Sensory Responsive Drawing Machine

This is my audio responsive 2D drawing machine, made with goal of creating automated art through live interactivity between 3D printer and environment.

IIt is powered by custom Processing code (Java based), live gCode production, and a Lulzbot TAZ 4 3D printer. The normal plastic extruder has been replaced by a printed pen holder. This piece was designed in Fusion 360 to fit in directly with my TAZ, who is already fortunately modular. Its preferred drawing technique is constant circle whose radius is modified based on the amplitude of the surrounding audio space. It can also do spirals (and now hearts!).

Everything is happening live through a serial connection with my computer. I made the Java environment to simulate a 3D printing console, so I also have control over x, y, and z movement, as well as homing, gCode export, print cancellation, and snapshots. The export function is particularly interesting because after exporting I get a file of every gCode command that was executed beforehand; this means that I can reproduce exactly any live creations I made.

This has been really fun to work with. It started off as a final project for class (DI 23 with KJ Wu). It was all remote (because 2020…), hence I had very limited physical materials, so I decided to use my 3D printer. I’ve wanted some way to have a deeper interaction with it beyond just upload and print, so this resulted. More iterations sure to come (I want to explore what can be done using different drawing medium, maybe normal printer filament).

Cameron Chaney (Mechanical Engineering ’22)  | Website


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