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This is very much a work in progress.
The goal of this project is to create a robot which can "print" designs with Perler Beads automatically. The raw material would be multicolored unsorted Perler beads. The robot would accept a bitmap image with some pixel art you'd like to recreate in Perler beads. It would automatically sort the beads and place them on a grid, ready to iron.
I have a blog post explaining some of my ideas so far:
And another post about the color sensor I plan to use:
A video of the vibrating funnel in action:
The design comes in several "layers" which stack vertically with standard M4 hardware. First there is a hopper for the raw unsorted beads, then a vibrating funnel which extracts the beads in single-file. Next, a sorter which includes a color sensor, and a servo-driven disc which shuttles the beads back and forth at the right time. This will sit above some kind of X-Y table, which can be rather simple given the low precision requirements.
Currently the first two layers, the hopper and the vibrating funnel, are mostly done. The sorter is more of a sketch than a final design at this point, and it will probably change significantly.
Perler Bead Robot by scanlime is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike license.
So what's this mean?
We're sure scanlime would love to see what you've printed - take a photo and share it on Thingiverse as a Make.
To post a Make simply visit this Thing again and click I Made One to start uploading your photo. You can also download the Thingiverse Mobile app (available via Google Play and Apple App Store) to take a photo and upload your Make right from the app!