33 thoughts on “1100 Barrel Paintball Gun

  1. That is simply excellent. Also, that would be deadly painful if you were in the way.

    Now they just need an auto-feed mechanism and a rolling sheet of paper for a huge 30×30 pixel paintball display!

  2. That is so cool and an excellent demonstration of the differences between CPU and GPU based rendering.
    The second demo was so unreal I had to watch it twice to believe what I was seeing.
    It would be cool to make it self reloading and mount it on the back of a truck and use it as an instant graffiti printing machine.

  3. Its stuff like this that makes me happy. These guys arent the bs actors that are one ever other freaken sci reality show, authentic and freaking awesome nerds to the core.

  4. Resetting could be a breeze – for each colour, have a ‘stencil’ which is full of holes where you want that colour painted. Then, you need a sheet of hole-board the same as the barrel of the uuber gun. Make some sliding registration holes in the stencil, and some pegs on the hole-board so that the stencil can slide 1/2 a ball width sideways, effectively using the not-holes in the hole-board to stop the balls flowing thru. Pour paintballs on, shake, place in front of uuber gun, and slide the stencil to align the holes. Tada!

  5. The first one was pretty rudimentary, but neat. I can see some useful engineering, and some minor computational challenge, and even some nifty-factor and fliexibility. The second one?
    It’s run-of-the-mill showmanship, building shallow glitz on top of a useless device. It belongs on late-night TV with Billy Mays as a spokesman.

    Guys, what’s the big deal? It’s pure, one-trick gimmick. No pan, no tilt, no motor control, no processing, no art. The only skill it takes is manual — putting it together, aligning the tubes, loading each tube with the correct color paint ball.

    The equipment factor is high, but the gimmick factor is the denominator, and reduces the over-all score in the analysis.

    The first demo was a lot more useful… you can program that contraption, and do different pictures (albeit in monochrome). With the “gpu” “demo”, you basically have someone manually lay out the picture and fire them all off at once. Aside from the sheer mass and un-ncessary complexity of the simple machine, what is there to recommend that over the first one? If you want to do something really useful, then have each of the 1100 tubes self-loading, with computer controlled colors. THEN at least, it would actually BE something.

  6. @ marc,
    What you said is exactly the point they were getting across. They were building an analogy of a cpu and gpu.
    A cpu is much more flexible, programmable and open, but at a cost of speed.
    A gpu has raw, parallel speed, but they are designed for very specific tasks, and are less flexible.
    So what you said was right, but its not a gimmick, its the exact point they were getting across.

  7. @ Monster

    You hate them for having the best jobs in the world huh? Well, I hate you for even having a job. I can’t find one for the life of me since I was laid off – I can’t even get a job at Wal-Mart. Look on the bright side buddy, a BS job is better than no job.

  8. It seems a little fishy to me.

    I’d like to see a closeup of the mona lisa that that thing ‘painted’. From the shot in the clip where they turn it around it looks awfully regular. I can’t imagine that they could actually line up all the barrels so that the paint balls all line up in nice perfectly even rows.

    And did you notice that the canvas was black before it fired, but then is brightly colored afterwards with no hint of black showing through?

    I think that the black was just a thin layer of something covering over a pre-printed image of the mona lisa with nice regular rows of ‘pixels’ – then the paintballs just had something that washed off the black stuff. It is an add for a graphics card after all. The ad men don’t want to tell the world that their card makes messy driping pixels.

    I still love the MB, and I agree with everything that said before about them having the best job and being the most sincere of the sci reality shows. But remember what they did before they got this cool gig? They were special effects guys ;^)

  9. @headbonk.com: I have to disagree; there is blackness in between each “pixel” on the painted image (Also, one has to account for the degradation of quality in the video), and in the slowed down clip you can clearly see the different colored paint balls and the mist given off when they hit the canvas. Although, all of this *could* be faked, I don’t think(hope) that the MythBusters are ones to fake it… In short, I too, wish there was a close-up shot of the painting. (Hey, perhaps, we could send this to the MythBusters as a myth to test?!)

  10. Aand this week’s challenge:- modify it to print in colour. Easy enough, just have an RGB LED and sensor on each barrel by the loader mechanism, and have the micro detect the next colour in the barrel and fire/not fire depending on this.

    Pretty simple in theory.. :)

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