Introduction: Light Painter

For a school assignment we had to make a project with Arduino. The theme was digital street art. So we came up with the idea of creating a light painter. This is a little installation that moves 2 pipes up and down. Inside these pipes are neon lights. These lights can show all the colors of RGB. If you let the installation move the pipes around and you take a picture with a longer shutter time, the results will always be different and you can create a unique image of light. But It's still a prototype.

Step 1: What You Need


2 motors

Wooden plank

2 neon lights

2 plastic pipes

Piece of wood to keep the pipes together

An extern battery


Camera to take pictures in shutter time

Step 2: Lasercutting the Planks

First it is important to know that you have to built the 3 components separate and after you've done this, you can put them all together.

So the first step is to lasercut the pieces of wood to keep the pipes together. Cut depending on how large your pipes are. So these pieces can hold it together. 1 piece you have to engrave. This is the piece that is part black in the lasercut document. In this piece you need to put the neon lights and it's cables. If you are sure that the amount of pieces will hold the pipes you can glue them together. make sure this isn't to heavy for the motor to hold.

Step 3: Protect the Motors

Surround the motors with wood. This makes it more easy to attach the other parts.

Step 4: Reinforce

These are the planks that will connect the 2 motors. 1 motor is going to go from left to right and back. the other motor will go up and down. So these planks will serve as the tool to make the attached motor spin. we used screws to reinforce it all.

Step 5: Stop Right There Pipe

Sometimes the motor will turn to far and can get stuck on the wood. So we put a screw on the side in the cube around the motor to stop the pipes from going over the edge and get stuck.

Step 6: Put It Together

First put the 2 pipes in the pipe holders you made in step 1. Then you attach this piece to the motor that spins up and down (motor 2). After that attach motor 2 to motor 1. around the cube of motor 1 put on both sides 2 pieces of wood and connect them both to a ground base. With this the installation will stand right up.

Step 7: Arduino

It's important that all of the cables won't block or get constricted. See That all cables are tied together in one direction.

Use a Arduino Motorshield and connect the motors and the neon lights to your arduino.

You need to install the library "Adafruit_NeoPixel-master"

Which motor has to go in which port you can find in the arduino document.

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