AirPrinter drone

A project to paint on a wall with a mix of a RC car and a drone

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painting on very tall wall can be quite complicated and costly.
Using drones to do it provide mixed results, because you can't have much precision and if you get too close to a wall you may crash your drone. So why not use some RC car with a propeller on it, the propeller being just used so that the vehicle sticks to the wall?
Then you just need to have a can of spray paint you can control tied to this vehicle and voilà!
Well at least that's the idea

I saw a few attempts at painting on a wall with drones : Not precise enough, but seems effective to quickly repaint a wall if you want recover an offensive graffiti Talking about offensive graffiti... ;-) This is close to what I had in mind, I think you need to "touch" the wall to have a good precision, but this drone still flies, my approach won't involve flying (and might not be called a drone) This one touches the wall but stay quite far, it seems difficult to do precision work without very good skills.

 So I though about another approach : could we just use the propeller to stick to the wall, and wheels to climb the wall?
  I can think of 3 different design to accomplish this

  • Design 1

  This would look like a RC car with a propeller

  • Design 2

  the idea is basically to to work like an inkjet printer, but instead of using
  stepper motors to scroll the paper, those would be used to climb the wall.
  And a pair of propellers would allow this "air printer" to stick to the wall

  • Design 3

  This design would be like a CNC router mounted on propellers.
  Not different from design 2, except the printed head would move in 2 directions.

Also, I don't know much about drones, so don't hesitate to correct me if I'm wrong. I think the physics are correct, and that it would need less power to stick to the wall than to fly, but if you have an idea of how to calculate that, leave a comment!

Why? What would this project solve?

It would allow people either to make some street art graffiti in hard  to reach place, or it could allow to clean  unwanted graffiti and vandalism.
I like the idea of using a propeller to stick to the wall instead of flying, as it is not what it was intended for!

  • Projects for 2019 - Airprinter drone

    PixJuan01/13/2019 at 17:34 0 comments

    Hello dear followers!

    As a bright new year is starting, I thought I would write a log for each of my project. Then I noticed I had more than a hundred followers for this one!
    I'm very happy my air printer is meeting such interest! This is a kind of paradox since it is my least finished project and also, I'm afraid, least likely to be finished soon.
    I don't think I'll start to seriously work on it before this summer. I will first have to build some skills in 3d printing and quad-copters and it will require quite a big time investment. Don't hesitate to experiment yourself or to send me links about similar projects. And if you are leaving in my area (in Bretagne, in France) don't hesitate to contact me.

    I'll keep you updated, meanwhile I wish you a happy new year and a happy hacking!

  • Design 1 : playing with Blender

    PixJuan04/20/2018 at 22:57 0 comments

    I never used Blender before, so don't expect high quality!
    I just took 2 projects on Thingiverse, a propeller and a buggy, imported them in Blender and added a few bits.

    This is just explain the concept, I suppose the wheel would have to be much thin and light so that there is less weight to maintain stuck on the wall.

    If a can of spray paint is used in the prototype, the nozzle must be protected from the wind of the propeller.

View all 2 project logs

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Florian Festi wrote 01/17/2019 at 21:47 point

You need a force pressing to the wall which is at least 1/coefficient of friction times the weight. As the coefficient of friction is typically smaller than 1 you need a larger force than the weight. So you probably want to point the propeller downward to generation a significant amount of lift directly.

  Are you sure? yes | no

PixJuan wrote 01/20/2019 at 05:21 point

It was the intuition I had, but I hadn't bothered with the math yet, thanks for the formula ;-)

For design 2, it will be simple as the drone will just go up and down, but for design 1, I will have to use servos to get the motor in the right direction, or, it would be more complicated- use a gimbal.

  Are you sure? yes | no

PixJuan wrote 01/17/2019 at 21:38 point

I hadn't considered it, I think it would work for design 3, but the wall plotter projects I have seen may be a bit slow. if my project runs on battery it could be a problem. Anyway, I think I will try to have a big battery on the ground, so that I can have a bigger drawing time, this way it will make wall plotter design possible.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Richard Hogben wrote 01/14/2019 at 22:25 point

Have you thought about the wall plotter designs, you would only need two fixed points of contact.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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