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If you watch this and say, "Someone has too much time on his hands," I hate you.
June 2, 2010 7:49 AM   Subscribe

HELLO WORLD (SLYT) "Lego felt tip 110" printer connected to an Apple Mac. This is not a kit you can buy and does not use mindstorms. I designed/built/coded it all from scratch including analog motor electronics, sensors and printer driver, the USB interface uses a "wiring" board.
posted by grumblebee (42 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

 
I heard Lego will release this as a product someday, but buying replacement Sharpies for it will cost $56.
posted by mathowie at 7:51 AM on June 2, 2010 [15 favorites]


You know what I love about the internet? I get to see all sorts of cool things that people do in their spare time. That's what I love about the internet.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:55 AM on June 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


That will only happen if Apple buys Lego. (That said as a bitter long-time Macbook user who just spent $80 to buy a fucking replacement adapter.)
posted by grumblebee at 7:55 AM on June 2, 2010


It's the little people that make it.
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 AM on June 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I worry that things like this -- dedicating so much time to whimsy -- is slowly eroding the greatness of not just our great country, but also of my generation and indeed generations to co ~ HOLY SHIT IS THAT A COMPUTER TERMINAL FROM THE SONAR TRANSMITTING CRUISER FUCK YES
posted by boo_radley at 7:59 AM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love how busy and hardworking all those little Lego guys are: the guy riding the pen-height seesaw, the other guy on the paper-feed horse. All they want is for your document to come out perfectly.

On preview: what The Whelk said.
posted by caaaaaam at 8:01 AM on June 2, 2010


Meh. I'm waiting for the TinkerToy port.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:04 AM on June 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


can they build the futuristic dreams for us as well, do you think?
posted by infini at 8:05 AM on June 2, 2010


I like that a felt-tip marker results in an appropriate roughness for an animal covered in hair.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 8:08 AM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is brilliant.
posted by him at 8:08 AM on June 2, 2010


It's also the early-MTV music/video style that makes it.

If I may be crassly mechanistic for a moment, though: HowTF did he eliminate backlash so well? Oh, at the end of the line?
posted by DU at 8:13 AM on June 2, 2010


It would be funny if the printer kept stopping with screen prompts of "I need another small, angled piece" or "who took the last wheel?! I need that one!!!"
posted by chococat at 8:15 AM on June 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


Well, okay, that's the second most awesome Lego project ever. (However, I stand by this comment.)
posted by The Bellman at 8:17 AM on June 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's amazing what you can do with Legos.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:20 AM on June 2, 2010


a womble is an active kind of sloth: "I like that a felt-tip marker results in an appropriate roughness for an animal covered in hair."

Oh, why didn't I think of that? Felt is made of animal hair, so of course it is good at drawing hairy animals.
posted by idiopath at 8:21 AM on June 2, 2010


Meanwhile, my MegaBlok fax machine just burst into flames.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:30 AM on June 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Impressive work, I posted this to my Facebook profile.
posted by Mokusatsu at 8:32 AM on June 2, 2010


Little known fact: This is actually what is inside of every inkjet printer, and HP, Epson, Lexmark, et. al. just cover it all up with a big piece of plastic so you can't see it.
posted by briank at 8:45 AM on June 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


Someone does have too much time on their hands, and I'm glad they are using it so wisely.
posted by Nabubrush at 9:41 AM on June 2, 2010


Yes, the minifigs absolutely elevate this from merely "incredibly clever" to "totally awesome".
posted by usonian at 9:42 AM on June 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Heh, I love this. It's not so much a printer as it is a little printed page factory. I keep expecting extra buckets of ink to be brought in with a crane, like liquid steel being poured in a steel mill or something. It's clever, but it also has proper Lego style, man!
posted by FishBike at 9:43 AM on June 2, 2010


Oh how cool. I don't have the engineering talent to make one of these myself so instead I'm going to glue minifigs all over my Epson printer.
posted by jamaro at 9:51 AM on June 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


An Elegant Hack. His Kung Fu is strong indeed.
Also: OMG PONIES!!!

(c'mon, it's right there on the page. what's wrong with you people...)
posted by djrock3k at 9:59 AM on June 2, 2010


That's pretty bad-ass that he basically built a printer and wrote a driver for it. Amazing how far electronics components have come that in the 80's printers that were about as good as that one went for over $500.
posted by GuyZero at 10:21 AM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Guys like him make me feel like a huge fraud. There are big gaps in my understanding of the machines I use to make a living.

I realize that race-car driver is different skill from auto-mechanic, but I still get bothered by the fact that after I'm finished doing all my work (programming), there's nothing you can touch.
posted by grumblebee at 10:33 AM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


GC

sorry mate, couldn't resist. saw this on b3ta when you posted it up!

Excellent work.
posted by marienbad at 10:39 AM on June 2, 2010


This reminds me of Christmas 1988, when I spent a delightful snowy morning assembling the Lego "In the Penal Colony" set I found under the tree.
posted by sy at 10:39 AM on June 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Don't worry grumblebee, without the driver the whole thing would just sit there doing nothing with sad, lonely minifigs waiting for something to do sitting on top.
posted by GuyZero at 10:39 AM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


See, I feel like I could totally replicate this in the lab.
posted by everichon at 10:44 AM on June 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Grumble, thank you so much for posting this.
posted by theora55 at 11:00 AM on June 2, 2010


oh, and needs the "ponies" tag.
posted by theora55 at 11:01 AM on June 2, 2010


oh, and needs the "ponies" tag.

done.
posted by grumblebee at 11:36 AM on June 2, 2010


Also:

If you watch this and say, "Someone has too much time on his hands," I hate you.

I watched this and said, "I don't have enough time on my hands." I'm not sure why not, though, since presumably it's dispensed to all of us at the same rate. Further investigation seems warranted.
posted by FishBike at 11:40 AM on June 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I watched this and said, "I don't have enough time on my hands." I'm not sure why not, though, since presumably it's dispensed to all of us at the same rate.

My problem is that I have too many interests. So it's hard for me to stick with anything long enough for mastery. I went of vacation recently, and I took "The Little Schemer" with me. (Odd book to take on vacation, I know, but I'm a geek.) For about 20 years, I've been meaning to work through the whole thing. And for the first time, I almost did. I made to 90% of the way through the book before the vacation ended. And then I vowed to finish it on weekends.

But I didn't. I got caught up in Objective-C programming, instead. Yesterday, I decided that I really should finish "The Little Schemer" before reading any more of my Objective-C book. But when I picked it back up, I realized too much time had gone by, and I now didn't remember enough of the earlier material to successfully complete the last 10%. So "The Little Lisper" is now back on the to-do list. When I finally get back to it, if I do, I'll probably have to start at the beginning again.

If love learning, it's SO hard to not be seduced by the next new shiny thing.

"... now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the 'well-rounded man.' This isn’t just an epigram—life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Great Gatsby"
posted by grumblebee at 11:57 AM on June 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, okay, that's the second most awesome Lego project ever. (However, I stand by this comment.)

what is this i mean really HOLY SHIT HOW DO PEOPLE DO THESE THINGS
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:00 PM on June 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Awesome project and video. Just curious, why'd you use a Wiring board vs. Arduino?
posted by crayz at 12:09 PM on June 2, 2010


Oh WOW.
posted by dustoff at 12:14 PM on June 2, 2010


"Alright asshole put your jacket on and get your things we need you on the gulf coast yesterday. So here is my plan, you + an unlimited amount of legos and two weeks = plugged oil gusher and a thank you from BP. "

-Youtube commentator.

^^That's one of the best Youtube comments I've seen in a while.
posted by Solomon at 12:47 PM on June 2, 2010 [13 favorites]


I noticed this at work on hacker new (I think) but did not have a chance to click, yow, much much cooler than I expected!

Think about a 3d printer
posted by sammyo at 4:45 PM on June 2, 2010


Think about a LEGO model constructor... feed it an LDraw blueprint and a bucket of bricks, and it sorts the pieces and puts them all together for you. Of course it's only worth it if the machine itself is made out of LEGOs too.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:58 PM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is the awesomest thing I've seen all week. And, I mean, I read MetaFilter, so that's saying something.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:09 PM on June 2, 2010


Excellent, up there with the Difference Engine.
posted by unliteral at 6:30 PM on June 3, 2010


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