Weapon of mass graffiti

What uses a fire extinguisher, a bike pump, and provides hours of probation, community service, and possibly jail time? If you said an automatic graffiti writer you’re correct! [Olivier van Herpt] calls this little job the Time Writer. We call it defacing property… but tomato, tomahto.

Details are a bit scarce, but you get a fine overview of the system from the video after the break. [Olivier] tagged the post as Arduino; it’s obviously running the dot matrix printer made up of seven solenoid valves on a metal rod. These are fed ink via a tube connected to a fire extinguisher which serves as the reservoir. The bike pump is used to pressurize the enclosure so that a pump isn’t necessary when out and about.

Obviously you shouldn’t try this at home, but let’s talk about possible improvements as an academic exercise. First off the mix of the ink/paint needs to be reigned in to get rid of the dripping. We’d also like to see the inclusion of some proper spray can nozzles to tidy up the results. That, paired with an IMU board should be able to smooth out the printed designs.

This might make an interesting add-on to that rainbow graffiti writer.

Comments

  1. Zhen says:

    Stupid inapproriate shit.

  2. xeracy says:

    i think the inelegance of it gives it charm

  3. NonICE says:

    Port-a-printer?

  4. graingert says:

    I can hear IBM spinning up their lawyers

  5. supershwa says:

    Not that the world needs more graffiti…but this is a pretty cool project.

  6. Juro says:

    Excellent build!

  7. MrX says:

    What? the cops didn’t show up at the end?

    props to the team, its a nice build. Now just attach it into a moving bicycle or car and pwn the streets

  8. Frake says:

    I think it’s amazing!

  9. At least the test spray was on some temporary construction barricades. Interesting project… now if you could make it lay down some real graffiti ART, that would be sweet.

  10. nicholas says:

    It reminds me of the graffity units in demolition man.
    If you could improve the resolution, it could be used to print graffities similar to ASCII art. That would be nice indeed

  11. Robot says:

    Nice but not novel. . . but what is these days. I liked the Institute for Applied Autonomy Graffiti Writer: http://www.appliedautonomy.com/gw.html

    Still, I think this is awesome and the effort of making something is superior to my key pressing.

    – Robot

  12. Salomon says:

    He should add two wheels on both edges of the tube, and attach an encoder to one of them to count how many cm does he move to improve quality of letters.
    (I know I need to improve my English as well =)

  13. njected says:

    Double tap this mofo. Efficient vandalism = lame

  14. Deri Bular says:

    Ah, but in the graf scene there’s a sort of infatuation with dripping. Just look up the Graffiti Research Labs’ work, they put some good effort into electronically duplicating the effect.

    http://www.graffitiresearchlab.com/blog/projects/laser-tag/#video

  15. Hardcore says:

    If it did multi colored logos or at least looked like it was not written by a 4 year old.
    Then it might have been worth looking at.

  16. Graeme says:

    “Obviously you shouldn’t try this at home”
    No, you definitely should. Why inflict this crap on everyone else. What? Your parents might send you to your room?

  17. Taylor Alexander says:

    How about some laser activated paint and a projector system? Then you can carelessly splash extra paint on things and then activate it with laser precision.

    Not that I am aware of laser activated paint, but its gotta be possible!

  18. MrX says:

    @Taylor Alexander
    > Not that I am aware of laser activated paint, but its gotta be possible!

    Well.. you can easily get UV-reactive paint and most certainly there are UV lasers out there (I don’t know where to get them though if not from specialized shops). So, there, you got your laser activated paint :)

  19. DudeBro says:

    >tomato, tomahto

    Awkward for people that say “tomahto” :)

  20. nobody says:

    nice now the police in eindhoven has video evidence AND his name. things could not be easier for the cops today…

  21. alcor says:

    There are also some other devices like :


    & more …

  22. Eirinn says:

    Lol… Oliver van herpt? He herpt when he should have derpt.

  23. Poe says:

    Next you should post about the cool and ‘hack-ish’ ways arsonists trigger their ‘art’.

    Screw private property!… amiright?

  24. samuel says:

    Graffiti is not the lowest form of art, despite having to creep about at night and lie to your mum its actually the most honest artform available. There is no hype or elitism it exhibits on some of the best walls a town has to offer and nobody puts an admission price on it

    • Poe says:

      “honest”, seriously? Graffiti involves painting someone’s property.

      Want to be an “honest” artist?
      1. Buy your own building.
      2. Paint it as desired.
      3. Become obscure to history.

      • dom says:

        I hope your reply is read by as many of these graffiti loving kids as possible.

      • Greenaum says:

        How did all this property end up allocated to all these people long before any of us were born? It’s hardly fair, is it? Why do only people who own property get to decide what we have to look at all day? And who decided that some people “own” the land underneath their feet while others don’t?

        Actually I know who, a bunch of dirtbags who bullied, killed, and stole for it. Brute force and nothing else is where this “legitimacy” comes from. It’s not fair or civilised. Paris Hilton has thousands of times more money, power, and influence than you or me. Because a dead ancestor of hers once ran a nice hotel. It’s senseless and bizarre, a mountain of plastic garbage and dead victims is a hell of a place to stake one’s moral high ground on.

    • Spork says:

      The film he made is honest art. Actual graffiti is just annoying, I don’t care if you can spray paint a damn overpass, now quit doing it and wasting tax dollars to fix it.

      Muralists who use spray cans? Now, that’s just talent.

  25. Morgauxo says:

    How about this on the back of a car spraying down. Now just add a paint that starts out black when wet but dries white or some other color that shows up good against asphalt.

  26. borgar says:

    pretty cool, keep in mind that all he “vandalized” was a temporary plywood wall at a construction site.

    make it rgb and give it a higher resolution that 8 and this will be awesome

  27. This is really dope. It’s a fast easy way to get up and get out. For all those digital boys ‘Seeking Heaven” this is a nice way to do a big piece. It’s creative, using Dot Matrix just gives it that retro look. I for one would love to try this.

  28. Stan says:

    I am gunna put this on my car and drive through the Lincoln Tunnel. Use a encoder on the tires for timing.. Humm..

  29. This is cool as far as programming goes, but I’m not crazy about that being street art.

  30. Akranis says:

    There is a similar version that I like a little better that uses a similar idea to write calligraphy on the ground with water. http://vimeo.com/29414931

  31. chad says:

    could be used for automatic field painting on sports fields or with wash away paint for parties/get-together- or leaving nasty messages on your neighbors lawn with gasoline – crop circles made out of this and some weed/plant killer- umm- so many useful things can be done- u could line up your friends and paint all there bellies with this before a football game. u could use this with hair dye/bleach on cattle instead of branding them- u could use glow in the dark ink and tag ppl all day with a smaller version of this-

  32. Devolis says:

    Ok as a “X graffiti artist” I think its a cool idea… but not made for graffiti.. “street art maybe” there’s a big difference. If you want style and skill just pick up a can with a fat cap and do the damn thing on the wall…. it would take less time and look way better. This looks too bulky and it would get you caught by the cops in no time… And besides just use the fire extinguisher with paint and regular nozzle… you go bigger all the time and you can add style… not dashes and dots. That is way too plan. Also you don’t want to get caught with this…tampering with the contents of the extinguisher to for vandalism can get you sent to jail for a while with huge fines. Don’t remember the name of the charge but its happened to a few local Graffiti writers. All in all . Stick to a can and use imagination… it hasn’t failed with the Graff life yet. sometimes change isn’t always better!

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