3D Pin art

Hi,

I am new to Ardunio. I am looking at creating a project with a touchscreen, and when an option on screen is selected, it creates a shape on the 3d pin art (like these: https://www.google.co.uk/search?safe=off&biw=1920&bih=949&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=3d+pin+art&oq=3d+pin+art&gs_l=psy-ab.3...3996.3996.0.4234.1.1.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.0.0....0.6VWZhI3BX28)

Just looking for advice on what hardware would be needed and best way to get started? In my head i think it could work like this:

-each pin is assigned a value
-certain values are then assigned with the object on screen

  • ie.. pin 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 & 8 are assigned to the 'circle' object on screen.
  • when the circle is pressed on screen, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 & 8 all extend, thus creating the shape.

Is this viable?

Any advice for a beginner is much appreciated.

Many thanks

RC

How many pins are you planning to have?

The images in your link look like they have maybe 50 x 100 or 5000 pins. How do you propose to move each one separately?

I can think of a mechanism that could traverse the rows and columns and push a pin when it it was at the pin's location. But it would be very complex and what I'm thinking of could not pull pins back to make a flat surface.

...R

Many thanks for your answer.

Ideally I was thinking of having something like the ones in the link but on a smaller scale. lets say 500 max? still a lot i know.

I guess I am simplifying things by thinking that if there was power to a pin it would extend, but if there was no power it would not be extended? i guess i am.

would you be able to explain the basic idea of the mechanism you are thinking of?

Thanks again

You need multiplexer on multiplexer on multiplexer to get an individual signal to each of 500 pins. 500 pins could be like 20 * 25 pins. Besides, the images you linked to, have pins that don't just take on/off positions, but say 128 different positions. If each pin could actually move with its own solenoid or whatever actuator mechanism, 500 pins would need a lot of power to do it simultaneously. If they do it one by one to avoid blowing fuses, it might not be that fast. Not like just pushing your hand into the pins in a real analog thing. But if you have solutions for these issues, it could be a really cool thing!

If you don't mind the process being slow, you could have a three servo robot arm pushing each individual pin. Even as an extremely slow 3D image renderer it could be a really cool thing. Say 2 pins per seconds. 30 * 40 pins would last 10 minutes.

Johan_Ha:
If you don't mind the process being slow, you could have a three servo robot arm pushing each individual pin. Even as an extremely slow 3D image renderer it could be a really cool thing. Say 2 pins per seconds. 30 * 40 pins would last 10 minutes.

That's the sort of thing I had in mind.

Making 500 small actuators would be very complex even before you consider the complexity of controlling them all with an Arduino (or any other microprocessor). It would also be expensive - 500 small servos at (say) £3 each plus all the connecting rods and other stuff.

...R

I see this as an X-Y set of stepper motors moving the a pin pusher to each pin in a row and then form row to row.
The pin pusher could be a servo or another stepper motor.
You would also need a 'reset' mechanism that would move a piece of clear plastic to push back all the pins.

vinceherman:
You would also need a 'reset' mechanism that would move a piece of clear plastic to push back all the pins.

Or a big roller that is rolled over the surface. Will look a lot cooler for an arts project.

I like the idea of stepping along the surface. It's going to be hard though to quickly push a pin out partly, without bumping it all the way through. Even doing just two pins a second, that means you'll be moving it in about 1/10th of a second after all the other movement the pusher has to do. Still pretty fast for something mechanical like this.