Design of the Week: RoyBot, a Robot Painter

By on April 24th, 2023 in Design, news

Tags: , ,

The RoyBot in action [Source: YouTube / Nerdtronic]

This week’s selection is the amazing RoyBot robot painter by YouTuber Nerdtronic.

Nerdtronic produces a fascinating series of YouTube videos, described as: ”Robotics, Automation, Arduino and Raspberry Pi Projects, LED Projects, Practical uses of 3D Printing, Motion Control, and Garage Filmmaking”.

Many of Michael’s videos focus on resin 3D printing, and they provide considerable learnings, particularly for those new to the complex matter of resin 3D printing. I found his “Why Resin 3D Prints Fail” video to be especially useful, and you may too.

One of his recent videos describes a rather incredible 3D printing project where he builds a machine that can reproduce a famous painting.

The painting in question is one of noted New York artist Roy Lichtenstein . Lichtenstein developed a unique “comic book” style that you will immediately recognize. Nerdtronic was amazed that one of Lichtenstein’s 1964 pictures, entitled “Ohhh … Alright …”, recently sold for US$42M at auction.

Michael was unable to replicate the painting by hand because the composition is filled with regularly-spaced dots that basically can’t be done manually (I suppose that’s one reason why Lichtenstein is a famous artist).

Could a machine be developed to reproduce this painting? That was the challenge undertaken by Nerdtronic.

Nerdtronic’s approach was to build a huge 4 x 5 foot XY plotter using acrylic painting pens. This project required extensive hardware, software, and of course, 3D printing. You would be correct in thinking that this is a very advanced project, with considerable complexity in many dimensions.

The RoyBot software controls [Source: YouTube / Nerdtronic]

The construction and development of the “RoyBot” required significant effort by Nerdtronic, which, as you’ll see in the video, was ultimately successful. It’s fascinating to watch how various technical challenges were detected and resolved in the video.

Nerdtronic completed the RoyBot, and then it was time to test it on the painting.

Original image produced by the RoyBot [Source: YouTube / Nerdtronic]

But Nerdtronic was fearful of copyright issues, should the actual painting be replicated. Instead, Michael created a very similar image on his own, which he calls “No — Not Over The Phone”.

To execute the painting, Nerdtronic had to break down the image into color layers that would be applied separately to build up the entire painting. That alone is a complex process.

It’s amazing to watch the progress of the RoyBot, and the result is terrific. Apparently the entire print took a lengthy six weeks to complete, so it’s not particularly fast.

While the original painting is not going to be repainted with RoyBot, Nerdtronic intends on making and selling prints that will be signed by RoyBot itself.

Via YouTube

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

Leave a comment