get you into some trouble if you get caught leaving permanent tags around the neighborhood.

[Thanks Kermit M]


  1. pod says:

    reminds me of that nike street printer of some years ago :)

  2. KnMn says:

    This is very cool. I am inspired.

  3. Spuds says:

    At the second HOPE conference (1996 or 1998, I can’t remember) a guy did something like this with a large RC car… except it was 7 cans of spray paint. The faster the car went, the harder the nozzles were depressed and the faster the paint came out.

    That car would zip along and could print about 10 characters per second at the fastest pace.

    This thing reminded me directly of that.

  4. Taylor Alexander says:

    easy way to add on the go input is to throw on a sparkfun bluetooth to serial module for ~$20 and write an android app for it.

    Assuming he’s got an android phone, that’s probably a lot easier than hooking up an embedded display and doing text input there!

    Well… a little easier.

  5. Luke says:

    This looks like a lot of fun, and a lot of trouble in a small town.

  6. Shadyman says:

    Looks like he had a bit of a problem with clogged printheads^W^W sharpies?

  7. uC says:

    The video is about 2 years old I found a similar video with a different design (fewer pens)

  8. niglou says:

    this is lame, not even a hack and its over 3 years old.

  9. 8-[ says:

    Taylor Alexander:
    There’s nothing like SparkFun in Germany ;)

  10. Hirudinea says:

    When I was a kid we had to use spraypaint and walk up hill to get it, both ways! And what will happen to penmanship, um, I mean canmanship.

  11. Malcolm says:

    There is a company who does skywriting with a similar technique

  12. Malcolm says:

    @Hirudiea… you left out the part about feeling lucky to have the small moldy piece of bread for dinner :)

  13. vonskippy says:

    Great – now any no-talent asshat can vandalize stuff.

  14. bang says:


    since when have there been requirements for vandalizing? last time i checked, little to no talent is needed to ‘vandalize stuff’.

  15. Spork says:

    I think vonskippy was referring to the art form that is graffiti. It really does take practice and a lot of artistic ability to do nice graffiti work.

    That said, I don’t consider dot-matrix looking print to be very artistic, even though the hack was pretty well done.

  16. adpsimpson says:

    @ 8-[ – there’s a company called Watterott electronics, which acts as a redistributer of many Sparkfun components, based in Germany – check out http://www.watterott.com/ (they’re cheap and ship to the UK too – I’ve used them from here)

  17. adpsimpson says:

    Last attempt is stuck in moderation limbo…

    @ 8-[ – there’s a company called Watterott electronics, which acts as a redistributer of many Sparkfun components, based in Germany – easy to find on google (they’re cheap and ship to the UK too, I’ve used them from here)

  18. fede.tft says:

    Do someone know the name of the 3D CAD he used to model this?
    There’s a screenshot in the link.

  19. woutervddn says:

    at first it looks a bit like SolidEdge (Siemens), but it’s not the same. But it might be that he uses an other version of it..

  20. Khordas says:

    This seems to me to be more useful for political speech than for graffiti art. It’s both faster and more readable than using a spray can, for those times when you gotta get the message out, and not get caught by da man.

  21. wdfowty says:

    Cool? Yes.

    Graffiti? Not so much.

    I hate how people think any old writing on the wall is graffiti.

    Real graffiti takes time, multiple colors, and TALENT. This robot can “tag” at best…

    Leave REAL graffiti to the pros ;)

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