Electric paint brush loads itself with paint

Meet [Jahangir Ahmad]. He’s a 19-year-old from India who recently won third place in a contest put on by the National Innovation Foundation. Here he’s posing with the electric paint brush which he developed after seeing some local painters struggling with brushes and buckets at the top of a ladder.

His system uses a 1 hp motor to pump paint from the bucket directly into the brush. Once it enters the handle a distributor splits the flow into four parts so that it reaches the bristles evenly. The pump of the paint is actuated by a controller which can be worn on the painter’s belt. When you get a little low on paint, just hit the button and you’ll get boost. Since the base of the bristles is meant to hold a small reservoir of paint, this has the potential to be better than dipping in a bucket.

[via Reddit via Home Harmonizing via Damn Geeky]

Comments

  1. notdave says:

    saw this product realized on a late night informercial… just sayin.

    • GotNoTime says:

      Yeah. Dulux do a similar system called the Paint Pod but they use a roller instead of a brush. They integrated a mechanism to clean the roller as well. No idea how much this all costs though and I’m sure the special Paint Pod tubs of paint can’t be cheap.

      • Purple Rabbit says:

        The paint pod comes free with a (slightly overpriced) tub of the paint at my DIY store. Has a button and small radio transmitter in the handle to activate the very basic pump in the pod. Pretty good for painting but even better for those simplex short range radio projects!

    • Pall.e says:

      Or maybe you are talking about the paint stick which my mom had one. Surprisingly for big rooms it worked really well and was lot less messier than the roller alone. The downside was how long and impossible it was to clean out to change colors.

    • M4CGYV3R says:

      My dad had a Powered Paintbrush almost 20 years ago when I was a kid that did exactly this. Pretty sure it was Wagner.

      • Bill Gander says:

        Oh man you brought back some memories. My dad had a wagner power sprayer when he decided to repaint our house. He decided to use latex paint on most of the trim and windows. I just remember spending forever cleaning all of the latex paint out of that thing as dad downed Coors and listened to Willy Nelson (and showed me my first satellite in the night sky). Sometimes to get my help on the late night shifts he would switch the radio to aircraft and we would listen to pilots report their altitude etc lol. Very exciting back then :) The piston in that thing had close to 8 billion nooks and crannies to get paint in. Old man prolly wasted more money on that project than hiring a painter would have cost, but he recompensed his expenses in the form of recycled Coors light cans lol. So was his logic anyway. Thanks for bringing that up :)

    • Shadyman says:

      I used a powered roller one a couple years ago, got it from Home Depot.

  2. Brett says:

    If you have ever done any serious amount of painting work, you will realize that you really only want the paint in the first 2/3 of the brush for much of your painting. What this gentleman has created is a “drippy mess” that can’t do fine detail work.

    • The paint stuff says:

      I can counter.

      If you have ever been a professional painter you will use sprayer setup with variable flow control, nozzle, and tons and tons of wax-impregnated tape.

      Doing anything with a brush is slower, costs more, and is more prone to various types of errors.

      This project is clearly not innovative, it is creative. Meaning this setup can be thrown together with very cheap bits that can be had in developing countries. Essentially you are seeing that developing process happening before your eyes. Good stuff.

      • Galane says:

        Tape? Phhht! Good painters don’t need to mask anything. I learned long ago how to cut in around trim and paint trim without getting paint on the wall.

        Cut in around the trim with a brush then roll the walls and ceiling. Finish up by painting the trim.

        An angle cut brush makes cutting in a bit easier but such a brush isn’t required.

        Painters that have painting clothes with paint all over them don’t know how to paint. Same for if they get paint more than one third up the bristles of their brushes.

        Ideally one should come out of a painting job without a single drop of paint on oneself.

    • yes says:

      ^^this

  3. Hirudinea says:

    Hope he remembers to run turpentine through the system when its done or he’ll never use it again.

  4. KG4MXV says:

    I wish they would just focus on better tech support and english speech lessons.

    • Greenaum says:

      I’m very impressed with the Indians doing tech support for my mobile phone. Unlike the idiots in British call centres, the staff seem very informed in even the obscurest stuff, and intelligent enough to be able to work out a solution. Compared with the idiots in British call-centres, who read scripts off a computer and pick from a list of responses, they’re basically just a voice interface to the computer that does the actual diagnosing.

      Indians use their brains! In India, call-centre work is a good job, so they can pick the best to be their staff. Contrast this with call-centres in Western countries.

      • Kaj says:

        I worked in the tech support industry (for a two-letter computer manufacturer my NDA doesn’t want me to name :)), in their research department developing better troubleshooting methods and evaluating call center performance.

        Some of the call centers in India were pretty good, Mexico also had some nice scores. North America, in general, was better at resolving issues in a single call.

        On the other hand, there was one call center contractor in India that was far below everyone else. Cough*Wipro BPO*Cough.
        They’re pretty large, and aside from issues actually training their employees, providing internet connections that supported their tools, they also had a big problem: The employees really didn’t care. They could walk across the street and get a job at another company just as easily – so they just bounced back and forth, putting the bare minimum in.
        They were the only call center to complain our troubleshooter was “Too difficult” when we provide the option “Computer will turn on, monitor will not” *facepalm*

        Some of the other centers, though, did a pretty decent job.

        So, it really does depend on who is RUNNING the call center, not just who answers the phone.

  5. Chris C. says:

    I have a Wagner Power Roller. Yes, it can be a drippy mess unless you both control the flow very carefully, and adjust your painting style; so I’m particularly dubious about pumping paint to a *brush*. Yes, it’s so time consuming to clean when you’re done, that you come out ahead only on huge jobs.

    And the last time I used it on a ladder, I got tangled in the hose, and ended up falling off. In fact I fell right on the Wagner, which popped open and splattered paint everywhere. Rushing to get paint out of carpet before it dries with a freshly bruised rib isn’t much fun.

    While inventing is good, not all inventions are good.

  6. Mr Name Required says:

    You can buy these force-fed paintbrushes already. Next up, look for the same fellow to invent a ‘hand-held rotatory paint application device with replaceable roller’.

  7. techb says:

    I really admire the DIY hacktivism in the build, but I have to agree with KG4MXV on this one.

  8. derekb says:

    Shame about all the paint that gets wasted in the tubing, as well.

  9. mooshing paint says:

    People act like this is the first time we’ve ever seen a hack that already exists in the market. Sheesh.

    One gotcha seems to be the thickness and stiffness of the hose. You generally use a brush when you need fine control of the paint application. That would require a very fine hose, and it probably shouldn’t attach at the very tip of the handle (too much leverage torquing on the brush). Thick paints aren’t going to flow well through a thin tube.

    • dan says:

      it’s not that this is the first time any one has re-made a commercial product at home.

      it’s not that it’s not a good idea.

      I think that the biggest problem is that he’s won 3rd place in an INNOVATION competition for re-producing an already existing idea.

      there doesn’t seem to be a lot of innovation in re-producing existing ideas.

  10. Greenaum says:

    I saw something a long time ago used for car washing. A hose that sits in a bucket, with a brush on the end. One or two one-way valves are in the hose. The up-and-down action of washing a car, creates enough of a pump effect, in concert with the valves, to pump the water without any other mechanisms.

    That would seem a good idea to use in this case. Electric motors, pumps, and all the seals and bearings aren’t the sort of low-tech stuff that could work everywhere in the third world.

  11. Bumba says:

    That kid looks awfully clean for a painter.

    • n0lkk says:

      No one said he was a painter. Even a painter might clean up, and put on clean clothes for a photo shoot. unless those paying for the shoot requests an on the job style of shoot.

  12. Ishan says:

    What most of you on top are missing in this ‘hack’ if it can be called so it the context. The guy probably got awarded for grassroot innovation. Compared to guys in Europe and USA ..he can be classified as illiterate.
    Yes we all can say how the hack is not a hack, sloppy hack.. done 20 years back.. so on and so forth
    What we must appreciate is the guys will to work smarter not harder. That is precisely what guys following this blogs do. His limited technical knowledge and world exposure is his handicap. But is will is his asset. He probably must have not heard of Dulux or Wagner Power Roller, and I can bet on that.
    Its the spirit we must appreciate.

  13. MrFluffy says:

    Earlex do exactly this system in europe too, except in theirs the paint goes into a 10l container you hold in a shoulder strap that you clean out afterwards with water so there isnt half a mile of tube to waste paint into.
    They also offer the same system in brush and roller versions with just a head change. And extra long tube kits which screw together into the original ones with longer handles for painting in high areas without a ladder etc.
    Its also battery powered, its just a simple little pump with a small regulator on the output and you slide the switch to go and it works.

    I dont hate on this guy for copying it, but it sucks he won a “innovation” award for doing it. Seems there’s a deep and profound message in just that aspect.

  14. Chris says:

    The key problem is bad results when using a brush, a roller produces a much nicer finish, so he had an idea, and its nothing new, but fine he did it…

    The main problem is he clearly did not do much research into the problem before hacking the solution, otherwise he would have used a roller…

    Then again if you have a pump & paint, spray paint…

    • dan says:

      actually, perhaps he would have?

      you don’t know.

      the point is he saw someone using a brush and a bucket, there are many applications of painting where a roller is not an appropriate tool hence he the workmen were using a brush.

      I still question the innovation of this though, since it appears to have been done lots of times before.

      given the fact that he clearly had access to the tooling required to build such a thing, and had access to some way to promote his “innovation” it’s highly unlikely that he didn’t also have access to an online store where he could have just bought one!

      as a hack, pretty cool.
      as a prize deserving innovation… not so much.

  15. MrXavia says:

    What? I just read the link…
    He has applied for a PATENT!!
    ” Prior art search did not disclose any similar product in the market. NIF filed a patent (1949/DEL/2011) in the name of Jahangir. ”

    HOW could a prior art search not find the current market products???
    If this was something for himself, I’d say nice little hack, but as he is patenting it?

  16. steve says:

    I don’t really like these developing country rebates in judging projects. Indians aren’t that behind! This has existed for quite some while, can be bought for very cheap and what he created isn’t even practical. He should throw in some more effort, I think.

  17. Grendal says:

    What viscosity is that paint they use?
    i mean, 1 hp seems quite huge for the paint quantity necessary for a brush. if it runs at full power and there’s not some serious bottleneck (maybe it goes through a 100m hose??) i qould expect the motor to be quite oversized.

  18. echodelta says:

    The hose is hell, thinking of the rc discharge curve as paint still comes out minutes after flushing and flushing. This really only works for the colour the world white crowd. You would want to swab the line or something that works flat out. Backpack is a great idea.
    I hate rollers! They leave an ugly texture because of the millimountains of paint left sticking up which is wasted paint. Someone rolled polyuerthane on the floor at work, nice wood floor now has zits all over the place! People race rollers back and forth like they are in a hurry. And then there is that sound of all those popping and smacking voids, like a million slurping soup eater-drinkers. Ceilings are the only place where they work well. Not a pro but tape and plastic no.

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