Future improvements

A project log for Glowboard Plotter

The Glowboard Plotter plots images using 64 UV LEDs attached in a line moved over a 120cmx60cm glow-in-the-dark sheet by a stepper.

nilonilo 05/29/2016 at 10:040 Comments

The biggest problem is that the glowboard is quite noisy. This is caused by the very simple python program, doing the calculation of the images and controlling of the steppers. So, every time the LEDs are updated, the stepper movement is stopped for a short period of time. You can hear the stuttering sound in the video above.

To fix this, the movement of the stepper has to be controlled by a separate process, which is capable of realtime processing. The easiest way to do this would be to let an arduino control the movements of the stepper, and give our python program running on the raspberry pi feedback about its position.

Another issue is that the openrails use steel wheels rolling over an aluminium profile. By using steel shafts with some plastic linear bearings we could further decrease the noise.

Finally, by placing the stepper motor behind the board and adding some dampening material we hope that we can reach a sound level which not annoying to people hanging around.

All-in-all, these changes mean that we have to build an all new version 2 of the glowboard. Maybe we can increase the (physical) vertical resolution from 64 to 128, which would mean that we have to decrease the distance of the UV LEDs from the board, so that we then can have an "interlaced" vertical resolution of 256px!

Stll way to go for a full HD glowboard, but hey. :-)