Disrupting Art – The SprayPrinter is The Future of Mural Printing

Technology is rising drastically and innovative people are finding better and easier ways to get the most tedious jobs done quickly, efficiently and on budget.

Founder, Mihkel Joala, has invented a way for professionals in various fields to cut the amount of work time associated with spray-printing murals.

“We have declared a war on boring blank walls, and now we have even more powerful stamina!” – Mihkel Joala

Mihkel first thought of the invention when his daughter had asked him to paint a unicorn on her wall. Self-aware, he knew he wasn’t the best at drawing, so as an inventor, he designed a prototype made out of a Nintendo Wii controller with a car engine valve that could draw and paint the image onto the wall by itself. And this is how SprayPrinter came to be!

So how did the engineers figure out how to get an image out the paint valves?

Originally, “the chimney hack” was quite different from other prototypes they’ve done before since it lacked camera feedback that locates the print head on the wall. In replacement, they used a “servo mechanism to move the print head and a main controller that commanded both the servo and paint valves”. By doing this, the resolution of the painting for such a scale would be much better.

Mihkel and the rest of the crew designed it in a way that 5 colors could print simultaneously (without mixing the paint in the valve or surface) which allowed the creation of a full color image with one stroke.

From up close, it may be difficult to differentiate the different colors on the image because it was printed by 2cm dots side-by-side, but from afar can you see them clearly.

At first, they used a computer that sends lines, one by one, of code (called a G-code), to the main controller which then executes the commands. Mihkel used a laser engraving software torun the servo and control the paint valves.

Now, instead of a laser, “they use a 5 color print head in which a controller measures the laser control pin for different pulse widths that range from 0 to 1000 microseconds.” This method is called the Pulse Width Modulation. The values are then wirelessly sent to then print head, triggering the different colors at around 100 times per second.

The future of Sprayprinter looks very promising and it will be exciting to see their evolution in prototypes. They’re hoping to launch their first batch of about 50 – 100 printers by the end of the year and hoping to send out their user-friendly V2 6 months later.

Learn more about SprayPrinter on their website.