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Award-Winning Polar Printing Press

The Proposal: 

We plan to create a polar printing press: machine that spirals out an arm and attached marker to draw a 2D image.
Our minimum viable product is one black marker attached to one arm. The MVP should take a black and white image as an input and draw by spiraling the marker outward from the center.
Our dream printing press will create tri-color drawings, a neat (online) GUI for uploading images to the machine, and communicate wirelessly with any computer.The Project Summary: 

The Machine:
Our objective was to build a machine that actuated a marker in order to draw any image fed into the system. Our current project is a machine that uses a single marker lowered by a solenoid on a gantry that is spun by a high accuracy stepper motor. A platter under the gantry spins the paper. When the solenoid actuates it brings down the pen onto the moving paper.
 
The Process:
An image is fed to a binarization python script, which saves an array that feeds into a second python script that simulates a spiral and saves postion-based commands. The Arduino Uno receives commands from Python over a serial connection, and the machine begins spinning the stepper motor and drawing with a sharpie. 
 
The Product: 
 
 
The Polar Printing Press earned an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Robot Art competition! See more about that on robotart.org. ​