What this text is all about
What I describe here is how I got from an idea to a presentable art piece and I don’t want to write up a construction manual: How to build your own “Type Case” installation.

The installation "Type Case" is a low-resolution display with 125 rectangular pixels of different sizes. These are formed from the reflecting light of digitally controlled LEDs, embedded in each section of a European printers' type case. Due to the standardized fragmentation of its compartments, the density of visual information is decreased towards the objects' centre. Viewed close by, it is nearly impossible to recognize more than a flicker – however after moving some distance away, it becomes distinguishable, that the lights and shadows give a representation of the latest headlines.

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Step 1: The idea

Picture of The idea
On a late winter day last year, I looked at a picture of a European type case. I was fascinated of its odd segmentation and got interested whether it was possible to use the case as a display with different sized pixels.
Most of the ideas I get, I forget as fast as they came, but I immediately had a good feeling about this one.

billbillt4 months ago

I love this... creates a warm and cozy feeling..

wcross18 months ago
would this same concept work better if you have smaller sized compartments (also more) ?? or do the different sizes make it special?
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You are right, that I am proud of what I did.
With the last step, I want to say that nobody sees the great things people do without publishing them somewhere. I would be mistaken if this whole sozial media thing would not be about self-promotion in one or another way?
I am glad that you liked it beside the last step.
I have two old Type cases which i've used to store nuts, bolts, etc. Last weekend I cleaned them off and wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, but i knew i wanted to make them into something. Now i know exactly what i want to do with them!

Thank you for this instructable, all the information you've provided is in such great detail that i belive a novice like myself might actually be able to replicate what you accomplished.

I will be sure to check your website for other clever idea's i might be able to steal from you :)
You're right to be proud of what you did. It took a lot of work and if people didn't feel proud of their projects they wouldn't share them and we'd have no instructables or other project sharing to help inspire each other.
The man who can handle criticism.
I like it as much as I like you instructable.
Well done!
This is simply magical. Touches the soul.

My favorite indestructible on the site, thank you so much for sharing!

inspirational indeed.
thank you.

maybe the world will be alright.
gmonteverde3 years ago
Amazing, just Amazing
iMartijn3 years ago
"After some tinkering and reading thru many different forums I had a working solution."

Which forums?
Do you have links? For me I guess, the part where the lights need to talk to a computer is the most difficult one.

Martin Bircher (author)  iMartijn3 years ago
I think that the Arduino Playground is a good source:

For me especially this has been very helpful, since the TLC5940 and TLC5941 are almost similar and I guess it will give you a good overview of the concept:

And beside the digital sources I am still a fan of books. I made a list of my favorites:

A microcontroller and a box of shift registers... ;o)
Lotusfalls3 years ago
this is highly inspiring. it made me want to use a similar process to make a background for my band.
saiello3 years ago
Beautiful combination of the old with the new, lovely piece of work..!
Amazing work! Thumbs up :-)
Boden3 years ago
This is an incredible idea! From the idea, to the execution, to the medium (love the type case), to the short film made about the process, this is truly an inspirational piece of work.

Martin Bircher (author)  Boden3 years ago
Thank you!