Light painting with a string plotter

[Matt Bell] sends a shout-out to Hackaday by creating a light-painting of our logo with his string plotter. He starts off by setting up a pair of stepper motors which each have a spool to wind and unwind a string. The plotter is made by suspending a stylus between these two strings. In this case, he’s using a wireless LED board (seen above) built from the remote control receiver/transmitter from a toy car. The link above is part of a Flickr set from which you can get the whole story by reading the captions of each image.

After the break we’ve embedded a clip of an in-progress light painting. You can see there’s some oscillation of the LED unit that makes it a bit less precise than the CNC light painter we saw a couple of weeks ago. It seems like string plotters usually don’t have this issue if the stylus has something to help stabilize it. We wonder if a piece of acrylic would help get rid of the shakes?


  1. Cheery says:

    The sound of that thing is cooler than what it does.

  2. Alex says:


  3. svofski says:

    Needs run-up and slow-down to be ramped, this will reduce oscillations a little bit. I guess the impact on the light-print can be compensated by changing the intensity of the LED in proportion with the speed.

  4. mery says:

    This is very similar to

  5. Trav says:

    I would think hanging the batteries a little lower might help in oscillations (or it could just make it worse), lowering the CoG

  6. xtremegamer says:

    If you make a frame where the other ends are rooted along the sides and that back to the PCB you have slight or zero oscillations

  7. onefivefour says:

    How did you get the X,Y coordinates from the logo into the rig to control the LED position? Does the project have a detailed build page?

  8. Moi says:

    We had a similar one a couple of weeks ago:

  9. Robot says:

    This reminds me of and is of course, a totally awesome project.

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