Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on an ambitious project – to build a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 machine that can scan an image and then print out a LEGO mosaic of it. Here’s a video of the final model printing out the LEGO logo.
It is built entirely using LEGO parts. It first uses the EV3 colour sensor to scan the source image and save the data on the Mindstorms unit. It can then print multiple copies from the saved image data. The 1×1 plates used for ‘printing’ the mosaic are supplied using a gravity feed system and the printing head is simply a 1×1 round plate that can pick up and place the 1×1 plates.
I created a series of videos documenting my progress as I built it, so if you are interested in seeing how this project evolved be sure to check them out here. I also explain and demonstrate in more detail how many of the components of it work in these videos.
I had originally hoped to be able to scan any type of image and have the program pixelate it based on the colours of the plates in the supply. Unfortunately the EV3 colour sensor is no where near precise enough to be able to do this. I resigned myself to require pre-pixelated images to be scanned.
Perhaps in the future I will expand this project into the realm of 3D LEGO printing. Stay tuned!