I’m planning to create a digital “pin-art” board - something similar to the photo below. Though not planning a life-size one. Planned specifications:
- 64x64 matrix - 2’ x 2’ dimensions
- Transparent acrylic “pins” with black acrylic board - .3 mm pins with a spacing of 10 mm center to center
- RGB LEDs behind the display
- Wireless connectivity so that new images can be sent to the board
The sheer number of pins - 4,096 of them, creates an extremely challenging problem. Initial thoughts include:
- Using a 16 x 16 LED matrix so that 4x4 pins are lit using one LED
- Using 64 stepper motors to drive each pin in a row - these steppers would move down the rows fixing each row at a time.
- Creating a small program using processing to convert images into 64x64 grayscale image - where the brightness would provide the depth of the pins - brighter the pixel - higher the pin. This would communicate with the display via bluetooth to send the image.
The problems I see with this approach are:
- Cannot create animations - once an image has been created - it needs to be reset manually - I was thinking of sticking washers behind each pin and using some kind of electromagnet to reset the display - but have no idea if that would work.
- Controlling 64 motors and ensuring their position is correct every time
- How to deal with power failures mid-way
- Budget - I’m planning to spend ~10k INR ($175)
I’m sure there would be many other issues once I start.
Comments? Thoughts? Suggestions?