I’m planning to create a digital “pin-art” board – something similar to the photo below.
Though not planning a life-size one. Planned specifications:
- 64×64 matrix – 2′ x 2′ dimensions
- Transparent acrylic “pins” with black acrylic board – .3 mm pins with a spacing of 10 mm center to center
- RGB LEDs behind the display
- Wireless connectivity so that new images can be sent to the board
The sheer number of pins – 4,096 of them, creates an extremely challenging problem. Initial thoughts include:
- Using a 16 x 16 LED matrix so that 4×4 pins are lit using one LED
- Using 64 stepper motors to drive each pin in a row – these steppers would move down the rows fixing each row at a time.
- Creating a small program using processing to convert images into 64×64 grayscale image – where the brightness would provide the depth of the pins – brighter the pixel – higher the pin. This would communicate with the display via bluetooth to send the image.
The problems I see with this approach are:
- Cannot create animations – once an image has been created – it needs to be reset manually –
I was thinking of sticking washers behind each pin and using some kind of electromagnet to reset the display – but have no idea if that would work.The plan now is to use springs on each of the pin and a locking mechanism to fix the pins once they are pushed.
- Controlling 64 motors and ensuring their position is correct every time
- How to deal with power failures mid-way
- Budget – I’m planning to spend ~10k INR ($175)
I’m sure there would be many other issues once I start.
Comments? Thoughts? Suggestions?