Glowing Automatic Light Graffiti

As fun as light graffiti is, it doesn’t necessarily translate to something you can show people in real life.  Fortunately, after a conversation with Susan at the Greenville Makers Group, an idea was hatched to use a “Glow Crazy” toy’s surface to show what I was drawing for longer than, say, a wall would.  Check out the video below to see what I mean:

booth-glow-crazyI designed the “servo light graffiti device a while ago, and Most of the details on this build can be found here, as well as some later changes that made the pixels into “X”s.  Nothing has really changed for the show besides a neat background, and a bin to keep some of the light away.

Unfortunately, it was still pretty bright where my table was located, so only a few “pixels” could be seen at a time.  The video in this post is taken under much lower lighting conditions, although not totally dark by any means.  In hindsight, maybe I should have simply cut holes in the bin’s top and put it on.  This would have restricted the view though, so that would be the disadvantage.

I should also note that I was able to my device to cycle through several Python programs automatically using a bash script. Because of this, at the Maker Faire I didn’t have to constantly reset it every time it got through drawing a picture.  Here is my Bash script for your perusal; note that I’m using Ubuntu Linux to run everything.

And, if you’re wondering what this “Glow Crazy” sheet is, it’s available from Amazon for around $17 as of this writing.  I did an “unboxing” and first use video below.

As shown in the end of the video, a green laser doesn’t really work to make it glow, but the violet beam that it came with works quite well.  Fortunately, I had another more powerful model hooked up to my device that I bought in a laser 3-pack like this one from Amazon. Edit: that link may not be functioning.  If not, try searching on Amazon for “violet laser” or “3 pack laser” and something should come up.  Whether or not you want all three colors, having 3 laser pointers is a good deal if you’re going to take them apart (as I illustrate in this post) since there is a good chance that you’re going to break at least one.


  1. An Illustrated explanation of How Light Graffiti Works - pingback on June 9, 2013 at 9:25 am
  2. Hackaday Links: Sunday, June 9th, 2013 - pingback on June 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm

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